Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Oct 2010

Vikings Trade for Randy Moss

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports was the first to report the possibility yesterday, and the deal has gone through: The New England Patriots have agreed to trade Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings for a third-round pick.

Two interesting schedule notes: The Vikings face the Jets next Monday night, which gives us another Moss-Revis matchup, and Moss will travel back to Foxboro as the Vikes face the Pats on Halloween.

Posted by: Doug Farrar on 06 Oct 2010

167 comments, Last at 07 Oct 2010, 5:31pm by nat


by TheHerminator :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:24am

This trade rules because Favre is breaking either the touchdown or interception record this season.

by Basilicus :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 1:59pm

Favre already holds the TD and INT records. Unless you're talking single-season, but he won't break 50 TDs or 42 INTs this year, either.

by ammek :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:30am

And Moss gets to play 17 regular-season games. A record that will not stand for long!

by andrew :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:42am

Moss played last week?

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:50am


by Purds :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:59am


by Phill S (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:33am

He also gets to play back to back monday night games, a record which will probably last a little longer.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:40am

According to PFT, that's also been done before. He'll be tying the record.

by Shattenjager :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:15am

It's also only tying the record. There are five others who've done it relatively recently (there are a bunch from 1930 and before), including Jerry Rice, which is proof that there are no records Jerry Rice does not hold.


by Scott C :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:28am

There are no records that Jerry Rice doesn't hold (other than the ones Randy Moss holds).

by Dean :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:31am

I, for one, can't wait to hear what Lord Favre has to say about it. Maybe if we're all really lucky, for an extra special treat, we can even have Peter King speak to him about it!

by andrew :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:32am

I guess we'll have to see what they offer him. Already they gave up a guy I thought had a pretty good future on the D-line (though not playing that much right now) to clear roster space.

The cynic in me says that Favre orchestrated or demanded the entire thing. So emasculating Childress was not enough, now he had to do the same to Spielman.

But on the other hand if it works, all is good... I think they need to overpay him considerably, to the point of hurting them down the road, to make him happy and productive in the short term.

All or nothing. But they were already all or nothing, so nothing new there. The team has been viable for years. They should have won it last year, didn't, so its desperation time... but its a calculated risk. They know as well as anyone who they are getting.

I do think the pats will miss him some, though they were shifting to multiple tight ends more anyway, and the progress of BJGE helps. Wonder if Brady was on board with this.

That they play each other later will just mean even more tv ratings.

by billsfan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:55am

It probably just means that Rice's hip injury, Harvin's migraines, and Camarillo in general are worse than everyone initially thought.

(I also like the Eagles)

by jackgibbs :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:50am

it will be interesting to see how productive those young tight ends/wes welker will be without moss pinning the safeties deep. or if added playing time will affect brandon tate's special teams effectiveness.

how is vincent jackson for half a season worth a 2nd and a 4th, but randy moss for 3/4 of a season only a 3? I thought for sure they'd get another 2 since BB loves him some 2nd rounders.

by Boo-urns (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:04pm

i think the reasoning is this:

V-Jax potentially commands a 3rd rounder if he goes (although he will likely structure his contract to screw the Chargers in this regard), whereas I believe Moss only nets the Pats a 5th rounder.

Also, V-Jax is still young and a long-term deal means he is a highly productive player for a long time, whereas Moss appears to be slowing down and the team that signs him may have an albatross as far as the later years on his contract.

Finally, the Pats actually got a deal done, whereas the Chargers did not. So perhaps AJ Smith was overvaluing V-Jax (likely).

I think this deal hurts the Pats in the near term, but they must really like Brandon Tate and be down on Moss (I think the drops have been a problem this year, including the end zone drop on MNF, but the fact is Moss commands the other team's top corner and over the top safety help which clearly helps the other receivers on the team).

by Jonadan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:33am

This is absolutely awesome, although I'm even less happy about the next Vikes-Lions game than I was.

Of course, I'm guessing this is yet another example of the Pats knowing exactly when to turn a fading player loose.

by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:41am

Just a thought - are WRs less valuable in the NFC East? Given that you play 6 games against the Bills, Dolphins and Jets, and all have excellent CBs, is it a better aim to move to more mismatch TEs and running than going to your WRs and playing to the other teams' strength?

And is this what the Pats are doing?

by rfh1001 :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:42am

This is what I thought. You are as clever as I am.

by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:49am

That sounds like a compliment but it doesn't *feel* like a compliment.

by ChaosOnion (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:07am

AFC East*

by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:34am

An aging 1-2 team giving up a 3rd round pick for a just-about-aging WR? Seems quite desperate.

For the Patriots, as Welker is consistently a slot guy, who takes over as the #1 guy? Tate? Hernandez (he's as much of a TE as Marques Colston)? I cant name another Pats WR.

Since last season the Pats have now in some way or other given up their best WR, their best OL and their .... well ostensibly their #1 RB. Interesting plan for building an offense, particularly when your QB is in a contract year.

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:38am

"For the Patriots, as Welker is consistently a slot guy,"

Why do people think this? Welker plays on the outside about half the time. When the Pats are in anything but 3-wide, Welker is on the outside. Its only on 3-wide, when he moves inside, and Tate comes in.

And Brady isn't in a contract year. Hes signed through (2014?) now. All this stuff has happened since he signed.

by Jimmy :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:46am

When people say Welker is a slot guy they are really talking about the type of routes he runs, not specifically about where he lines up on the field. He does for the most part run short routes or screens, it isn't exactly the usual stuff you see from a split end, so to differentiate the usage patterns people call him a slot receiver.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:46am

They are in 3-wide a lot, though.

by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:47am

Uh... I meant "a year where their QB signed a contract." Or I forgot that he'd signed a contract. One of the two. Mainly the second.

In terms of Welker, I meant the kind of routes he runs, rather than where he lines up - short routes, rather than streaks. Slot seems to have just become shorthand for that. Much like "Welkerish" is shorthand for "white guy who runs short routes. Or plays WR. Or has just caught the ball."

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:57am

Welker is a possession receiver, not a slot receiver.

by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:08am

Yeah, but he's a different type of possession receiver than someone like Anquan Boldin, Houshmanzadeh etc. High catch rate, different kind of routes. I agree he's not a slot receiver though. I mispoke.

Maybe this type of WR should be called a YAC receiver or something? Speedy guy who runs short quick routes and gets YAC, rather than a big slow guy who runs slightly longer, but still shortish, routes and makes catches in traffic with not much YAC, like the traditional (if you know what i mean) big bodied possession receiver.

by Bobby Wommack (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:32am

Actually, the Pats have used a 2 WR and 2 TE set the majority of this year. Mike Reiss' blog breaks down the percentages every week.

Also of note, Moss has more drops this year than all of last year. Brady's completion percentage to Moss this year is 42 percent (that was after week 3). That is by far the lowest of all the WRs and TEs on the team. The next lowest was 75% to Welker.

by bingo762 :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:58am

The Vikings window is closing. Aging lines who's performance is slipping, and a QB who probably won't be there next year. Why not take a shot now? There best chance to win a SB was last year, this year, and next(thinking maybe McNabb goes there). For the Pat's, they got a slew of draft picks for the next draft. If they can start hitting on those selections better than they have recently, watch out!

by Bobman :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:26pm

So now after four weeks, Welker actually has the lowest catch percentage on the team (among receivers)???

That's an unexpected thing to type.

Anybody pick that in the FO prop bet pool? You'll be a rich man if you did....

by RickD :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 1:00pm

The second half of the Jets game featured a lot of attempts by Brady to Moss that didn't work out. It was clearly an attempt to exploit the absence of Revis, but it failed badly.

The only positive of this trade from the Pats' perspective is that now Brady won't waste time trying to throw bombs to Moss. That's not a pass that he throws particularly well.

by jackgibbs :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 2:32pm

it's not a pass he threw well last year coming off of knee surgery, and that he's been short on a bunch of times this year as well, but in 2007 it was a thing of beauty.

by Nathan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:44am

I think your above comment regarding the CB play in the AFC East is spot on. I also think that it's obvious from the first 4 weeks that Hernandez is going to be a superstar. I mean, the kid is 20. As long as the Pats have someone who can stretch the field (I'm guessing this will be Tate, as I was sort of expecting Berrian to be included in this deal) they should be more than fine. Hernandez has been the most explosive player on offense this year by far. He just needs space to work.

by Drespasser (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:37am


I can finally wear my 90ies Moss Jersey again! OK, I admit I never stopped wearing it (except for showers).

by Theo :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:48am

waht number is moss wearing in minnesota?

by crack (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:57am

He's got to go back to 84. He only took 81 with the pats because 84 was taken (by a TE if I remember correctly). 81 is taken on the Vikes (by Shiancoe - a TE), 84 is taken by a guy on the practice squad.

by ChrisZ (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:37am

I'm curious to see how this affects the Pats offense. He's still one of the best.

by WC Fan (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:37am

Hard to understand as a Pats fan. I can't see how this brings us closer to a championship. On the other hand Randy was on pace for 36 catches and 556 yards this year ..... I'll just choose to remember the great years he had here I guess.

by johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:58am

As a Dolphins fan all I can say is, why doubt the Pats front office now? The team has ruled the East for years. Basically the team has done so much they have the credibility to be given the benefit of the doubt on these moves.

by bingo762 :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:01pm

He's 33 and unlikely to be resigned. I'm not saying he won't still be good to great but at some point you have to cut the chord and think long term. Pat's have a shit ton of draft picks(I think 2 picks in each of the first 4 rounds). If the front office does their homework, they should be set for the next decade

by jackgibbs :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:06pm

it might not help them this year, but if you honestly look at the league this year, and look at the patriots defense, there was very little chance of the patriots being a serious contender for a championship this year. They weren't going to resign him after this year, so he was gone no matter what. This is a move with the long term in mind. It's move like this that kept the patriots from turning into the rams after their dynasty players aged

by RickD :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 1:05pm

The trade is not being done to help the Pats on the football field. It's a combination of a favor being done to a player who asked for a trade, and a action taken to get Moss out of the locker room and out of the Boston media.

Moss was clearly getting upset that the offense wasn't going through him as much as he wanted. And my understanding is that he was bitching about it a lot.

Throw out statistics about what Moss was "on pace for". The Pats didn't target Moss at all on Monday night, except for the fake spike play (and I'm guessing that was Brady's decision, not O'Brien's.) Even on Monday night against the Dolphins, the presence of Moss on the field draws the attention of the defense in a way no other player on the Pats' roster can.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:39am

I don't play fantasy, so I'm curious: Are Moss owners now owners of Moss, the Viking?

by andrew :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:45am

Yes. I think his stock will be on par with what it was going into this year, though it had dipped, many thinking of ditching him probably won't now.

Fantasy wise it means demand for Tate and Hernandez goes up.... not sure about Welker though.

by RickD :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 1:06pm

Demand for Welker?

Are there any leagues where Welker is available?

by Kurt :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 4:44pm

Yes, by this obscure mechanism known as a "trade".

by Rick Killing (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:50am

As a Viking fan and Moss owner in one of my leagues... yes and YES!

by zlionsfan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 5:30pm

The only exception would be if you played in a league with roster restrictions (these are much more common in baseball, I think) ... if your league allowed only AFC players, for example, you'd suddenly be short one WR.

by Jimmy :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:41am

It only reinforces to me how dense the Vikings were to trade him in the first place.

by andrew :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:47am

Well that all they got for him was Troy Williamson and Napoleon Harris was what made the trade even worse.

Though by viking standards its nowhere near their worst trade.

by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:59am

If they'd turned the first round puck into an actual decent player it wouldnt have been so bad. Say it qas a couple of years later and they got Adrian Peterson. Suddenly seems a decent trade.

by andrew :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:33am

That year Mike Tice was the coach. He desperately wanted to take Maryland's Shawn Merriman (Tice, who went to Maryland, had a thing for Maryland players, he also got EJ Henderson from there).

He was overrruled by the Vikings Brass and McCombs, who wanted a Moss replacement, and they went for speed not hands and took Troy Williamson.

The chargers of course got Merriman, and the defensive needs had to wait until the Vikings own first rounder (not the one from Oakland) where they took Erasmus James, who never amounted to much.

Napoleon Harris wasn't that bad actually but they didn't keep him either.

by wr (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:50am

Somewhere, Herschel Walker is smiling...

by crack (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:48am

It wasn't stupidity. It was spite. McCombs wanted to stick it to the team. Wilf had said at the time he didn't want Moss traded.

You could say his goal was stupid, but he definitely stuck it to the team.

by PatsFan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:49am

I don't understand this it all. By all accounts the Pats would have gotten a 3rd round compensatory pick for letting Moss walk in free agency. True, that would be at the end of the round vs. wherever MIN's pick ends up being. But all that means is NE traded Moss to move up say 10 picks.


There has to be more to it than this, doesn't there? Was he being a behind the scenes cancer that everyone was covering up? Did he do something to royally PO Belichick?

It just doesn't make any sense.

by Theo :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:00am

Didn't he do that last year?
Moss wants out and wants a championship + some pocket money.

But if it's true that the Pats would've gotten a 3rd already, then they were probably happy that Moss was gone.

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:03am

Didn't he do what last year?

He was pretty much a model citizen, despite the shitstorm the NE media throws every time he forgets to wash his hands.

by Spoilt Victoria... :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:06am

It is especially important to wash your hands during a shitstorm.

by Bobman :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:30pm

A really good raincoat is not a bad idea either. Oh, and a hat. Big wide-brim, probably waterproof.

by Theo :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:10am

Oops. Not last year, recently.
I remember a press conference where he said he didn't feel appreciated. I thought he wanted out or a new contract.

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:19am

That press conference was mostly him calling out the media.

Frankly, I wish him well, maybe the Minnesota media won't have it out for him so badly.

by dbostedo :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:23am

That was just a couple of weeks ago.

by RickD :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 1:08pm

It wasn't a press conference per se. It was during the post-game interviews after the Bengals game. Moss basically said that he wanted a contract - now! There was a lot of criticism on him for detracting from the team's victory.

by Snack Flag (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:07am

If I'm not mistaken, the compensation is a fifth round pick since he's a ten year vet. So there is some value there, just not as much as a pats fan like me would like.

by Kulko :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:53am

And it would be a 2012 fifth rounder so it wopuld have to be devalued by another round, although that does not make much of a difference.

Well I understand it from Moss part, as he was going to be handled as year to year until one of the draftees finally pans out, and the Pats are probably not goign to winn it this year, whatever DVOA says right now.

But BB really must have had a soift spot for the guy to let him out at this point of the season.

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:47am

"and the Pats are probably not goign to winn it this year, whatever DVOA says right now."

You could say that about every team.

They'll be in the playoffs, and I'm sure BB knows that, and hes not just going to Punt the season. If he wasn't willing to punt 2008, he sure isn't going to this year.

by BJR :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:20pm

And he came within fractions of reaching the Superbowl in 2006 when he had Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell starting at receiver. The Pats still looked stacked at receiver compared to that squad.

by CoachDave :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:19pm

I couldn't agree more.

This seems like a really dumb move from the Pats. Even if Moss isn't performing as well as he was last year and he's a cancer again, the "decoy" factor alone, opening up the field for others...makes this seem this to be dumb given what they would have gotten anyway.

And when you view this move from the Vikes...you also have to add the political motivations that Ziggy has about getting a new stadium etc. He's clearly got the organization focused on doing very, very short-term focused activities to get the new stadium funding...doesn't make for good personnel moves for the long-term, but if it works...economically it's a great move.

by tuluse :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 4:40pm

Others seem to think it was a 5th round.

Also, they are getting the pick a year earlier this way.

by BigCheese :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 2:17am

A) The compensation pick (if this mechanism exists in the new CBA) would have come in 2012, not 2011, making it far less valuable.

2) It's no certainty Moss would have gotten the contract that would result in a 3rd-rounder instead of a 4th-rounder.

Having said that, I still think they should have held on to him. NE has been in sacrificing the now to improve next year for far too long. So long that the now actually needs improvement now.

Also, as a Bears fan and Moss fantasy owner all I can say is: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Yes, I beleive Brett Favre has declined to such a point that this will significantly lower Moss' value, extra week non-withstanding).

- Alvaro

by Athelas :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 8:19am

No--it would only have been a 5th rounder and that would have disappeared if they had signed any free agents (cuz he's a 10 yr vet).

by billsfan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:51am

And who says that the NFL never has ridiculous blockbuster trades?

(I also like the Eagles)

by PatsFan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:56am

Bet FOX makes the 10/31 NE/MIN game their national game now.

by Not Jimmy (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:01am

As a Pats fan, I can kind of see the logic - the Pats wouldn't ever pay him what he wants, Randy knows this so spouts off - making us all wonder about his motivation.
The young locker room doesn't need the distraction. Plus - rumor has it that these talks have been going on for a few weeks. Do you think the Hoodie kind of knew what he was doing and only targeted Moss once on purpose on MNF, knowing that he would be traded? hoping that he could show the team they could win another way? Sounds far fetched...

So now, the Pats have a very young defense, some young impact players on offence, and double picks in the first four rounds in a draft that might have a Wookie salary cap going into a lock-out year. So the Hoodie is potentially setting up for a big haul in the 2011 draft.

I had read a couple mocks that had them taking the WR Baldwin from Pitt with their Oakland pick - makes more sense now maybe...

(By the way - can team "officially" practice during a lock out year? Sounds like a no, but just askin')

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:06am

"Do you think the Hoodie kind of knew what he was doing and only targeted Moss once on purpose on MNF, knowing that he would be traded? hoping that he could show the team they could win another way? Sounds far fetched...

No, I don't think that at all.

Watch the Woodhead TD. The ridiculous coverage on Moss is the reason Woodhead was able to waltz into the endzone basically uncontested.

Even when the Ball wasn't coming his way, Moss was still the most important offensive player on the field. If anyone thinks this isn't going to negatively affect the Pats offense this year, they're nuts.

by crack (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:22am

That's ridiculous. Losing Plaxico didn't affect the Giants at all. I suppose you think Moss being triple teamed while taking a play off makes him valuable when he's not giving 100%.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:29am

In terms of what a defense has to account for, Plaxico Burress doesn't belong in the same sentence as Randy Moss.

by CDB (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:12pm

You just compared Plaxico Burress to Randy Moss?


Moss is one of the best WRs in the league. He has been year-in, year-out. His counting stats have been off the charts and his "advanced" numbers show him as 5th in DYAR last year, 29th (with Matt Cassell) in 2008, and a ridiculous 119 DYAR ahead of everyone else in 2007.

He's an amazing talent and an excellent player and his loss will be a big blow to NE's offense.

by crack (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 1:20pm

OK, apparently the sarcasm wasn't thick enough.

Losing Plax completely affected the Giants. They sucked without him, and he is in no way as good as Moss.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 1:33pm

We blockheads are ill-prepared for your subtlety. Have some compassion, man!

by crack (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 2:37pm

If the sarcasm doesn't come through it is most likely the fault of the one trying to employ it.

Also, Moss taking plays off is fine with me. He still affects the coverage and helps the other guys. Not as a decoy per-se, but because the schemes designed to protect against him can't guess which plays he takes off. Game theory.

by Jimmy :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 2:42pm

The internet world needs an emoticon for 'dripping with sarcasm'.

by Nathan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 2:45pm
by Jimmy :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 3:22pm

Meh I don't see what it has to do with sarcasm but cheers for the link. The wink emoticon looks a bit like a wink, the smile looks a bit like a smile; what is that supposed to look like?

by Nathan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 4:04pm

oh don't get me wrong, its ridiculous and stupid and they actually wanted you to pay for it at one point

by zlionsfan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 5:31pm


by Theo :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 5:54pm

No, that's a stupid idea. Half the fun of sarcasm is that you got to 'get' it. Only people who don't get it scream for an emoticon.

by CDB (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 3:29pm

Aha. That makes more sense now.

Yeah, it's pretty clear this is going to impact the Pats significantly. Can they still be a quality offense? Sure. Will they be as difficult a matchup for opposition D's? Hardly. There's simply no way this makes the Pats better in the near-term, disregarding all intangibles of course.

by dryheat :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:45am

I hadn't yet heard about the Wookie salary cap. What percentage will be tied up in Wookies? I gotta say, lining up Chewbacca as a DE makes losing out on Julius Peppers more palatable.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:05am

I don't know if I'd want a Wookiee on my team. They're known to pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose.

by dryheat :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:49am

Your opponent's left tackle would find it very hard to block thereafter. That's domination.

by Anonymous3737 (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 2:25pm

Question: Would Alex Barron be a "better" lineman if he had no arms and therefore could not hold pass rushers?

by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 2:32pm

I believe Alex Barron may be Jabba the Hutt in football drag, so who knows?

by dryheat :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 2:41pm

Alex Barron would be a better lineman if he were a sawhorse.

by Bobman :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:34pm

The basic rule for one-on-one wookiee matchups when blocking is: Let the Wookiee Win.

by Fizzman :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 1:11pm

For the win...

by ChaosOnion (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 1:38pm

This is why I come here. Where else can you talk math, football and Star Wars all at the same time?

No, seriously where else, because I want to go there as well.

by Not Jimmy (not verified) :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 8:05am

Nowhere. And I am very proud to be a member of this odd fratern..it... wait...where are the women?

by Dean :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 8:48am

Maybe over at www.theE!channel.com?

by patriotsgirl :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 3:59pm

Lurking and shaking our heads, I think.

by tuluse :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 4:43pm

Look, Your Worshipfulness, let's get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me.

by nat :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 5:31pm

I tried to google math, gossip and star wars. The top link I got was to a Jets blog. Go figure.

by PatsFan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:06am

Say the Pats let Moss walk at the end of the year. Would the compensatory pick they'd get for that be in 2011 or 2012?

If the latter, that at least makes the trade have a little value for NE. (Though not enough to make it make sense on the surface.)

by PatsFan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:10am

And now I see that Mike Reiss has a blog post up saying that it would be a 2012 pick and would be no better than a 5th rounder because Moss has 10 accrued seasons.

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:10am

Very hood trade fir vikings

by V (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:49am

Raider Joe,

That is the best Freudian slip of the year. "Hood" for the Vikes!

We'll see the results. I'm betting that Moss goes off for a couple of weeks, but will Farve be able to hit him? Will Randy's fantastic hands help Brett look like he is back to being an accurate passer?

Here's betting that Brandon Tate gets at least three (maybe 8) long targets against Baltimore a week from Sunday.

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:08am

"Will Randy's fantastic hands help Brett look like he is back to being an accurate passer?

For the record, Moss's hands have looked TERRIBLE this year. Its only 4 games so far, but hes been catching the ball at a 40% clip.

by CDB (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:14pm

Catch rate doesn't mean someone has terrible hands. There's a lot more that goes into catch rate.

Randy Moss is not done. His loss will hurt NE. I don't know why this is even a discussion.

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 4:12pm

I wasn't saying he was done.

Hes had a ton of drops this year, and his VOA is absolutely terrible (although a lot of that is on Brady).

Of course it hurts NE, but he hasn't been the same guy this year. Who knows how much of that is him being pissed off.

by Bobman :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:36pm

So by the property of exytapolation, by game ten he'll be up to 100% catches!


by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 4:15pm

Did someone hit you over the head Bob?

Moss has been targeted 22 times this season, and caught 9 balls, for a catch rate of 40.9%, and a VOA of -7%, through 4 games.

Yeah, its small sample, but thats clearly not like anything else hes done in NE.

by jimm (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:10am

I'm not really sure what the Vikings are this year. They may be a old declining team that won't be helped by even a motivated Moss. Or they may be an older team with talent that has some issues to work out. If they are the latter Moss will make a big difference. In essence you take Greg Lewis off the field and add Randy Moss. That is a big gain.

Giving up a third rounder is worth the risk in my mind.

by Theo :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:20am

Methinks they're averaging 5 years experience in the NFL... is that old.

by jimm (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:27am

Their QB is 41, their best offensive linemen are 31 and 33. The Williams wall are 30 and 38. Winfield is 33.

Many of their top players are getting old.

by Theo :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:31am

yup their window is closing, enter Randy Moss.

by zlionsfan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 5:34pm

Right now, they are a team with no reliable WRs, at least from what I understand of Favre's perspective. There's no guarantee that Moss will work well with Favre, but now is probably the time to try something ... the NFC isn't necessarily stacked with power teams, but it currently has a lot of teams with more wins than the Vikings. After all, they only play the Lions twice ...

by BigCheese :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 2:24am

And I'm willing to bet they lose to them at least once...

Remember, the two teams the 0-16 Lions came closest to beating were the Minesotta Vikings and.... the Minnesotta Vikings!

- Alvaro

by tuluse :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 3:09am

One of my buddies is a Vikings fan and I love to troll him by pointing out AP lowest career yards per carry is against non other than the Detroit Lions.

Not sure if this is true any more after his last game though.

by jds (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:40am

Does anyone know what the cap story is for this year with the Vikes? What are they going to have to pay now to get a *happy* Randy Moss.

by PatsFan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:43am

There's no cap this year.

by crack (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:25am

As PatFan says, no Cap. Since they were in the Conf champ they were limited in their ability to sign FAs, but Zygi can spend all the money he wants on trades.

I wouldn't be surprised if this deal is ridiculously front loaded to avoid the chance of impacting cap numbers in later years. Vikes are very committed to keeping future cap room under control through any means necessary, short of actually spending less.

by nat :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:54am

I'm sorry to see him go and wish him well. He's been great while he's been here.

I wish he hadn't asked for a trade, but I understand why he did: the Pats were not going to pay him what he wants in a new contract.

For the Pats, the choice was a trade with some value, or an unhappy Moss for the remainder of the season and very little value after that. That might be a toss-up, but Moss has a history of underperforming when he's unhappy.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:05am

Oh, gosh ,this is a no-brainer for the Vikings, which is not to say it guarantees anything. You have already committed 15-16 million to a 40 year old qb (itself a no-brainer, given the alternatives). You are desperate to sell the public on stadium subsidies. You are looking at a brutal schedule for the next month which could render the balance of the year meaningless. Your offense is faltering, in good part because you can't get downfield, due to the inadequacy of the receivers, especially in regard to ball skills. Yes, I think it just might be wise to trade a third rounder for Randy Moss. Now, in regards to his contract, this year is uncapped, and I might try to sell Moss on the idea that four weeks of strong effort gets him a big pile of cash.

As to predictions regarding how this will work out, well that depends, on health, of course, as all NFL predictions do, but next I think is the offensive line, which will have a lot to do with the health of Ol' Stubbleface. Beyond that, if the offensive line gets better, and the defensive side of the ball stays healthy, they will have an excellent chance to go 8-1 or 9-0 over the last nine games, and be dangerous in the playoffs, assuming they win two games out of the next four. I think they may be fortunate in that Ryan Cook has filled in for Sullivan at center. Cook is much harder to push around, which makes Adrian Peterson much more dangerous, especially against a defense which has a harder time filling the box, given the need to account for Moss, and eventually, Rice as well. I suspect the coaches were more comfortable with Sullivan's ability to make the line calls, but this wouldn't be the first time the Vikings coaching staff made a glaring mistake with regard to the talent on their roster.

As to how the Patriots make out, well, it certainly harms their offense immediately, but unless you have been privy to the interactions between Moss and Belichik over the last month, you really can't judge it. Moss is at least half a lunatic, and he'll shut it down if he gets angry enough, so who knows?

by crack (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:34am

I think Moss helps the O-Line by making blitzes less likely. I agree this was a no brainer. I suspect this contract will be something like $20mill roster bonus in Feb, 7 mill salary for 3 years. You know as well as anyone that as I mentioned above the Vikes love doing anything, short of not spending money, that keeps future cap space free.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:48am

If Rice gets back to health, and they get through the next four games, they will present extremely formidable headaches to opposing defensive coordinators. There aren't any defenses, really, which can account for Peterson, Moss, Rice, and Harvin, if the offensive line does anything resembling competent play. Shiancoe ain't great in traffic, but put Moss and a healthy Rice on the field, and there won't be a lot of traffic for Shiancoe, and everybody will start talking about him like he is a great tight end, which he decidedly is not, when he has to be a primary threat.

by andrew :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:02pm

"This does nothing to fix their biggest problem, the offensive line. Well okay it might help discourage blitzes. It might also encourage them to do it as the only way to stop it.

by crack (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:11pm

I don't think DVOA will like this team. I'm not saying it should, but it will probably be blitzed as you mention and unlike the current incarnation it will be able to make teams pay for blitzing. Boom and bust here we come.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:12pm

Somebody will certainly try, and when they do, Moss, Rice, and Harvin are going to have outfight some singled up defensive backs for the ball. Ol' Stubbleface ain't going to go all Cutler, and not get it out fast. I like the chances of Favre being able to identify the weak sister in a defensive backfield that is in single coverage, and it will be up to the receivers to make plays.

by jimm (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:46am

Will - I think you should be writing a column on the Vikings for one of the local papers. Or start a blog.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:52am

Thanks for the compliment, but I don't think I can handle the responsibility of being a blogger, and I don't think the modern newspaper industry is willing to expense account the bar tabs of sportswriters any longer, so what's the point of being a real journalist anymore?

by crack (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:06pm

Just compile your comments on FO and SkDoux and send them to the Strib with an offer to keep it up for 14K a year. You'd undercut Souhan and provide more insight and entertainment.

I can't wait for the Vikes to go after Vick in the offseason. I don't know that the team would be good with Vick, Moss, Rice, and ADAP, but they would be really fun to watch.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:13pm

Yeah, that would be entertaining as hell, even if unsuccessful.

by Bobman :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:41pm

a RB at 2,000 yards and a QB at 1,000.... THAT's never been done before.
Wow, that would be an interesting team to watch.

by Jimmy :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 2:33pm

Good post.

Teams looking to slow AP down with a double A gap blitz better disguise it very well or they are in trouble. A motivated Randy Moss is possibly the most dangerous player in football and he will surely be motivated now.

by Still Alive (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:25am

Boy Ziggy really really wants that stadium pushed through...


/lives in St. Paul and occasionally works with the legislature/

by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:35am

I find stadium subsidies repulsive, to the point that I'd favor legislation ending the tax advantages for government bonds sold within any state in which a professional team receive such subsidies. Having said that, if I'm a taxpayer, better the subsidies be provided to the Zyggi Wilfs or (gasp) Jerry Joneses, as opposed to say, oh, I dunno, Mike Brown or Bill Bidwell.

by Still Alive (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:47am

Stadium subsidies make some tiny amount of sense as a way to reallocate spending from the suburbs to a depressed core area, but the couple hundred million dollars could probably do that in plenty of other ways as well. All in all I agree they are a huge mis-allocation of public dollars.

I also wouldn't mind a model where the public just built the stadiums and ran them like businesses at near market rents, but I don't think the owners would go for that.

Alas the NFL is hardly the only interest group made up of millionaires/billionaires that gets hundred million dollar projects pushed through the legislatures. Just as a random example (from my work) the renewable energy laws and subsidies are basically word for word written by the major power companies, both in Minnesota and nationally.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:55am

Yeah, crony capitalism is just another form of socialism, and perhaps the most corrosive form.

Go ahead and delete if this is deemed as being to close to violating the no politics rule, and please accept my apologies in advance.

by Jimmy :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 3:17pm

EDIT: Post deleted. I was probably abusing rule 1 and I don't want to get banned.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:57am

Well, there is some irony in having to delete myself; I swear I only posted once!

by Theo :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:01pm

I found it funny that you double posted 'you can delete this if you want'.

by Scott C :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:30am

Damn. As a Charger fan I hope this doesn't mean New England will go after Vincent Jackson next year. All I want is for VJ to not go to NE or PIT.

by drobviousso :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:09pm

Why do you add Pit to that list, just because they are habitually good? Pittsburgh isn't hard up for WR's, and bringing in high priced free agents isn't their style.

by dbostedo :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 1:42pm

Definitely not their style, but Randle-El and Ward are getting old. I'd guess they'd simply wait to see how Emmanuel or other young guys pan out, and how Wallace continues to develop, rather than pay for Jackson.

by that's mr colbert to you (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 3:26pm

Pit will never bring in a high priced free agent like that.

Based on recent history:

1. Sanders or Brown will work out
2. Wallace will become a star for a few years
3. Wallace will become a locker room problem or malcontent.
4. Pit will draft another wideout
5. Wallace will somehow be ushered to the New York metro area.

Rinse, repeat..

by Scott C :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 6:37pm

I understand its not the Steelers' style (nor is it the Chargers) to bring in such a FA, and it is very unlikely.

But from a fan fear perspective, he is just the type of WR that would be good for them. An EXCELLENT and dedicated run blocker, who can go deep and catch the ball in traffic. Sounds a lot like a guy that is no longer in his prime that played for the Steelers for a long time....

by andrew :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:32am

These are the Vikings who were on the team back in 2004 when he last played for them:

1. Bryant McKinnie
2. Kevin Williams
3. E.J. Henderson
4. Antoine Winfield

5. Jim Kleinsasser

That's all I can see. Their QB was Culpepper. Their leading rusher was Onterrio Smith.

by Theo :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:46am

Fullback/Tight end Jeff Dugan was a rookie that year.

by Shattenjager :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:12pm

He is not really named Onterrio Smith. He is, for all time, The Original Whizzinator.

by MJK :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:48am

I'm not particularly happy with this trade as a Pats fan, and I'm not sure the Vikes fans should be happy either.

1). The Pats are going to more of a 2 TE offense this year, and Moss has been targeted a lot less. However, he still demands double coverage, or at least the safety rolled to his side of the field. I think Welker and Faulk Woodhead especially will see a dropoff...the underneath routes are generally free because the safeties are deep and the LB's are tied up with covering the TE. I don't think Tate will command that kind of coverage.

2). That said, one possible benefit is that Brady will presumably lose his "force-it-to-Moss-itis" which has hurt the Patriots, especially in the second half of the Jets game. When Brady spreads it around, they have the most success.

3). Still, I don't think losing your best WR mid season for a 3rd round pick is a good idea. When we heard about the trade, I was thinking "I'd do it for an impact pass rusher or a 2nd, but nothing less". I'm worried this is Deion Branch all over again. And not even a 1st round pick. A 3rd is something (compensatory pick would be not till 2012, and at most a 5th rounder), and the draft next year is supposed to be deep, but still... Actually, this isn't Deion Branch all over again; it's Billy Beane (ah the joys of being both a Patriots and an A's fan...never get attached to any player...)

4). From the Vikes' standpoint, they're an aging team with a washed up QB, playing in a division with a strong Green Bay team, a resurgent (Sunday night not withstanding) Chicago team, and an improving Detroit team. I highly doubt they're winning the championship this year, but they're good enough so as not to have great draft position next year. In that scenario, I don't think giving up a decent position pick to rent 3/4 of a season of even a motivated Randy Moss is a good idea...and tying up a lot of capital when you play in an small market in an uncertain labor market when there may or may not be a cap and revenue sharing next year in order to lock up a 33 year old aging prima donna WR is not the way to build an effective team.

Favre may want Moss for his last glory year, but I will be shocked if Favre plays next year (and even a little surprised if the Vikings want him to play next year), so Favre's opinion shoulnd't have any weight.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:05pm

If the Vikings don't make the playoffs this year, losing a future third rounder is practically meaningless, there is no reason for anyone other than Zygi Wilf's heirs to care about how cash is dropped into Randy Moss' lap this year, and the chance that any bonus money paid in this uncapped year will affect cap space in a yet to be negotiated future salary cap is pretty small.

by Andrew Potter :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:29pm

one possible benefit is that Brady will presumably lose his "force-it-to-Moss-itis" which has hurt the Patriots, especially in the second half of the Jets game. When Brady spreads it around, they have the most success.

This, to me, might be the primary benefit of this trade. I delight in the talent that is Randy Moss, but think Brady's been terribly unlike himself at times since Moss arrived - giving the impression he feels that he can just chuck the ball up to Moss no matter the coverage. That was true in 2007; not so much in 2010.

by justanothersteve :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 1:19pm

OTOH, don't be surprised if HWSNBN suddenly develops "force-it-to-Moss-itis" disease. Especially if Rice doesn't recover and he has no confidence in the other WRs.

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 2:10pm

Well, force-it-to-Moss-itis is probably better than chuck-the-ball-up-in-the-air-to-no-one-in-particular-itis that hes had for a good bit of his career.

by PatsFan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:10pm

FWIW, Bruschi and Troy Brown were saying this morning, citing "player sources" that Moss was causing problems. But who knows.

by PatsFan :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:15pm

More specifically, Bruschi said Moss was a great teammate when Bruschi was still on the team but that he had heard from some players and coaches that Moss was being negative this year.

by dryheat :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:33pm

Oh, I think that needs to be a given. One doesn't cut loose his second best offensive player and risk alienating his best player and seriously hamstring his playoff chances this year for middling compensation if everybody's sailing on the S.S. Harmony.

by Theo :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:52pm

Who did the Vikings cut to make room for Moss?

by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 1:02pm

Yesterday, they traded back-up DE Jayme Mitchell, who the Vikings signed as an undrafted free agent in 2006, for a late round pick from the Browns. He wasn't without talent, for a 4-3 scheme, but that is about the Vikings deepest position, at least this year.

by Dunbar :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 3:53pm

I'm becoming convinced that NFL GMs just vastly overrate draft picks. Moss is way better than your average third round pick, and I'd take Moss even if I knew I was only getting one year out of him. He's one of the greatest wide receivers of all time, and he's coming off an excellent season. I think people are jumping to too many conclusions after only four games--four games, by the way, in which he has consistently drawn double teams, opening things up for the rest of the offense.

I'm also not really buying the argument that the Patriots' defense is too bad to win a Super Bowl this year. It really probably is a bad defense, but for God's sake, the Pats are #1 in DVOA right now, so it can't be dragging them down that much. And have we forgotten already that the playoffs are a different beast from the regular season? The best team doesn't always win, and sometimes downright mediocre teams go on crazy Super Bowl runs. It seems like a bad idea to write off the Super Bowl entirely at this point in the season.

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 4:18pm

If Moss is blowing up the lockerroom, and chewing out his offensive coordinator in front of the young receivers during the middle of a game (http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/nfl/news/story?id=5655198), a 3rd round pick is absolutely more valuable than he is.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 5:23pm

Pure Moneyball! They gave the Raiders a 5th rounder for Moss back in 2007, got one of the best ever NFL seasons out of him plus a couple more good ones and now get a 3rd round in compensation. That's pretty good investment in my world.

Essentially every year that passes Moss will be worth less and less. They probably got as much good production out of him as they can for that level of draft pick compensation. And they don't have to worry about salaries.

This is only a good trade for the Vikings if they win big. Assuming that Favre will be gone at the end of they year, who will then be throwing to Moss? Tavaris? Moss' production can only go downwards at that point and a 12th/13th year pro he's probably only got 2-3 seasons left in him.

by Brendan Scolari :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 7:55pm

Disagree. The fact that the Pats traded only a 5th rounder for Moss in '07 is completely irrelevant, it has absolutely nothing to do with this trade and should not be used as justification for it. Moss' value (on the field) easily exceeds a 3rd round pick (the average 3rd round pick spends less than 2 years as a starter, so the only way the trade is even remotely defensible is if Moss was causing locker room problems (which obviously could be the case. I think this trade is absolutely fantastic for the Vikings (assuming the locker room problems do not carry over, which they shouldn't), even 10 games plus playoffs of an aging Moss is better value than a mid-round pick. Moss also fits the Vikings needs pretty perfectly, so I really don't see a lot of downside to this trade from their perspective other than the aforementioned locker room problems.

by dmstorm22 :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:36pm

By that logic, since Brady was a 6th rounder, trading him for a 5th is a good return on investment. It is irrelevant what you got for him.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 9:17am

It means you made a profit on that pick. If you made a profit on every investment you ever made wouldn't that be a good thing? Particularly in a zero-sum game where if you profit; others suffer.

That you don't maximise your profit (say getting better than a 5th round pick for Brady) or that you waste your profit (you use Oakland's #7 overall pick on WR Troy Williamson) are different parts of the argument entirely.

I suppose you could say that the Pats could keep Moss for this season. They'd get a 5th round pick so would have rented Moss for four years at the cost of losing one round off a draft pick (they gave the Raiders a 4th, and would get a compensatory 5th). Yep, I'd feel that I'd done well out of that deal too.

But I think they've done even better by offloading him now. He's not happy, I saw him playing half-hearted in Oakland which is why the Patriots only had to give them a 4th round pick for him. Belichick recognises that a player who should be a talisman for your team playing poorly will drag everybody down. Getting a 3rd round pick for him now is tremendous.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 11:54am

Trading him makes sense, given what he does when wants out, but if getting a third round pick is "tremendous", then the word "tremendous" has lost definitive power. This isn't a "profit". Most third round picks don't end up being "tremendous" players. When your once extremely productive factory robot becomes unproductive, you don't say it is tremendous that you were able to swap it for another robot which will likely be non-productive as well. I guess what I'm saying is that "prudent" is not a synonym for "tremendous".

by t.d. :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 7:54pm

I don't know that this will make that much of a difference short term for the Vikings because they're still relying on a gimpy 41 year old quarterback behind a crappy offensive line. Having said that, I don't think the argument that the Viking are an 'aging team' is quite accurate. They're a team with several great older players, but also a nucleus of great young players. The offensive line needs to be retooled, and they'll have to replace half of the Williams wall, and obviously Favre is nearing the end, but the receivers, AP, and Jared Allen are all young, elite players