Randy Moss set records with the New England Patriots that aren't likely to be broken any time soon. When Moss made his 23rd touchdown reception it set a new NFL single season record Jerry Rice has held since his days in San Francisco. Moss' record-setting catch that moved Rice to No. 2 also helped Tom Brady (50) break Peyton Manning's record (49) for most touchdowns scored in a single season by one player. Moss also combined with Brady to set the NFL scoring record for most points by an offense in a single season (589), breaking the old mark held by the 1998 Minnesota Vikings (556) when Moss was the top target there. And Moss set a new Patriots franchise record for most yards receiving (1,493) in a season, eclipsing a mark Stanley Morgan (1,491) has held for over 20 years (1986).
To think the Patriots aren't going to re-sign Moss, is crazy talk. At least that's they way we're hearing things.
|New England Patriots receiver Randy Moss (pulls in a pass over Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor (24) Dec. 9, 2007. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)|
Tom Brady told anyone who would listen at the Super Bowl that he and Moss are a package deal - where one goes, so will the other.
According to Adam Caplan, Senior NFL reporter for Scout.com, Moss was expected to test the free agent market, and expected to return to Foxboro.
"They may tell him to get the best offer he can get elsewhere and then they'll see if it's worth matching," said Caplan via email slightly prior to the start of free agency. "In the end he re-signs."
Earlier this weekend the Boston Globe speculated that the Green Bay Packers could be in the mix for Moss after missing out on a shot at the talented receiver last year. The Globe cited a discussion Moss shared at the Super Bowl about being courted by Green Bay in the off-season.
"Moss clearly has affection for Packers legend Brett Favre, but he didn't seem to like much else about the Packers, judging from his comments on Jan. 30." The Globe wrote.
ESPN's John Clayton cited Moss' friendship with Daunte Culpepper as one reason Randy could sign elsewhere. While they might remain friends, it's a bit of a stretch to report that they'd sign somewhere to play together again. There are only a few teams looking for a new quarterback and a top tier receiver. How many of those could be contenders? How many would turn the offense over to them? Probable few-to-none.
The Boston Herald took the Moss interest to a different level by providing examples why six teams could be in the hunt for Moss' services (Cowboys, Packers, Steelers, Colts, Giants and Saints). The reasoning was that Moss wanted to play for a contender and those teams had the cap room to provide Moss with the type of contract befitting a top-tier talent.
Pittsburgh papers scoffed at the Herald's speculation, while Dallas media outlets thought it possible but cited the potential clash of personalities in Big "D" as the reason it was unlikely to happen. Between T.O. (the original 81) still wanting to have us get our popcorn ready and Wade Phillips' ability to backtrack from a single public comment, we think that would be a recipe for disaster. Jerry Jones is far to savvy an owner to upset the apple cart.
After ruling out a number of potential destinations for Moss, the logical conclusion is that the Patriots come to their senses and offer Moss a contract befitting one of the best receivers in NFL history.
Imagine Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick having to explain to Tom Brady that "No Randy signed elsewhere." This is the same marquee quarterback who used Reche Caldwell, Doug Gabriel and Jabar Gaffney (players other teams didn't want) and made it to the AFC Championship game, only to fall short after leading with just over a minute away from a fifth Super Bowl appearance (fourth at the time).
If Brady's teammates get an earful when something goes wrong, imagine being in the room when Belichick delivers the news that Moss is a Packer. It certainly wouldn't be pretty.
New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss (81) runs after the catch against the San Diego Chargers Jan. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Here are our Top 5 Reasons the Patriots will re-sign Moss
1) No Badmouthing Going On
Neither Randy nor his agent is speaking publicly to other teams, or complaining about the Patriots. Isn't that the way it works? Each player who is about to leave New England goes on the record to talk about how they wish they could stay in Foxborough, but usually claim the two sides just aren't close. Deion Branch should be the perfect example o fsaying one thing while doing another. Adam Vinatieri is another. Moss hasn't done that. If anything, it's been exceptionally quiet. Disturbingly so.
2) No More Records To Be Broken
Moss already has Tom Brady throwing to him and has set half the records he's ever going to set. Who else can help him break those again? You could make a case for Peyton Manning, but we just don't see Bill Polian paying Moss that type of money when he's already doled out huge paydays to Dallas Clark, Peyton and Dwight Freeney. There's only so much of the green stuff to go around. Green Bay? They have receivers - good, young ones. Dallas? Isn't T.O already there to catch most of the passes?
3) Culpepper isn't going to get a starting job (Unless Atlanta comes to its senses).
The Randy to Daunte connection is a bit of a stretch, although it would be interesting to see. Wherever they land - if they went together - would have to be to a bad team. Why would Moss want to join a team willing to shelve it's starting QB just to insert Culpepper? Just so he could throw deep to Moss every play? Didn't we see that not work with Brady throwing deep to a constantly covered Moss in the playoffs? The Bears enter the argument here, but we still have trouble believe this because of reason No. 4. below.
4) Locker Room Culture
Sorry, but we just don't see some of the teams in contention for signing Moss being able to deal with the potential for him to publicly air his grievances any place other than say in Foxboro. Show us a locker room as locked down from public comments as the Patriots and we'd be surprised. No one says what's on their mind in New England without either checking their comments or incurring the wrath of the front office. Even the great ones who do sound off find themselves on a new team (Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy ).
5) Starting Over Again
Why would Randy Moss want to start over again? If he moves on from New England Moss' critics will say he couldn't get it done with a Hall of Fame QB and a potential Hall of Fame coach. Why can he get it done somewhere else? It would be one more knock on the mercurial star who has enough old baggage to deal with. Randy knows the scheme in New England. He would be in his second season in the same offense, and he'd be in familiar surroundings. The Patriots did a solid job of shielding Randy from the Public spotlight. Far better a job than any of his previous stops. Remember, Randy said his biggest satisfaction came from "Shutting all you people up," referring to his critics in the media. If he left now, they'd all have something to negative to write about again.