UPDATED: It’s a final – Moss goes to Minnesota in exchange for a third-round pick.
Several years ago, Brett Favre lobbied for the Packers to bring Randy Moss to Green Bay. Disagreements over his receiving corps was one of the reasons cited for why Favre ended his tenure in Green Bay and eventually ended up with the Jets.
Earlier on Tuesday, Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com reported that the Vikings were close to consummating a deal to bring Moss to Minnesota and give Favre his chance to play a little “Moss-and-Toss.” The deal netted New England another second-day draft pick (third-round) and brings Moss to the NFC North to shore up Favre’s receiving corps while the team awaits the return of Sidney Rice.
I have to believe that a couple of things are at play.
1. The Patriots believe that Tom Brady can work with Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, rookie tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski and a guy who turned heads when I visited Foxborough this summer, Brandon Tate. Tate has demonstrated his explosiveness in the return game (two touchdowns) and has started to become a reliable member of the receiving corps (four catches on Monday). I’d take my churn-and-burn Bench slot and make a speculative play on him off of the wire. Hernandez has probably already been claimed.
2. Bill Belichick had had enough of the “last season” talk that came out following the Week 1 blowout of Cincinnati. With no contract extension on the table, the weights on the scale of “motivation” versus “resentment” obviously were heavier on the side of the latter.
3. Sidney Rice’s recovery from his hip injury is coming along slower than expected, forcing the Vikings’ hand if they wanted to keep pace with the Packers and make a charge in the NFC. Will he return?
4. This is purely speculation. I put the full disclaimer out than this is nothing but late-night rambling built on a little bit of rumor, conjecture and innuendo that has been swirling around for quite some time.
But, there’s certainly been enough speculation about the possibility of Favre walking away before season’s end if things unraveled further. The theory is that he’d be placed on injured reserve and ride off into the sunset in his Wranglers.
* Does the fact that Rice is reportedly still on crutches affect things and force the issue? Did Favre insist on a boost to the receiving corps coming out of the Bye given the lack of production from this group?
Through three weeks, the leading wide receiver for the Vikings is Percy Harvin with 12 receptions and 106 receiving yards (one touchdown). Harvin is obviously a tremendous talent and downfield threat when healthy, but his migraines and other physical ailments are well-chronicled and put a strain on game-planning. Bernard Berrian was expected to take on a larger role in Rice’s absence, but he’s logged five catches for 38 yards.
The only week-to-week trustworthy option for Favre is Visanthe Shiancoe, who leads the team with 169 receiving yards on 11 receptions (one touchdown). He was injured in Week 3, but should be ready for Week 5 and Favre’s return to New York and a date with the Jets.
I hope fans in Minnesota didn’t do anything rash like burn, rip or discard those old Moss jerseys. They just might have some value …. as early as Wednesday. No. 84 is worn by Logan Payne, so he’d probably be able to reclaim that one with a small payoff. No. 18 is available in Minnesota right now, but nobody really wants to remember the Oakland days. And, I don’t suspect that Shiancoe’s giving up his No. 81 without a hefty bounty being paid.
Either way, fans and fantasy owners will find out soon enough how much is left in Moss’ tank. Those who held onto Favre in anticipation of the arrival of a big-time playmaker (they expected it to be Rice) had their patience rewarded.
Moss joins the team just in time for a renewal of his one-on-one battle with Darrelle Revis on Monday night. And he’ll see the Patriots in a couple weeks.