Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Unextended Moss Portends Disaster in Minnesota

The Minnesota Vikings reportedly have pulled the lever on a deal for New England Patriots' wide-receiver Randy Moss that would send Moss back to Minnesota for a third-round draft pick. The arrangement reportedly does not include an extension on Moss' current deal, set to expire after this season.

The trade makes all kinds of sense for a Vikings' team bereft of wide-receiver talent. It makes almost no sense, however, if the Vikings are unwilling to extend Moss.

Despite the on-going labor issues in the NFL and the possibility of a lock-out next season, the Vikings must do what fiscal acumen suggests they ought not do. They must extend Moss. If they cannot swallow this pill and the possibility of paying considerable money for a player that might well never play in for the team again after this season, there is no point to making this deal.

While Moss' 2009 accomplishments, alone, put to shame the career numbers of current Vikings' wide-receivers Bernard Berrian, Greg Lewis, and Greg Camarillo, his numbers when in pouting mode are best reflected by his stat line against the Miami Dolphins on Monday night--zero receptions for zero yards. In short, when Moss is in the middle of a contract, he performs at a high level. When he is at the short end of a deal, he hibernates.

Minnesota needs performance, not hibernation from Moss. And the only sure way to get Moss to perform is to put him in a good contract situation. That's an unfortunate commentary on any player, and a difficult situation for an organization to be in, but it is reality. At his happiest, Moss can be a distraction. At his unhappiest--where he was in New England prior to today--he can be a disruptive, divisive, unwanted distraction.

If the Vikings have indeed made the deal for Moss, as it appears that they have, they will be wasting a third-round pick, and possibly their 2010 season, if they do not go one substantial step further and pay Moss. And that just might make dealing with other players on the last year of their contracts all that more difficult.

Up Next: Players.

4 comments:

Adam said...

Good article. I would argue that winning, and winning alone, will keep Moss out of "pouting mode."

If Moss is in pouting mode, then the Vikings have already lost too many games to salvage the 2010 season, so Moss can pout all he wants and it wouldn't matter one bit to the Vikes because they aren't committed to the long term.


Heck, if they lost their next four straight games and Moss throws fits, they could just cut their losses (3rd rounder) by cutting him. Seems unlkely, but this move is totally low risk.

Adam said...

Plus they will almost automatically get a 5th rounder (no better than fifth) as a compensatory pick if he is allowed to leave in free agency.

Traded for Randy Moss and seventh rounder. Gave away a third rounder. Are liekly to recieve a 5th rounder as compensation if Moss truly is a "rental." Pretty low risk.


They should really take care of Greenway, at the very least, prior to giving Moss an extension.

vikes geek said...

Adam,

Thanks for the comments.

The problem with Moss is that he is coming in in pouting mode. The Vikings need to at least open discussions with his agent or, I suspect, he will either continue to pout and be ineffective in Minnesota or he will offer a one game teaser and then resort to pouting if the Vikings do not bite. It's great to have Moss on the field--if he is playing with purpose. Otherwise, he's more detrimental than standing pat. Outside of the potential for disruption, the Vikings made a low-risk move and one that they had to make. Now, the Vikings need to ensure that Moss performs.

I am confident that Chad Greenway is simply a different personality than Moss. Greenway will play until the end of his contract just as hard as he has played at any other point during this current contract. He also would prefer to stay near home and probably would be less inclined to perceive the lack of a contract offer this year as a slight and more of business reality with a lockout looming.

VG

Adam said...

Those are very solid points, VG, especially with Greenway's attitude towards the game. Should be a fun ride, either way.