The Randy Moss to Vikings trade has shaken up the NFL. However, the Moss to Vikings deal alone might not save Minnesota, although that is their clear hope. With a 1-2 start, and a wide receiving core lacking in depth, Minnesota had to resort to this drastic measure. New England, on the other hand, didn’t have to make this deal right away. They could have kept their star receiver around for the rest of the year, before letting him go. But since they sent Moss to the Vikings anyway, it raises questions on how well both teams will turn out.
Minnesota shouldn’t be lacking in weapons, since they have Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, and several young receivers. Yet the offense has been stalled in the first three games, and their receivers have been ineffective or injured. With the Jets, Cowboys, Packers and Patriots as their next four opponents, the team is staring at a make-or-break stretch.
No one ever thought a Moss to Vikings deal would be made, especially after their first stint together ended badly. In any case, he was going to be a free agent in the offseason, and publicly stated that this would be his last year in New England. Yet expectations were that he would stay in Foxboro until the year ended.
However, the Patriots turned out to be unwilling to wait, as they wanted to get something for him. The trade has the Patriots getting a third round draft pick in 2011, which is better than nothing. Yet it could be seen as premature, since Moss could have still helped them this season.
He wasn’t a help on Monday night, however, as he didn’t catch any passes. Therefore, the Patriots judged that they could win big without him – although their defense and special teams got most of their points on Monday. Yet they made the deal anyway, figuring that Tom Brady, Wes Welker and their other receivers can make up the loss.
The Patriots often give away core players or let them go, as their system is presumably more powerful than any individual. However, the system alone won’t help them return to the Super Bowl, especially in a crowded AFC. If the offense struggles for a long period, then fans will question if moving Moss was really necessary.
Still, New England has the tools to stay in contention, whereas the Vikings’ tools are more in doubt lately. Even if the Moss to Vikings trade gives them more firepower, Moss is bound to be less explosive than he was in Minnesota the first time. In any case, with Favre’s health in question, they may want Adrian Peterson as their primary weapon anyway.
The Patriots can still win without Moss, although the question is whether they will win less. But for the Vikings, the question is whether it is too late for Moss to make any difference. That will be answered fairly quickly, starting on Monday night in New York.
USA TODAY- “No reason to think Randy Moss’ tank is empty”