Why the Randy Moss outrage?
I don't understand the problem that some people have with the Patriots picking up Randy Moss. Here's what I know:
- The Patriots have built a successful team and great goodwill in the community partly due to the high-character players they have. They have not gotten into trouble on or off the field, and they don't embarrass the organization.
- The Patriots have shown that they can absorb 'trouble' players and make them productive without disrupting the positive team chemistry. Positive examples are Bryan Cox, Corey Dillon, and Rodney Harrison. I can't think of an example of a 'bad boy' who has come in and had a negative impact on the team's image.
- The Patriots didn't need to get Randy Moss. They had already significantly upgraded their receivers during the offseason. If he causes trouble, I have no doubt that the Patriots will have the guts to cut him.
- The Patriots are taking no financial risk on Randy Moss's contract. He reportedly gave up his $9M+ deal and took a $3.5M deal with no up-front bonus. If Randy gets caught running over another meter maid with pot in his car this summer, he's gone and the Pats spent nothing more than a 4th round pick. Now, I don't think that Randy had a chance of collecting on his existing contract. The Raiders would cut him rather than pay him. So, Randy was smart enough to know that he had to give up something.
- The Patriots only risk here is a 4th round pick. But, they have lots of draft picks this year and more next year. They were already trading away this year's picks, so they must not be too excited about the talent available. They could use some more linebacker and defensive backfield depth, but they didn't pick a lot of players at those positions with their remaining picks anyway.
So, the real issue is that some people don't like Randy Moss and the fact that he has caused trouble and has dogged it on the field. It bothers people that Randy is getting another chance on their beloved Patriots. Unfortunately, when you have talent like Randy, you keep getting those chances. Why shouldn't the Patriots, who are just trying to win another Super Bowl, risk their 4th round pick and no guaranteed money to see if this will work? With just a one year deal, Randy has every incentive to behave. If he dogs in on the field, he can explain that to Tom Brady and Richard Seymour. If it becomes too much, he'll get cut and the Pats are still in good shape. But, if he returns to his All-Pro form with a bit of effort, the Pats offense will be as explosive as it ever has been.
I don't think that Patriots fans should be high and mighty abut the positive qualities of their team. Randy will have to live up to this. If he doesn't, the Pats can let him go with no risk. If he does, it's a big win. What's not to like?