Tom Brady took the news of Randy Moss’ release much like the rest of us. He was momentarily stunned.
When told the news by our old friend Tom Curran of Comcast Sports New England, Brady “sighed a deep sigh and said no comment.”
Brady can call Moss — locally on a land line! — to commiserate if he chooses. The speculation has started swirling aggressively in New England. Would the Patriots want Moss back?
The notion sounds insane to me, but not to much smarter men. NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora says several general managers believe Moss will end up in New England. For that to happen, he would have to pass all the way through waivers.
Moss could also refuse to report to any team that claims him off waivers, making it clear he only wants to play for New England.
Both of those scenarios seem unlikely. Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Seahawks and Dolphins have already shown interest in claiming Moss. The Dolphins would reportedly do it in part to “block” Moss from landing in New England.
Miami and Seattle both make some sense as destinations. Each team could use a vertical threat. The Seahawks have looked for downfield options. But why do we think the Patriots would even want Moss back?
New England made a strong statement on how much they value Moss when they dealt him for a third round pick. They wanted to avoid all of his drama and thought they could win without him. They are 3-0 since. It makes no sense to invite the drama back, even if Moss was appropriately humbled.
(About the only sense it makes: It would be good “business” for the Patriots to get back
Moss for a reduced price when they got a pick for him. That makes Bill
Belichick look like the smartest guy in the room. Never hurts.)
Moss’ declining skills seems to be getting short shrift in most analysis we’ve seen. The Patriots would not have traded him and the Vikings would not have cut Moss if he was close to the same guy he was three years ago, much less eight.
In half a season, Moss has 22 catches, 313 yards, and five touchdowns. Throws to him aren’t efficient. He doesn’t destroy double teams any more. He doesn’t always give great effort, especially on throws inside the numbers. Moss has real value, but his skill set is increasingly limited.
He’s a role player that requires the maintenance of a mercurial superstar.