Patriots gather Moss on Draft Day
That's right boys and girls, one of the NFL's bad-ass boys now plays for my New England Patriots after a draft day trade with the Oakland Raiders today. Kudos to the Patriots brass, who, like with Corey Dillon in 2004, got a Pro-Bowl caliber player for virtually nothing.
So, is this a good or bad deal for the Patriots?
I say it is not just a good deal but a great deal. Moss comes to the Patriots with more baggage than a bellhop at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, we all know this. However, it's been widely reported that Moss has been informed by Bill Belichick from the get-go that past bad behavior will not be tolerated here and one incident, just one, and he's outta here. I think the best commment I read today was from ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli, referring to Belichick as a human haz-mat suit when dealing with "problem" players. Plus, an athlete with something to prove can be scary good as Moss no doubt will be.
And if winning the ring is all that really matters to players (aside from insane amounts of money athletes are paid) then what better a situation than to be in than to be traded to the team that has won three of the last six championships since 2001 (and one bad series from beating Indy and thus playing in the Super Bowl last season)? Getting out of the NFL's version of a black hole too (Oakland) can't hurt and should only improve Moss' attitude. As with Dillon in 2004, there are enough veteran leaders on the Patriots that they will not be awed by Moss. Nor will Moss have to be 'the guy' as he has been in Minnesota and Oakland. He'll have to earn respect on the Patriots. Reportedly he's already spoken to Pats QB Tom Brady, who is excited to play with Moss this season.
Plus, Moss had to drastically restructure his contract in order to come here, meaning he actually agreed to be paid less than if he had gone somewhere else. He wants to be here. Moss himself said as much in an interview after the deal was finalized and that we're going to see the Moss of old, who was a truly dominant player for Minnesota from 1998-2004.
The 2007 Patriots, on paper and regarded by most prognosticators already, are a favorite for Super Bowl XLII in Arizona. Adding this guy to an already talented and re-stocked team is a scary proposition for the thirteen opposing teams on the schedule for the fall. I, for one, can't wait.
As far as attitude goes, remember that Dillon too was considered a problem child when he came to New England and had no such issues in the three seasons he played here.
It's a shame that Dillon opted to retire after asking for and being granted his release from New England, when another Super Bowl ring is definitely a realistic possibility in 2007.
Now for the most important question... what number will Moss wear, since 84 (his number in Minnesota) and 18 (his number with the Raiders) are taken?
Too bad training camp doesn't begin until July...