In a controversial move, WR Randy Moss was traded to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a 2011 third-round draft pick. Given the Patriots limited receiving group, there is a possibility the Patriots could make another move.
It’s clear now that the Patriots were not going to sign Moss to an extension following the season and Moss realized it. Seemingly, Moss became a distraction to the team.
Given the departure of Moss, is this team able to move on with the current receiving group? The wide receiver depth chart reads as this: Wes Welker, Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater, and Taylor Price.
Pretty slim, wouldn’t you say?
That’s why the Patriots may be exploring a trade for another wide receiver. They certainly have the ammunition to do so, having two picks in each of the first four rounds in the 2011 draft. Also, the Patriots could dangle G Logan Mankins, which would solve another contract problem.
WR Vincent Jackson of the San Diego Chargers could be an intriguing option. Jackson is currently suspended due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He also has contract issues with the team and may not play for the Chargers again. San Diego could take a similar approach in what the Patriots did with Moss, in which they receive value now, rather than have him walk away for nothing.
The 27-year-old is entering his prime and would be a great fit with the Patriots. He is listed at 6’5″ at 230 pounds and plays very physically, something Belichick loves in a wide receiver. He has consecutive seasons of 1,000-plus yards and 50-plus receptions.
However, Jackson would likely have to work out a contract extension with the Patriots if in fact a trade were to occur. Given his young age, that is something the Patriots may want to do.
Speculation at this point, yes. But it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
Most likely, Belichick won’t make anymore moves. Look for the team to return to the old Patriots offensive style in short dips and screens, which is a good thing. Similar play-calling was used on the Super-Bowl winning teams.
The spread offense with Moss was exciting to watch. But the fact is, they have not won a Super-Bowl with that style of play.
Now, they will utilize the likes of TE’s Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, which could be a nightmare for opposing defenses. Hernandez could be a major factor. He can line up in the slot as a wide receiver or he can line up in his natural tight-end position. Gronkowski could also be a huge target over the middle, especially on third-down and inside the red-zone.
Though the Moss trade may seem unfavorable to most, this is a move that had to happen.
Monday night may have been the last straw for Belichick. The fact that the ball was rarely thrown to Moss was an immediate red-flag. Moss’s poor efforts during run blocks also didn’t help his cause. He would make contact briefly, then peel off to the outside. He wasn’t being physical. He wasn’t playing Patriots football.
That’s why he’s gone. He didn’t want to be a Patriot anymore.