By John Mitchell
Just this morning, New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick called pro-bowl receiver Randy Moss with the news: He had been traded.
Moss has been traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a third-round pick in next year’s draft. The Vikings will also receive the Patriots’ seventh-round pick in the 2012 draft.
Moss had been phenomenal with the Pats for the three-plus years he spent in Foxboro. In 2007, he helped lead the Pats to an undefeated regular season by breaking the single-season touchdown-reception record with 23.
Many Fitchburg State students said they were upset about No. 81 heading out.
“It’s weird they would trade him this early into the season,” said student Joe Farulla. “I’m upset [the Patriots] only got a third-round pick for him. “
The Patriots have two picks in each of the first four rounds in next year’s draft, and the Patriots have been known over the years for having excellent drafts.
With Randy Moss’s contract being up after this year, it’s not too much of a surprise to see him gone. After the first game of the year, Moss said, “A lot of people don’t want to see me do good. But I just think from a business standpoint, this probably will be my last year here as a Patriot.”
So although the Pats lose their deep threat, more opportunities will arrive for receivers Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate, and Aaron Hernandez.
“I think it was just his time to leave,” Farulla said. “You saw [the Patriots] get rid of Seymour, Deion Branch, and plenty of other guys. The Patriots just don’t like to spend money.” Along with Richard Seymour and Deion Branch, other notable players the Pats have let go in recent years are Lawyer Milloy, Ty Law, Adam Vinatieri, and Willie McGinest, all of whom helped the Patriots win three out of four Superbowls earlier last decade.
Moss returns to the team that drafted him in 1998 with the 21st overall pick. With the Vikings, he scored 90 touchdowns and had nearly 10,000 yards before he was traded to the Oakland Raiders after the 2004 season.
The Vikings have an interesting upcoming schedule. Their next four games are against the Jets, Cowboys, Packers, and Patriots. The Patriots hope Moss will be able to take down AFC East rivals the Jets. The Cowboys were planning on drafting Moss, but passed on him based on his off-the-field issues. In 2005, Moss mooned the Packers fans in Green Bay.
At 33 years old, Moss is far beyond his prime, but still capable of being the Hall of Fame receiver he was when Daunte Culpepper was slinging him the ball. With Brett Farve at the helm of the Vikings, one can hope Moss gets a fresh start.