Packers win in Randy Moss trade

Free agency has yet to begin, but the Green Bay Packers already are a step ahead of the Minnesota Vikings in off-season personnel maneuvering. Thanks to Minnesota owner Red McCombs' decision to trade away Randy Moss – the most dangerous receiver in the National Football League – to an AFC team, the Packers have indirectly gotten rid of a major pain in their backside.<p>

Moss is a player most NFL fans love to hate. He's a playmaker on the field and has often stubbed his toe off of it. Moss obviously has embarrassed the Vikings to the point that they want to deal him away to the highest bidder. When free agency begins on March 2, the Vikings and Oakland Raiders are expected to make official the trade that topped NFL news this week. The Vikings may eventually benefit from the trade, and Moss could help the Raiders immediately. But the Packers, along with other NFC North Division teams, no doubt are happy to see Moss, and all of his baggage, move to the West Coast.

Minnesota probably will be Green Bay's biggest threat again within the division. Without Moss, the Vikings will have a tough time finishing ahead of the Packers. Minnesota proved its inability to win without Moss this past season. After racing to a 4-1 start, the Vikings went 2-3 in games in which Moss did not play or was not activated to the game-day roster.

Moss has torched the Packers' secondary since his rookie season in 1998 when he caught five passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns on Monday Night Football to stun the Packers. The Vikings snapped Green Bay's 25-game winning streak at Lambeau Field, and Moss rearranged the pysch of Green Bay's defense far beyond that game. In 14 overall games against the Packers, Moss has gone over 100 yards receiving seven times. He caught two touchdown passes against Green Bay in Minnesota's Wild Card playoff victory in January, then unveiled a fake "moon" dance to the fans in the south end zone of Lambeau Field.

A class act? Hardly. A great pro football player. Yes. In seven NFL seasons, Moss has averaged 82 catches for 1,306 yards and 14 touchdowns. He set an NFL record as the only player to notch 1,000-plus receiving yards in his first six seasons in the league.

Fortunately for the Packers and their fans, Moss will be haunting secondaries of other teams instead of Green Bay's twice a year.

Minnesota fans might be happy to see Moss go because he ability to implode at any given moment. He is no choir boy on the sidelines nor on the street. His dirty laundry list seems to get a little longer each year. Last year, he walked off the field and into the locker room before a game had ended against Washington. He's been known to squirt officials with water and get into a shouting match with teammates and coaches on the sideline. Off the field, he has gotten into trouble since he was in high school in West Virginia.

Still, when Moss is roaming the secondary, he is as entertaining to watch as any receiver in the league. And Vikings fans probably will miss that positive aspect of the star receiver.

"I don't think they (the Vikings) got their full value, but I don't know if you can get full value with any kind of a trade like that," said ESPN analyst John Clayton. "Certainly it was better than the 49ers got for TO (Terrell Owens), it's certainly better than Corey Dillon, what the Patriots gave up for Corey Dillon."

The Vikings will get a promising young linebacker in Napoleon Harris and a few late-round draft picks. They also will have about $30 million in salary cap space to obtain other players, perhaps a veteran receiver.

But they still won't have Moss, and that's the best news of all for the Green Bay Packers.

Note: Todd Korth is managing editor of Packer Report. E-mail him at

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