(Thanks to Ben Buchanan for the tip)
Well, that was fast. 4 weeks ago, the Patriots traded Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings for a 3rd round pick. A lot of fans were confused by the move, but because the Patriots have been undefeated since the deal, very few are still complaining. After the Patriots held Moss to one catch for 8 yards on Halloween, Moss decided not to travel back to Minnesota with the Vikings. In response, the Vikings waived Moss.
That means the Vikings gave the Patriots a 3rd rounder for four weeks of service. Ouch.
Of course, this also means that Randy Moss is now available to be picked up off the waiver wire by teams that are interested in his services. The waive wire gives preference to those teams with the worst records in the league, which means that the New England Patriots, who have the best record in the NFL, have last claim. So the odds of Randy Moss dropping back to the Patriots are pretty slim because that would mean 31 teams have decided they're not interested in his services.
More after the jump!
If Moss is truly so terrible that he was worth cutting by the Minnesota Vikings (who are left with only Percy Harvin as a viable wide receiver), then the Patriots may have just pulled off the heist of the season. A 3rd rounder for a player that couldn't last more than four weeks on a wide receiver depleted team? Ouch. Score: Brad Childress- 1, Bill Belichick - A lot.
Would I like to see Moss back in a Patriots' uniform? I wouldn't complain. As long as he upped his output and effort, he could still be a solid weapon in this offense. If Moss returned as a field stretcher, the Patriots could rework his contract for a 3 year, cheaper deal since if Moss reached the Patriots on the waiver wire, he would basically be a free agent. Moss stretching the field allows the Patriots to use Brandon Tate in a Percy Harvin slot type role, in addition to developing Tate as a sideline receiver.
That said, the odds of Moss dropping to the Patriots are very slim. There are plenty of teams that could use a wide receiver, especially of Moss's caliber. Potential landing places:
Buffalo Bills - They need some more weapons.
Cincinnati Bengals - Hah. It's a joke.
Cleveland Browns - I can see Mangini trying him out.
Indianapolis Colts - Moss + Peyton Manning? Yikes.
Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jags could use some help at receiver to take some pressure of Maurice Jones-Drew.
Tennessee Titans - Another vertical offense that could benefit from Moss.
San Diego Chargers - With Vincent Jackson out, and Malcom Floyd injured, Moss would be great in Philip Rivers' vertical attack.
Denver Broncos - Seriously, they need help and matching Moss with Josh McDaniels is a dream come true.
Kansas City Chiefs - They could use a receiver across from Dwayne Bowe and Moss + Matt Cassel would be a solid pairing.
Washington Redskins - This team is barely winning, but a Donovan McNabb + Moss pairing could have solid production.
Chicago Bears - Giving Jay Cutler another weapon might help.
Detroit Lions - Calvin Johnson + Moss? Wow.
Green Bay Packers - Just to stick it to the Vikings, they don't really have a need. Just a fun idea.
Carolina Panthers - They need a lot of help at wide receiver.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - They have a young, but talented, receiving core. Maybe Moss would be a veteran presence to help them out?
Seattle Seahawks - They lost Deion Branch and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. They need help for Matt Hasselbeck.
St. Louis Rams - They lost Donnie Avery, but adding Randy Moss could help stretch the field from this young team.
Arizona Cardinals - Just like Johnson + Moss, Fitzgerald + Moss would be potent.
San Francisco 49ers - They need help at quarterback, but Moss + Michael Crabtree is an intriguing combination.
So there are some teams that I think could show some interest. I bolded the ones I think have a chance of high interest. The chance of Moss dropping down to the Patriots is almost zero, but it's still a nice thought.
Keep in mind that any team that picks up Moss off the wire must pay him for however much is left on his contract- which is a hefty sum for an under-performing receiver. The high price tag may turn off teams from claiming Moss, which could lead Moss away from some potential teams.
At the end of the day, fact remains that the Patriots got a great deal for Moss. Score for the front office.