What a strange day it's been. I was literally in the process of writing my "final" Randy Moss article, based on his post-game speech following New England's 28-18 victory over his new team, the Minnesota Vikings. Then, just a few minutes ago, I discovered that the Vikings have waived Randy Moss. He's cut, released, gone.
My first reaction: WOW. I don't think anyone saw this coming. Apparently, Vikings Coach Brad Childress informed his team that Moss had been released due to the fact that he chose not to take part in the fly home with the team last night, choosing to stay in Boston for a couple of more days.
But I still don't get it. Moss is still an elite player. Could the Vikings not use him? There's no question that his presence really opened things up for Percy Harvin the last few weeks. Did Chilly just not like his post-game antics? Did he assume with the Vikings (2-5) on the brink of a lost season, that Moss would simply quit? Randy certainly didn't look motivated last night.
I'm sure any Patriots fan's first thought (combining today's news with the praised he threw towards Bill Belichick, the Patriots team, and the entire organization last night) was if Randy Moss might return to New England.
Initially, my thoughts: OMG YES!!!
In all seriousness, there are a couple of hurdles to consider when looking at a Moss-Patriots reunion.
A look at the actual possibility of a Randy Moss-Patriots reunion after the jump!
First, since Moss' release came after the NFL trade deadline, he will be subject to waivers. Since we are post-deadline, the priority for waivers claims goes from worst to best record. The Patriots, at 6-1, have the best winning percentage in the NFL. What this means: the Patriots will have the last shot at him.
While the Patriots will have last shot at Moss, I'm not exactly sure any team will make a waiver claim on Moss. Randy plays when he wants to play. Any team that picks him up knows this. The fact that he will be playing for his third team in just over a month is not a good sign. Whatever team picks Moss up will have a large chunk of salary to pay Moss, and it's high risk. Moss can be a locker room problem, and if he goes to a mediocre team, he might not want to give it his all. Any team that wants Moss would probably be better off waiting for Moss to clear waivers, then talking to him when he's an unrestricted free agent.
However, if Moss was claimed off waivers, I could see the Dolphins or Jets making the claim to block him from going to New England. Washington could use a receiver. The Cowboys could use him. But how much are you willing to pay for a guy who may simply just not want to play for your team?
The second hurdle: would the Patriots even want Randy Moss back?
In my opinion, the answer is, no. While the post-game charades between Moss and the Patriots yesterday was very cute, lets not forget that the Patriots shipped out Moss for just a 3rd round pick. They sent him packing. If the Patriots really wanted a player that can make the impact that we all know Moss can, why would they ship him out for just a 3rd round pick? This makes me think, that no matter how much Moss was loved by his Patriots teammates, and no matter how touchy-feely him and Coach Belichick were yesterday, the Moss saga in New England is over.
But never say never. We all know that anything can happen, so while I wouldn't be shocked to see Moss in New England (I'd be thrilled), I just can't see it happening.