None of that is true.
That’s the thing with rumors. You can’t always believe everything you read on the Internet, see on TV or hear from your wife’s brother’s best friend’s mechanic.
Moss is like E.F. Hutton. When he talks, the whole world listens. That’s because he doesn’t talk much anymore. So anytime he speaks, his words get dissected more than a frog in seventh-grade biology class.
That was the case a few weeks ago. Moss caused a stir at a charity softball game by saying he thought the 2010 season would be his last in New England. His contract expires at the end of the upcoming campaign, and he doesn’t believe the Patriots will extend him.
Immediately, his comments were under the microscope.
Some questioned his decision to air private business in public.
Others speculated that Moss wanted a first-class ticket out of Foxboro, and by admitting that the “Patriots don’t really pay,” he would get his wish.
Before long, whispers of a Moss-to-Cowboys swap surfaced.
The Patriots have to talk to Moss — if they haven’t already — and get clarification on what he meant. Sure, the wide receiver could have an agenda or ulterior motives. Maybe he wanted to plant the seed of controversy. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. He could have just been being honest about how he felt.
The Patriots gave him a three-year, $27 million deal the last time they sat down at the negotiating table, which isn’t exactly chump change. They could offer him an extension at the end of this season.
Jumping to conclusions isn’t going to be productive for anyone.
Moss still can be an asset for the Patriots. He caught 83 passes for 1,264 yards in 2009. He led the team with 13 touchdown receptions and played much of the year with a separated shoulder. Now that Wes Welker is recovering from knee surgery, Tom Brady is going to need all the weapons he can find.
The last thing the Patriots should be thinking about is clearing out Randy Moss’ locker. Even if he threatens to sit out the season, they should not trade him. Under any circumstances.
The team has leverage. With Moss in a contract year, the 33-year-old is going to want to put up big numbers. He will only hurt himself and limit his earning power if he starts any trouble. He’s matured too much to jeopardize his future.
There will always be those who question his work ethic and attitude, but Moss is a future Hall of Famer. And Hall of Fame wideouts are a rare breed. Of the 268 bronze busts in Canton, only 21 are receivers. Jerry Rice will make 22 this July.
Why would the Patriots want to say goodbye to one of the best at his position in NFL history?
The Patriots need to be adding receivers, not getting rid of them.
So the next Moss trade rumor you hear this season, file in the garbage. That’s where it belongs.