The Randy Moss trade to the Vikings is official, and I am not pleased.
Instead of going on a huge rant about why this is a terrible deal that benefits the Patriots in no way and will come back to bite them when they play the Vikings on Halloween, adding another "bridge year" on to the one Red Sox fans just suffered through and ensuring that New England's rebuilding process will continue for the foreseeable future, I will calmly debunk the reasons that some fans and observers think the Randy Moss trade is a good one:
"In Bill we trust." This tired phrase hasn't been applicable since 2007. Really, you completely, 100%, blindly trust the guy who went for it on fourth down from his own 24 yard line, with the lead, in the fourth quarter, against an undefeated team, on the road? You trust the guy who doesn't have an offensive or defensive coordinator on his staff?
Bill Belichick is not a God. He doesn't even have his face on a coin. He makes decisions that don't always work out. Add the Randy Moss trade to that list.
"If he doesn't want to be here, I don't want him here." This point is fair enough, especially given reports that Moss made a stink after Monday's victory (in which he had zero catches). Not wanting to be here is one thing, but causing distractions is different.
This argument leaves out one crucial element, however: Randy Moss is one of the best wide receivers in football, and the Patriots only got a third-round pick in exchange for him. Yes, the Pats got him for a fourth-round pick in 2007, but that was from the Raiders, and they're not exactly the most well-managed team in the league. (For example, 2007 was the year they drafted JaMarcus Russell.)
Just the other day, the Seahawks gave up a fourth-round pick and at least a sixth-round pick for Marshawn Lynch, the Bills' underachieving running back. Under the right conditions, you could trade a fourth-rounder and a sixth-rounder for a third-rounder. So, by the Transitive Property of the Randy Moss Trade Sucks, the Patriots are saying they value Moss as much as the Bills valued Marshawn Lynch. Awesome.
"The Patriots now have two picks in each of the first four rounds of the 2011 draft." Whoop-dee-frickin'-doo. Sure, the 2010 draft class looks promising, but here are some names the Pats have picked in the first four rounds since 2007: Tyrone McKenzie (on practice squad), Rich Ohrnberger (just called up from practice squad), Kevin O'Connell (cut a year after being drafted) and Kareem Brown (cut less than a year after being drafted). Underwhelming names like Shawn Crable and Jonathan Wilhite are also on that list.
Based on prior results, the Patriots just traded Randy Moss for someone of that ilk. Still feel good about the deal?