Florham Park, N.J.– The wonderful world of Twitter had the internet going nuts last night, somehow the internet managed not to implode due an overload of people wondering what in the name of Twitter was going on?
It seemed to come out of nowhere, and even seemed harmless at first. The news was first broke by accident and it came out because ESPN columnist, and die-hard Patriots fan, Bill Simmons meant to send Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer a private DM (Direct Message) on Twitter, but he accidentally posted it for everyone of his followers to see.
The immediate reaction was this had to be a silly rumor, but then thanks to Twitter the rumors steadily became more and more plausible. First reaction had to be, ‘What? No way would they trade Moss, they would essentially be giving up on their season if they traded him right?
Then all types of stories about how or why the trade was in progress started to emerge, many of the reasons turned out to be unfounded.
There was news Moss and Belichick got into a heated argument yesterday and the Pats decided they were done with him. Turns out the two never spoke yesterday, but they did speak on the phone this morning when Belichick informed Moss he would be heading back to Minnesota in exchange for a third round draft pick next year. Moss has been unhappy that he hasn’t received a contract extension and reportedly asked for a trade after the Pats week one win over the Bengals.
Still on initial reaction, most people were having trouble wrapping their brain around the fact that the Pats would trade away their best WR for a third round draft pick.
Then came the realization that, wait this is the Patriots and this is the same exact type of bold seemingly ridiculous move the Pats make (Remember they did this with Richard Seymour last season). Sure it seems outlandish at first, but Belichick has a way of making these things work for him. Still this seems like a bigger gamble than any of his other famous calculated roster moves.
Apparently the Patriots think their offense will be just fine without Moss, after all besides that TD pass against Revis and the Jets, Moss had been contributing very little statistically to the offense. The scuttlebutt on twitter and various other rumor-mills was that the Pats are not waving the white flag on the season, they think the offense will still be elite without him.
Jay-Z famously likes to say, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.”
Sorry Jay, numbers can most definitely lie.
Forget about the specifics of the numbers, if the Patriots think they can live without Moss just because of the production they get from Welker, Brandon Tate (Maybe they think he is ready to be a #1 receiver) and their tight ends, doesn’t mean that Moss isn’t a big reason for their production.
Having a player like Moss has a direct impact on the game, even if he never makes a catch. Moss is a such a dangerous and explosive talent, that you can never do anything else but give him your full respect in coverage, thus leaving less focus on the other options.
With no Moss, Welker will face double teams (as great as he is and as difficult he can be to cover with one guy, he isn’t good enough to consistently shake two defenders) and the safeties won’t have to worry about playing safe protecting against Moss deep, allowing them to focus more on those dangerous tight ends.
So is this a huge miscalculation by Belichick? First reaction most probably think Patriot fans are angry as hell and might even riot.
Obviously there is some anger, but reality is this isn’t the first time Belichick has done something crazy the fans haven’t agreed with. The thing is, it usually ends up working out so Patriot fans tend to give him the benefit of the doubt, and he won three Super Bowls so really whose to argue with him?
One thing is clear no matter how this plays out this year, the Patriots will be reloading heavy during next year’s draft. Yes, it’s only a third round pick, but the Pats also have the Raiders first round pick, the Panthers second round pick, and the Broncos fourth round pick, as well as their own picks to work with next season.
And in case you haven’t been paying attention to those teams, and understandably so, they are going to be slotted fairly high in the draft order. This gives the Pats multiple options come draft time, they can select eight different players in the first four rounds, or they can package many of those picks.
Immediate gut reaction would have to think if the Raiders pick isn’t high enough to get this guy by itself, the Pats will likely use some of those extra picks to draft the electric running back Mark Ingram out of Alabama.
Belichick is without a doubt gambling the present with hopes for a better future. People have been refusing to dismiss the Patriots as contenders this year, solely because of their explosive offense, but they just traded away their most explosive player.
Tom Brady is still as good as it gets, the offense will still have success against defenses, but it’s hard to believe Belichick thinks they can contend for a Super Bowl without him. Then again maybe Moss became such a headache to Belichick, apparently the players loved him especially Brady, that he thinks they have a better chance without him.
So what does this mean for the Jets and their fans?
First it had to be complete and utter disbelief, then confusion on a wide variety of levels. ‘Why would the Pats do this and why now? Should Jets fans just be happy he is gone from New England and they just made themselves less dangerous this year?’
Yes, of course you should be happy about that.
‘But wait a second, he is going to the Vikings, who come to Jersey to play the Jets this Monday night, how should we react to that?’
Great question, for the second time this year (and in just three weeks), Moss will have played his second game in the New Meadowlands Stadium, interesting because the Jets have only played two themselves so far. Another interesting note, since the Vikings are just coming off their bye week and the Pats are on there’s now, Moss will be the only player in the NFL to play all 17 regular season games.
Will Moss help the Vikings?
Short answer of course he will, he’s Randy Moss. If there is one thing everyone should know about Moss by now it’s that he plays to the best of his ability when he is mad, feels disrespected and has something to prove. Sure he mailed it in in Oakland, but as soon as he went to the Patriots he immediately silenced his doubters. Assuming Favre can stay healthy and upright enough to get him the ball that’s exactly what he will do.
With Sidney Rice having missed the beginning of the season for the Vikings, Moss is the exact type of player that offense has been missing. They need a deep threat to stretch the field, if for no other reason than to give Adrian Peterson more running room. So yes, this make the Vikings more viable, but will he be effective immediately?
The Vikings will be installing their game plan for the Jets today, since the game is played on Monday they have an extra day to work him in. Still it’s seems a bit of a stretch to think he can contribute fully, picking up every detail of the offensive scheme and with Revis most likely returning the Jets should be able input the Moss coverage game plan in smoothly with the rest of their defensive game plan.
The more important news for Jets fans is, Moss is no longer a Patriot. Next year the Patriots will reload, but as for now it seems they are willing to concede the AFC East to the Jets, even if Belichick doesn’t realize it yet.
The biggest drawback to being a genius, is when you start to believe your own hype too much and think, ‘you know what, I am a genius,’ that’s when you can over think things and wait for your genius pedigree to blow up in your face.