The third-year general manager should consider trading for wide receiver Randy Moss.
Based on published reports, Moss has worn out his welcome in Oakland and the Raiders are looking to dump him for minimal value. Coming off the worst season of his nine-year NFL career, Moss has reached the low point in his career and needs a change of scenery to a strong organization. Green Bay could be that place with the right approach.
Moss's history makes him a shaky proposition at first glance, especially to Packers' fans. He has been criticized for taking plays off, showing disinterest, and taking a "me-first" approach throughout his career. No one will forget the attention he drew to himself when he mimicked pulling down his pants after a touchdown at Lambeau Field in a playoff game vs. the Vikings in 2005, an act that pales in comparison to some of his off-the-field issues.
Take into account head coach Mike McCarthy's mission statement of finding "Packer people" set forth the day he was hired in Green Bay, and it is easy to see why Moss may be a huge public relations hurdle to jump.
There is a reason, though, why Thompson and other Packers' front office staff are paid well. They need to make difficult decisions. By digging a little deeper, they could uncover why now is a perfect time to do what previously would have been unthinkable – bringing Moss to Green Bay.
Moss spent the last two seasons playing for a franchise that has quickly become one of the worst in all of professional sports. It is so bad in Oakland that no coach really seems to want to work there. Coming off a 2-14 season, the Raiders are at the bottom of the barrel with little hope of recovering soon.
Moss's bouts of disinterest have been as much about his coaches as it has his own doing. His passion for the game was sucked out of him by what appeared to be an equally disinterested Art Shell this past season as he became a part of a losing culture. While he could have risen above it, his was pulled down by it.
What Moss should have gained from his experiences in Oakland, and probably has, is a new perspective on what playing football is all about. Because his time is running short, he does not want to lose anymore. He has had his big payday, great individual seasons, and now should value winning more than ever. It is all he has left. Deep down, Moss is competitive and passionate, and he can re-find those qualities with the right team.
The Packers have the structure that Moss needs and could thrive on. Though he would not seem like a Thompson guy, do not forget that Thompson did bring in Koren Robinson this season indicating he is willing to give controversial players a chance.
Perhaps the biggest motivator for Moss reclaiming his old form would be the return of Brett Favre, who is respected more than any player in the league. The chance to play with Favre one or two years would be a dream for Moss. Just check out the NFL Films video of Moss jumping off the bench to watch Favre during a Monday night game at Lambeau Field several years ago for proof. He would relish the chance to get Favre back to the Super Bowl.
The awakening Moss has undergone should make him a much better player wherever he ends up. Though he has been compared by some to Terrell Owens, he is not the problem Owens is. He can be an asset, not a liability, granted he is surrounded by a stable team and a winning culture.
Opinions vary on whether Moss's ability is declining as a 30-year-old wide receiver. His numbers have plummeted in recent years, his drops have increased, and he has lacked the explosion he exhibited when he was with the Vikings. Consider who Moss has played with, though, and it is no surprise that he has not been able to achieve top receiver status.
When talking business, Moss makes perfect sense. The market for him is low and with the Raiders looking for perhaps a third- to mid-round pick for him, not much would be lost. As most contracts today in the NFL go, the Packers could take a one-year approach with Moss. They could find a way to rip-up his current deal and make him a new one for three years with a significant bonus in the first year. After one year, they could see where they are at and move forward. Similar situations were encountered in the past with Terry Glenn's contract (albeit under Mike Sherman as general manager) and Robinson's signing last season.
Another reason Moss would be a good fit in Green Bay is that he has been a small-town person at his core. After a brilliant high-school career in Rand, W. Va, he was not able to make it at big schools Notre Dame and Florida State. He then transferred to small-scale Marshall where he thrived for two years before becoming a first-round draft pick. Green Bay may give him a feeling of recapturing his past, a notion that should not be overlooked.
The Packers should consider Moss, and if they do their homework on him, they might find that perception is not necessarily reality. The former All-Pro wide receiver has loads of ability still in him, but cannot display it without a coach and a team pulling it out of him. McCarthy and the Packers could be that team. They desperately need a play-maker to help Donald Driver on offense, and Moss could be the answer.
Matt Tevsh is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at email@example.com.