Making sense of Moss
Readers weigh in on Pats' trade, Packers, draft topics
Posted: Tuesday May 1, 2007 2:43PM; Updated: Tuesday May 1, 2007 3:10PM
You have flooded my email box with Randy Moss thoughts, from every angle. Even one of my fellow Hall of Fame voters, Frank Cooney, who lives in the Bay Area and runs a draft and scouting site called NFLDraftScout.com, had some good thoughts, which I'll share later.
But before I get to your letters and his thoughts, let me just say that some of you have mistaken my criticism of the trade. I think Moss will play well for the Patriots -- very well. His career's on the line with this scaled-down, no-guaranteed-money, one-year contract, and he'll respond by being a good deep threat for Tom Brady, and I don't even think he'll make a single wave in the locker room all year.
But here's my point: This guy dogged his way out of Oakland, and the Patriots rewarded him by giving him a starting job on a three-time Super Bowl champion. Over the last few years, the Patriots have turned their backs on the vast majority of talented players who had some dog in them, or major problems off the field, preferring to go with character guys who played hard and shut their mouths. Though I believe Moss will play hard now, this trade breaks that Patriot mold.
Frank Cooney's point: "Moss should lose votes for the Hall of Fame if he actually rebounds and plays hard and well in New England. Why? Because that proves that he purposely disgraced the game of football by dogging it and quitting in Oakland when he did indeed have the physical ability to play. He was on a team that was hurting and needed help and he quit!
"Oddly, if he falls on his pratt in New England, he should probably be given more consideration for the Hall. Because maybe he just hit his career wall in Oakland after all, which isn't likely, but it's fair to give him the benefit of the doubt. And let's be clear that Randy Moss was indeed a Hall of Fame-caliber player before suiting up for Oakland. HOF voters are supposed to judge these guys ONLY by what they do on the field. Moss was an embarrassment to the sport on the field in Oakland. I was embarrassed when my grandsons watched him.''
On to your e-mails:
STOP BEING NAÏVE, PETER. From Tim, of West Dennis, Mass.: "You've got to be kidding me. You criticize the Moss trade because he didn't hustle in Oakland. Sometime high-profile athletes become disinterested if their team is no good (Gary Sheffield, Vince Carter). Then they move to a new team and are reborn. It happens all the time. The Pats made a brilliant trade, and for some reason, you can't deal with it.''
STOP BEING DUMB, PETER. From Tony, of New York City: "I think you and Dr. Z got it dead wrong, Peter. Why all the fear re Moss to the Pats? Kraft, Belichick and Brady are not Davis, Shell and Brooks/Walter/whoever. Even if they were, what is the Pats downside, really? Moss is not strong enough to affect the Pats' culture, and all that was given up was a fourth-rounder. Worst-case scenario, Belichick benches him for one of his seven other receivers and they still win. Best case, he leads the Pats to the Super Bowl. Granted, the one-sidedness of the trade raises some red flags, but the Raiders are not known for their smart moves anyway.''
ANOTHER COUNTRY HEARD FROM. From Matt, of West Chester, Pa.: "Is it me, or are the Patriots' acquisitions of Adalius Thomas and Randy Moss eerily similar to the Eagles' acquisitions of Jevon Kearse and Terrell Owens? Specifically towards the receiver side of it, a team with a reputation for being a classy, first-rate organization with a strong winning, veteran presence decides to take on a questionable, me-first character because if anyone can handle him, it's them. They feel the risk is worth it because it's the chance to put that team over the top at a position of weakness. Ultimately for the Eagles, it paid off for one year as they finally made the Super Bowl, but beyond that it was an unmitigated disaster. I wouldn't be surprised if the same happens to the Patriots.''
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