Moss Trade Rumors Overblown

Despite the rampant rumors -- complete with unverifiable sources setting odds at 60-40 that he's gone -- don't automatically assume Randy Moss is gone. Why? They'd need the right trade to justify such a bold move.

With all the recent furor over the potential trade of Randy Moss, the question now becomes what is his value to another team?

While we at VU aren't convinced Moss is going anywhere, the possibilities are intriguing. From what we've been able gather, both Mike Tice and Red McCombs have placed a premium on Moss' value – some reports contending the Vikings would ask for three No. 1 picks in exchange.

That is unlikely to happen – the Vikings were the only team dumb enough to mortgage the farm on a player beyond his prime – but if in fact the Vikings are looking to move Moss, the timing couldn't be better.

Moss will be entering his eighth season in the NFL. Typically it's at about this point that even the greatest wideouts in history see a drop-off of their skills and slow down a half-step. With the exception of being slowed by a hamstring injury – the first injury of his career – Moss looked like the same old Randy who has terrorized defenses since joining the league in 1998. In fact, in the last 16 regular season games in which he's played a significant role, he scored at least one TD in 15 of them. He has shown no signs of slowing down.

The Vikings currently have the cap space available to absorb being hit with the kick-in of Moss' signing bonus – which would cost the Vikings about $9 million against the salary cap this year and then be gone forever. From that perspective, the team would be able to handle the one-time hit. Entering into the equation is that Moss' base salaries are scheduled to skyrocket in the final four years on his contract – which start kicking up to a $7 million base salary this season and have a continued escalation after that. Any team looking to make a deal would have to be aware of that, able to afford it or able to get Moss to sign an extension – not a given by any stretch of the imagination.

The other question the Vikings decision-makers must ask is whether they've alienated Moss by the mere mention of potential trade discussions. Last year, when Mike Tice made an innocuous comment about Moss being a "tough nut to crack," word got back to Moss that Tice said he was nuts and Moss went ballistic. If he's convinced the Vikings are dangling him as trade bait, will it affect his mood in locker room – which is always a bit testy?

Finally, what can the Vikings expect in trade? It looks like they'll be asking for at least one bona fide starter, a mid-level player that could develop into a star and first-round draft pick. Will they find any takers for an offer like that? And if they do, will it be enough to meet what the Vikings want to do for the future? Or is just a lot of talk between media talking heads with no merit? We'll find over the next couple of months.

Viking Update Top Stories