First, Bill Simmons accidentally tweets something in public that he meant to be a direct message to someone, presumably a Pats outsider. "Rumors swirling about a Pats-Minny trade for Randy Moss."
Initial reaction: Not this again. WTF would Simmons know? Why would the Pats get rid of him NOW? Why would they risk pissing off Tom Brady again when they've had a history of giving away his favorite targets? Makes no sense.
Then Mike Lombardi posts that there's some smoke here. It ends with, "but I know the Pats have not given Moss permission to talk a new deal with anyone." See, there ya go. No way the Vikings giving up draft picks for him AND sign him for next year or the next couple of years.
But it went to the next level when Jay Glazer, he of the next-to-impeccable record when it comes to breaking these things, says they are DEFINITELY talking trade.
Getting Glazer's blessing on this was like getting your dad's permission to spend all day at the arcade. In other words, I'm delirious, past the point of logical thinking, although in the back of my head I'm thinking, "If it's anything more than a 4, it's too much." Then I wake up this morning and find out the deal is done. Ho-lee shit.
(An incredibly boring story from my perspective, I know, and this probably makes for dull-as-dishwater reading, I know, but I'm maintaining this for continuity's sake when I read it a billion years from now when I want to know what happened during the 2010 season. In other words, I write for me! FOR ME!!)
Screw the negatives, I'm all in. I'm fully aware that I'm in Fanboi-Mode, and I'm fully aware that I may regret being so happy about this (it's still the Vikings after all), but it's Randy friggin Moss. 1998. 2007. Transcendent years. Difference maker. Game changer. RANDY MOSS.
Now, tackling the perceived negatives of this trade:
Attitude problems. Moss has openly always wanted to play with Favre, going back to 2006 when Favre begging the Packers to make a deal for him. Also, Moss is the biggest frontrunner ever. A few deep balls, a few touchdowns and a few wins will cure those woes.
Childress will screw it up. You mean like he screwed up last year's offense, which saw Favre have one of his best seasons ever, Peterson run for 1300+ yards and 18 TDs, Rice go for 1300+ yards and 8 TDs, and Harvin average almost 28 yards every kick return with 2 TDs? Not buying it. He'll stick to screwing up the clock and challenges, a la Andy Reid.
There's only one ball to go around. Ties into the attitude problems, but Peterson is a boy scout. Rice has wanted a contract extension but he's smart enough (or has a savvy enough agent) to keep it out of the public eye. (Haven't heard about it since August, for example. Even then it was only once.) Harvin is a trooper. This HELPS a lot more than anything for obvious reasons - one less guy in the box, Harvin will see less double teams, Shiancoe will own the middle, Berrian won't see the field, you get the idea.
A 3rd round pick is too much.
2010 - No pick (Traded up for Toby Gerhart)
2009 - Asher Allen (Decent nickel corner)
2008 - No pick (Traded for Jared Allen)
2007 - Marcus McCauley (Out of football)
2006 - No pick (Traded up for Tarvaris Jackson)
2005 - Dustin Fox (Loooong out of football)
2004 - Darrion Scott (Contributed a bit but now out of football)
2003 - Nate Burleson
You get the idea. You have to go back to 1987 when they took Henry Thomas in the 3rd to find a real impact player. The only other reason to be against giving up a 3 is that it gives them one less asset to trade up in the 2011 draft to get a legit QB of the future like Andrew Luck or Ryan Mallet.
This means Rice is behind schedule. Brought up by a commenter at the esteemed Big Lead blog. There's probably some truth to this, but if anything, it allows them to play it that much safer with him, and that's fine. Back on September 21, Rice originally targeted Week 8 against New England for his return. If they need to protect him an extra two weeks, so be it.
And yes, I still have my Moss jersey from 1998. You bet your ass I'm wearing it this Monday night.
Addendum: What about a new contract? Moss is 33, but has always hinted at early retirement, so it's tough to tell what kind of deal he wants, whether its just 2 extra years or more. If they do sign him after this year, you can kiss the younger and cheaper Sidney Rice goodbye. I'm inclined to think Moss is just a rental, and I'm totally fine with that.
No bye week? Really interesting point from SI.com's Don Banks -
"I just thought of one big loser in the Moss deal, and that's Moss's 33-year-old body. If everything goes as planned, Moss will wind up playing 17 games in the regular season, because the Vikings just took their bye in Week 4, and the Patriots are about to take theirs in Week 5. With Moss now in Minnesota, he'll wind up playing four games for New England and 13 for the Vikings."