Would you trade a 3rd Round pick in the upcoming NFL draft for one of the best receivers in the NFL?
Most people would probably answer yes to that question and clearly Brad Childress and the Minnesota Vikings have no problem with that at all. It almost seems like the Pats were too happy to get rid of Moss by settling for only a 3rd Round pick. At the very least it would make sense for the Patriots to find a team that might finish with a poor record in order to get a better overall pick if they had predetermined that the cost of Randy was a 3rd Rounder. It's just surprising that they would be so willing to part with a guy who is just as much a pro-bowl receiver today and possibly the 2nd best receiver ever.
This past off-season the Miami Dolphins gave the Denver Broncos their 2nd Round picks in the next two Drafts. By all accounts Brandon Marshall is currently one of the top receivers in the NFL. He has more long term potential than Randy Moss does but it could certainly be argued that for at least the next 3 years or so Randy Moss and Brandon Marshall will bring roughly the same amount of value to their teams. So why the discrepancy in cost?
Both Moss and Marshall are in the market for new contracts so that should really differentiate. Moss is approaching the tail end of his career and probably only has a few years left at the elite level while Marshall is just coming into his prime. Even so, they are both still top notch receivers and given Moss's "ability to preserve himself" by either not trying or appropriating his energy very efficiently could theoretically prolong his career. Marshall should cost more due to his youth and career length ahead of him but probably not THAT much more.
Initially I wanted to look at the last two 2nd Round picks by Miami and compare it to the last third round pick from the Vikings to judge what the overall talent was but as the draft will do several of those picks were not only questionable but traded away.
- Miami's 2nd Rd pick - Pat White - QB - WVU
-Miami's 2nd Rd pick - Sergio Kindle - OLB - Texas (pick was traded to Baltimore)
-Minnesota's 3rd Rd pick - Tony Moeaki - TE - Iowa (pick was traded to KC)
Even though Moeaki is having by far the best career of any of those guys it's safe to say that on the day they were drafted Pat White and Sergio Kindle were significantly more desirable players.
My point comes down a question of what's not there. Which as far as anyone can tell is Randy Moss's penchant for steering a little too far away from "The Patriot Way." Either through acting out, or talking too much in press conference's, or having the audacity to ask for a contract to pays like he deserves and extends beyond the current year. Maybe the Pats feel like they can get the same performance through several guys or perhaps one guy that they don't have to pay $10 Million a year? We don't really know or have any way or finding out short of getting a straight answer out of Belichick (good luck.) What we do know is that they seem to have really sold him for cheap.
The person or entity who this would seem to have really effected the most, outside of poor poor Tom Brady, is probably Vincent Jackson, who is currently busy not playing for the San Diego Chargers, or rather the team trying to trade for him. Jackson is also a top flight WR has been pining for a new contract over the last season and Chargers GM AJ Smith has been adamantly against giving him one. Until this Moss trade it would have been fair to reason that the Brandon Marshall move established the market for elite WRs. It will probably still be a solid basis for what the market is once he returns from suspension (moron) and is once again eligible to be traded after the season. However, now that Moss only went for a 3rd, it would stand to reason that teams will point that out while negotiating away from two 2nd Rd picks.
Could Bill Belichick's disdain for outspoken players have seriously degraded the market value for the league's top Wide Receivers?