The two receivers have been rivals on the field, with Terrell Owens once referring to himself as the “original 81” and Randy Moss as the “other 81.” In the history books, one of them likely will finish second to Jerry Rice in all career receiving categories, and the other likely will finish third. (Actually, Moss has a legitimate chance to overcome Rice’s all-time touchdown record; as of right now, Moss has 151 and Rice has 197.)
But when it comes to the trade that sent Moss back to Minnesota, count T.O. among the many who wonder what in the hell the Patriots were thinking.
“Trust me, I know [Tom] Brady is a great quarterback, but if you look at
the numbers he’s put up with Randy, they’re very, very impressive,”
Owens said, per the Associated Press. “And I think a lot of guys should look at this from a
standpoint of it is a business. So you have to go out there and do
whatever you can for your family and for yourself because when it comes
to management and owners, they don’t care about you. That right there
showed that they feel you’re expendable.”
Owens has a point, but he’s also missing the real point. Moss was traded not because the Patriots wanted to dump a great player but because the player made it clear that, if the Patriots weren’t going to pay him in 2011, he wanted out now. If anything, T.O. should be wondering why the Patriots let Moss talk his way out of town when, five years ago, the Eagles forced Owens, who wanted a new deal or a new team, to ramp up his misbehavior and disrespect until the franchise saw fit to suspend him without pay for four games and then pay him not to play for the rest of the year.
Moss isn’t the victim here. He got what he wanted. The Pats weren’t willing to make a commitment to him beyond 2010, so they shipped him out.
UPDATE: As a reader points out, Owens is arguing that players should grab as much money as possible even though he said in the offseason that he’d take less money to play for the very team he’s now criticizing. Then again, no one ever has accused T.O. of being consistent. Or logical. (And, of course, pointing out that reality probably makes me a “hater”.)