Tom Brady’s Assumed Approval of Randy Moss Trade Speaks Volumes and 19 Other Thoughts


Tom Brady's Assumed Approval of Randy Moss Trade Speaks Volumes and 19 Other Thoughts Because the trade of Randy Moss has caused such a wide range of emotion and opinion, let's bust out a special edition of the Two-Minute Drill and just lay out 20 sporadic thoughts about one of the most bizarre trades in Patriots history.

1. Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall owns the last Patriots jersey ever worn by Moss. After Monday night's game, Moss and Marshall exchanged jerseys and autographed them for one another. At this point, you wonder if Moss knew that was it, or if it was just a sign of respect between two guys who share a position.

2. The Patriots saved a few million dollars by trading Moss, but if this was a financially driven trade, it would have been executed prior to training camp, before Moss could have rekindled that bond with his teammates. New England's ownership would have detailed a budget prior to the season, and it would have included a number of different scenarios, including Brady's pending extension, Logan Mankins' contract situation and the budget in store for players who weren't yet on their radar.

3. Moss and de facto offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien have never really seen eye to eye. But according to a source, it was tough for the Patriots' offensive players to stay in sync with O'Brien in 2009, including quarterback Tom Brady.

4. This trade makes it likely rookie third-round pick Taylor Price will be on the 45-man roster for the first time this season. He's missed one game after showing up on the injury report with an ankle issue, and Price has been a healthy scratch three times.

5. If the Patriots traded Moss in July or August, I wonder if David Patten would have thought differently about his future with the team.

6. And, if Torry Holt heals up, this could open the doors for a reunion later in the season.

7. The Dolphins changed part of their defensive philosophy Monday night, as they kept cornerback Vontae Davis on Moss throughout the game. Typically, Miami keeps Davis on the same side of the field, which is similar to how the Patriots use their corners. So while Moss didn’t have a statistical impact, he did force the Dolphins to account for him.

8. Without Moss in the lineup, defenses will start to key in on Wes Welker, but most cornerbacks are used to staying out wide, as opposed to the slot. It might be a game-by-game, team-by-team thing with the opposition's plan for Welker, but even if Welker doesn't draw the defense's top cornerback, he'll most certainly draw more bracketed coverages and double teams.

9. What exactly is a third-round pick worth? Head coach Bill Belichick's 11 third-round selections since 2000 have been running back J.R. Redmond (2000), defensive back Brock Williams (2001), defensive back Guss Scott (2004), cornerback Ellis Hobbs (2005), offensive lineman Nick Kaczur (2005), tight end David Thomas (2006), linebacker Shawn Crable (2008), quarterback Kevin O'Connell (2008), wide receiver Brandon Tate (2009), linebacker Tyrone McKenzie (2009) and wide receiver Taylor Price (2010).

10. Of those last five third-rounders, they've played a total of nine games, including O'Connell's two appearances in 2008 in mop-up duty for Matt Cassel. Tate has accounted for six of those games, while Crable made his NFL debut in Week 3 this season, and McKenzie and Price are still waiting for their first action.

11. One person within the organization called the Moss situation this season "weird." Moss was popular with his teammates, but there was a definite rift with the front office.

12. In Moss' first three full seasons with the Patriots, he rarely spoke to the media and would often quickly decline interview requests in the locker room. After his Week 1 postgame episode, though, something changed. While Moss still rarely spoke to the media on the record, he did spend more time shooting the breeze with the media in the locker room.

13. You'd have to believe Tom Brady signed off on this trade, and if that's true, that might be the most damning indictment on Moss as it gets.

14. If it's not true, the Patriots pulled a fast one by making the trade after locking up Brady's contract extension.

15. If the Patriots light up the Ravens' defense after the bye week, set the over-under on times you hear "Randy who?" to a billion.

16. Vikings quarterback Brett Favre has shown his vengeful side in the last three years, so you can bet he'll do everything in his power to help Moss stick it to the Pats on Halloween.

17. The trade could potentially turn tight end Aaron Hernandez into more of a wide receiver, and that in turn could give Rob Gronkowski more snaps in the traditional tight end role — lining up next to a tackle. Brady said a few weeks ago he hoped to get Gronkowski more passes, and this could help that cause.

18. It will be of the utmost importance for Tate to remain on the same page as Brady. Tate has exceptional athletic ability, but Brady has gotten in his ear at times for running the wrong route, or to make better adjustments to his route. Tate will have to grow up even more quickly, and he could potentially have to do it while drawing the opposition's best cornerback.

19. Is there anyone who doesn't think the 2011 third-rounder will get traded for a 2012 second-rounder?

20. The notion that the Patriots "got something" for Moss, who would have left in free agency, is a little overblown. You know who "gets something" by unloading pending free agents? Baseball teams on July 31, not football teams that have 75 percent of their games remaining. However, if the Patriots had come to the conclusion that they were ready to flat-out release Moss if a trade couldn’t be reached, they're probably beaming over the third-round pick they acquired.

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