The Patriots often force us to suspend belief. Going undefeated for a full regular season, winning a Super Bowl with malcontent Corey Dillon and winning three titles in four years with a sixth-round quarterback would have seemed impossible if we hadn't seen them all happen.
Even with that in mind, it seems far-fetched that the Patriots offered wide receiver Randy Moss a one-year deal just before his retirement, as NFL analyst Cris Carter said Monday on ESPN. Carter and Moss were teammates in Minnesota for four seasons from 1998 to 2001.
"What I think forced it was, No. 1, New England trading for [Chad] Ochocino," Carter said. "That's the No. 1 place he wanted to go to. His biggest problem with New England was he didn't want a one-year deal. New England wanted to sign him to a one-year deal. As you can see, New England gave Chad that three-year deal."
As with anything involving Bill Belichick, even the most outlandish sometimes has to be taken seriously. This doesn't seem to fall in that category.
To begin with, there's no clear motivation on the Patriots' part. They shoved Moss away last season for a third-round draft pick, and both sides burned every bridge that might let him back into Foxboro. (Yeah, Foxboro's landlocked. It's a metaphor. Try to keep up.)
The part about Moss rejecting a one-year deal makes even less sense. If he still wanted to play football, and no team offered a multi-year contract, a one-year deal would be preferable to calling it quits. If you're starving, and someone offers you Spaghetti-O's, you don't decline it in the hope that someone will offer you filet mignon.
Carter went on to say that Moss was also interested in signing with the Jets, who signed another controversial receiver, Plaxico Burress, to a one-year deal. This is all very convenient; both teams Moss was "interested" in joining provided decent excuses as to why it wouldn't work out.
The most likely explanation, though, has nothing to do with contract terms. It's probably this: No team felt Moss was worth the trouble anymore. That's why he's finished.