No risk, no reward's Matt Tevsh presents his case on why the Green Bay Packers would be wise to trade for disgruntled wide receiver Randy Moss.

Patience is a virtue that often is lost in the NFL world of swift free-agent signings, big-money deals, and the desire for a quick turnaround. Those who display it, though, usually benefit from it.

Such is the case with the Packers under the leadership of general manager Ted Thompson. Those clamoring for him to open up the wallet and land impact free agents have been frustrated with the lack of activity this off-season. Only one signing of a player from another team, cornerback Frank Walker of the Giants, has been made by the Packers even though they have more room under the cap than the most of the teams in the league.

Just remember, Thompson is still in the middle of a long-range plan he started two years ago, and there still are more than four months of the off-season remaining. If anything, the Packers are ahead of schedule with their grand plan.

Thompson's history of displaying patience in dealing with personnel matters may not be popular with the fans, but it has them on the track to building a consistent winner. Really on only one occasion, not getting a long-term contract done for Javon Walker, have the Packers maybe had some remorse, but other than that, decisions on players' contracts in the past two years have been sound and appropriate.

While Thompson has been smart to pass up the top free agents in this year's mediocre market, negotiating a trade for Randy Moss would have a greater impact than the signing of anyone else. Moss plays a position where the Packers are desperate for another play-maker to help Donald Driver to put the Packers' offense into another dimension.

Of course that the Packers are even considering trading for Moss has many Packers' fans upset. Packers' CEO Bob Harlan even addressed the matter at Fan Fest at Lambeau Field last weekend saying he has received more negative calls about Moss than positive ones.

Packers' fans should have more input than any other team around the league (after all, some of them are part-owners), but this instance is one where the Packers' front office has to go against the grain and take a chance. The risk with Moss is minor when compared to the reward.

For anyone who thinks the Packers organization would be selling their soul by acquiring Moss, remember that one of the greatest Packers' teams ever, the 1996 Super Bowl squad, acquired Andre Rison in the midst of a Super Bowl run. Rison was a flamboyant, out-spoken wide receiver that filled a huge void for the Packers and when he came to Green Bay, he changed in many ways. His cockiness never waned, but when surrounded by respected players and talent, he was an asset.

Moss can be the same way with the Packers. Though the ‘07 team is not expected to dominate like the '96 team, an overall positive feeling amongst the players in the locker room and the weight room this off-season is palpable and can be infectious.

Up until now, Moss has been a victim of his own success and his environment. He had too much success too fast in Minnesota, and when Cris Carter left, the aura and swagger the Vikings had vanished. On-the-field displays of bad behavior or uninterested play from Moss were overblown. At the top of that list were Fox commentator Joe Buck's comments during the broadcast of a playoff game between the Packers and the Vikings at Lambeau Field in 2005. He was appalled when Moss faked pulling down his pants in front of Packers' fans in the end zone after a touchdown, so what really was a playful jab by Moss became a circus event exaggerated by the mainstream media.

When Moss went to Oakland, he went to a franchise sliding toward becoming the worst in the league. He really had no chance of success there and instead of being motivated in a new environment he was brought down by it. At 30, Moss should have a new perspective on where he wants his football career to go.

The Packers have the environment where Moss can thrive. They have a locker room full of players, perhaps the most respected quarterback the league has ever seen, and a young head coach all of whom are on the right course with the right values. Anyone could not help but be infused by the energy and good feelings that the Packers are taking into 2007. If Moss cannot succeed with the Packers, he will not be able to succeed anywhere.

Thompson seems to be taking a cautionary approach trying to obtain Moss, just like he does in dealing with free agency. Picking spots to acquire such players is a much better approach than stockpiling over-valued ones just because the money is there to do so.

Because the Packers have been patient in building their team and dealing with free agency, they are in a good position to get Moss. Other teams interested in Moss have made moves indicating he is no longer an option for them, so the Packers are the most likely to obtain him. By taking their time, they are examining the situation correctly and will strike when Moss is offered at the right price for the right value.

For where the Packers are now, Moss is worth whatever risk he comes with. If he comes to Green Bay and does not work out, fine. They can let him go and no doubt will have him under a contract that does not hurt the team. If he comes to Green Bay and does work out, his acquisition could have a Reggie White-type impact.

Packers' fans must trust Thompson to make decision on Moss and with free agents, whether they agree or disagree with his personality. After all, his track record has shown more good moves than bad ones since he came to Green Bay.

Matt Tevsh

Matt Tevsh is a regular contributor to and Packer Report. E-mail him at

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