I think Monday Night's performance directly led to this. He stopped being the hard working-high character guy that Hoodie always goes after. And he's always been willing to let a guy go a little too early than stay with him a little too long. Hoodie probably figured that he'd rather have Tate running deep routes than a half-assed sulking Moss. Only time will tell on this one. Moss has pulled this stunt before (the whole expiring contract vs team doesn't appreciate me bit) and the Patriots knew where it was gonna lead.
The funny thing is that Moss once again acted negatively and WAS REWARDED FOR IT! After doing that with the Raiders he was put on a Super Bowl caliber team and he went on to break records with Brady (and was a huge part of one of the best teams in history). So now he goes back to Miiny...where he should actually receive a warm welcome from the team AND the fans. He goes to a team with a great D, a future Hall of Fame QB that mastered the corner of the endzone fade-route and like to chuck it up and let the receiver make the play, they have a great O-line, an All-Pro Tailback, An electric slot guy in Harvin, a great TE...what else could Moss ask for?!?!? And it just cost the Vikings a 3rd rounder?!?!? The Vikings are probably getting Favre's last season right now, and they have 17 Free agents at the end of the season. Do or die.
Also - with The Great Draft Pick Hoarder - the trade of Moss, the Patriots now have eight selections in the first four rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft—two in the first, second, third, and fourth rounds respectively! So what's the deal? Are they gonna actually use all those on draft day? Or will the cunning and shrewd Hoody use them as tools to get what (who) he wants? I go with the second one.
What about Vincent Jackson? 6 years younger...still in his prime, still an All-Pro (and probably more so on the Patriots). Reportedly the Chargers' asking price of two second-round picks was dropped to a second-round pick in 2011 and a fourth-round pick in 2012. The Patriots could ship the Chargers a second and fourth in the 2011 draft and still have an overabundance of selections in the first four rounds. Still seems like a long shot. The Patriots would also need to sign Jackson to a big money contract. They just got rid of Moss because they weren't willing to do that. Why would they hand Jackson a contract they didn't want to give Moss and surrender two draft picks to do so?
Last year they traded down a TON, as it's usually been par for the course. And they drafted 3 defenders who are all starting (2 back to back from the same school - Florida's DE Jermaine Cunningham (2nd Round and LB Brandon Spikes (2nd Round)). Can't say they don't know what they're doing on draft day. But to go the other direction and play Devil's advocate here...the 2011 NFL Draft may be chock-full of elite wide receiver prospects. A.J. Green of Georgia, Julio Jones of Alabama, Jonathan Baldwin of Pittsburgh, and Michael Floyd of Notre Dame would all be first-round picks if the draft were to happen today. If the Raiders suck enough this year, the Pats actually draft a WR early on draft day!!! Hard to imagine, but weirder things have happened. I think A.J. Green would be a GREAT replacement for Moss. It's almost impossible to think that the Patriots would ever use those extra picks to TRADE UP to snag A.J. Green. But.....
Ok now - hold on to your seats. Here is the scariest scenario if you are a fan of anyone in the AFC East: They could feasibly do all three of the things previously listed and probably still have selections left over.
If they trade for Jackson, they'll still have two firsts, a second, two thirds, and a fourth-round pick. They can then trade down with their second first-round pick to acquire an extra third or fourth-round pick. Then they could package the two first-round picks they have, as well as whatever extra picks are needed, to move up and select a player they covet, not necessarily A.J. Green.
Chances are they will still have a selection or two remaining in the first four rounds, not to mention all their later round picks, if they were to do all of this.
How intimidating would the Patriots' offense be if they lined up with Tom Brady under center, Vincent Jackson and A.J. Green lined up out wide, and Wes Welker set up in the slot?
Do I feel like a football geek right now for actually working this master-plan out in my head? Yes. Do I wish I got paid to do this? Well yea...but technically I am getting paid for this because I am at work. Amazing in the NFL how 1 trade involving 1 player and a 3rd rounder would have this much impact on how we view things. That's the mark of a TRUE future Hall of Famer.