Moss Trade Could Impact Many

The name Randy Moss has always been a lightning rod of controversy and excitement. But the mere mention of his name in trade talks not only affects the Raiders and Packers, but also the premium picks at the top of the 2007 draft and the potential that football fans will see Brett Favre a little longer than most would have imagined just a couple of months ago.

Earlier this week, VU reported that rumblings from across the border had Randy Moss coming to the Packers for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a draft pick of some kind – whether a pre-determined draft pick or a contingent pick tied into how Moss played for Green Bay.

At the time, VU was being told that the Raiders were jockeying for position with the draft pick, which could range anywhere from a third-round pick on down. Now it looks as though the conditional pick will go the other way around. According to a report in the Boston Herald Thursday, the Packers would send Rodgers and a seventh-round pick in this year's draft to the Raiders and would receive Moss, tight end Courtney Anderson and a conditional pick in the 2009 draft – contingent on how Rodgers performs for the Raiders.

While the Packers' front office people have denied that any trade is looming, Rodgers himself told a reporter that called him Thursday that he had been told by the organization not to comment, adding that he was given no assurance that he would not be part of a trade. In addition, speculation has grown that Brett Favre has solidly endorsed a potential trade for Moss, indicating that if Moss came to the Packers and the team traded away his primary backup, that Favre likely would be looking at playing not only the 2007 season, but most likely in 2008 as well. Furthermore, there has also been talk that Moss would be willing to renegotiate his contract, which calls for more than $20 million over the next two seasons if he was traded.

The potential trade of Moss would clearly have an affect on the Vikings, since the Packers are division rivals and a revitalized Moss could do a lot of damage in a division that is viewed as one of the weakest divisions top to bottom in the NFL. But, the ramifications of a Moss trade could go much further than that.

If the trade indeed does come off, the Raiders would have their quarterback of the future – whether short-term or long-term is yet to be seen. But, if that happens, it would clearly shuffle the deck at the top of the draft. It had seemed a forgone conclusion that the Raiders would take LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the first pick of the draft. With Rodgers, a former first-round pick himself, in the fold, it would open up the opportunity for Al Davis to jump on the best pure athlete in the draft – wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Russell would then slide down out of the No. 1 spot. The Lions would then be hard-pressed not to take Russell with the second pick of the draft, since by some accounts from scouts at Russell's Pro Day workout, he put on a show the likes of which have rarely if ever been seen in the era of school-team workouts.

If that happens, the entire top of the draft could be shuffled depending on how the Lions act. If they opt to remain with blue chip offensive tackle Joe Thomas with the second pick, the likelihood of the Browns jumping on Russell increases, which would leave running back Adrian Peterson likely to slip down to the Vikings pick at No. 7.

While nothing is set in stone yet, a trade of Moss to the Packers could be the first in a series of dominoes that could change the fortunes of several franchises, as it could seriously disrupt the anticipated top picks of the 2007 draft next month and create the opportunities for teams to jump into the top picks to get their hands on players that were thought to be slotted and potentially off the board.

Who says Randy Moss can't shake things up? The mere mention of his name could change the future plans of a half-dozen teams or more if the anticipated trade comes off.

* Second place means nothing in free agency, so it should come as little consolation that the Vikings were announced as the second choice of wide receiver Kevin Curtis. Terms of the six-year, $32 million deal Curtis signed with the Eagles Thursday include $9.5 million in guaranteed money, $1 million escalators in the final two years of the deal tied into reachable reception numbers, $7 million up front money ($2 million tied into a signing bonus and $5 million as a roster bonus that comes off the books after the 2007 season) and a $1.5 million roster bonus due next March. His base salary for the first two years of the deal are $1 million in 2007 and $1.5 million in 2008 – both numbers that are guaranteed. Curtis' new representation admitted that his decision came down to the Vikings and Eagles, adding that the Vikings made an offer competitive to the one he signed with the Eagles.
* Could religion have played a factor in Curtis' decision? According to reports coming out of Philadelphia, one of the comfort levels Curtis had with the Eagles is that both he and Eagles coach Andy Reid are of the Mormon faith.
* Friday is going to a busy day for some prospective rookie recruits, as schools including Colorado, Michigan, Oregon State and Villanova have their Pro Day workouts.
* Lane College wide receiver Jacoby Jones has set up a private visit with the Vikings. It is unclear whether that visit will be included in the planned one-day clearing-house visit of as many as 30 college prospects.
* Vikings representatives met with Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton at his Pro Day workout Wednesday. They are reported to be one of a handful of teams that showed more than a passing interest in the MSU quarterback.

Viking Update Top Stories