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Moss leaving the Vikes sidelines...for good?

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Moss leaving the Vikes sidelines...for good?

Postby moochman » Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:32 am

Okay, I'm sure that you Viking fans have been waiting for a thread where you could express your point of views, so here's some fuel. This was E-mailed to me from a Packerbacker buddie of mine, and I'm sure there isn't much to it but read for your self.

Vikings insider: Trading Moss worth talking about softly
Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune
January 16, 2005 VANA0116


The whispers already are beginning. Whenever the Vikings' season ends -- be it today, next week or even Feb. 6 after Super Bowl XXXIX -- the Vikings will address a question they hoped would never surface: Is Randy Moss worth the trouble?

Like every NFL team, the Vikings hold a series of personnel meetings before developing an offseason plan for improving the roster. For seven years, their fundamental starting point was always the same: building around Moss, their once-in-a-lifetime receiving talent. Now, after a two-week stretch in which Moss has embarrassed the organization countless times, that position might change.

While the odds remain that Moss will return in 2005, there are highly placed members of the organization who are exasperated with him. At the very least, they plan to initiate a substantive internal discussion about Moss and his future with the franchise this offseason.


The question remains whether the Moss sideshow will help or hinder the Vikings' development. To be sure, however, team officials will at least establish a price for Moss' services before the free agency/trade period begins in March.

Despite some misinformed reports, the Vikings held an identical discussion last season when the Miami Dolphins, among other teams, inquired about Moss' availability. At the time, the Vikings landed on a king's ransom: three first-round draft choices.
That price is too steep for any NFL team. The Vikings were the last sucker to give up so much for one player, and we all know how the Herschel Walker trade worked out.

Now, the landscape has changed somewhat. Moss is a year older, fell victim to the first serious injury of his career and has reverted to the public deportment of his earlier years that many thought he had left behind.

Most important, the salary cap implications are more favorable for a trade now. Here is the upshot: Moss would count nearly the same amount on the Vikings' 2005 salary cap whether he is on the team or not.

If he remains with the Vikings, Moss' cap number will be $9.5 million. If he is traded, he will count $9 million on the 2005 cap and then be wiped off the Vikings' salary cap books for the final three seasons of the eight-year, $75 million extension he signed in July 2001.

Just as important to a financially strapped franchise, the Vikings would be off the hook for paying the remaining cash on Moss' contract -- $36.5 million, including his 2005 base salary of $7.25 million. Under NFL rules, Moss' new team would be responsible for paying the cash even though he would count on the Vikings' salary cap in 2005.

At the conclusion of their personnel meetings, then, the Vikings will not have decided whether to trade him or not. Rather, they will have determined how exorbitant -- or reasonable -- a price tag he will carry. Some observers suggest fair value for Moss is two first-round picks and a starting player. If the Vikings are determined to deal him, a first-round draft pick and a defensive starter from, say, Brian Billick's Baltimore Ravens could get a deal done.

In Baltimore, Moss would have a coach he presumably likes and a locker room fixture in Ray Lewis to shield him and keep him in line. Whether Moss would want to play with a quarterback like Kyle Boller is a question for later. For now, the talk is just a whisper.

Kevin Seifert is at mailto:kseifert@startribune.com.

2 #1s and a player, would you make that deal?
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Postby Free Bagel » Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:43 am

That article lists the Vikes as "cap-strapped." Wasn't it just this very offseason that Vikigns fans were complaining they were sooooooooooooo far under the cap and unwilling to spend any of it?
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Postby aussieboy » Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:49 am

No way should the Vikings trade Randy. Nor will they. The best WR in the league is untouchable, with or without his percieved off field problems.

The Vikings should trade some of their RB depth in order to improve their team. I cant see any possible way that trading Moss would make their team better. You don't trade one of the best WR ever to play the game because he mooned the GB fans or because he thought the game couldnt be won with 2secs left with an onside kick.
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Postby awwchrist » Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:04 am

We'll take him. 3 first round picks? Done. Koren Robinson and 2 first round picks? Done. Klondike bar? Done.
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Postby FF Newbie » Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:42 am

3 first-round picks is very fair for a player of Moss' caliber. IMO, he's almost untradeable, along with a handful of other players in the league. You can't replace a player like Moss.
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Postby FF Newbie » Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:46 am

I was trying to think of other players in the "untouchable" category. The only other one I can think of is Peyton Manning. Maybe LT2, but there are a lot of quality RBs out there.
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Postby Carolina Culpepper » Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:24 am

You can't trade Moss, Vikes. Lets keep things in perspective here. Moss hadn't done anything controversial for over two years until these last two weeks. Then we have the two recent incidents. The walking off the field was bad and I won't make any excuses for it. But from all accounts it was addressed directly by his team-mates (as it should have been) and is a finished deal. Incedently I have been amazed that nobody has mentioned that in one of the Vikings Super Bowl losses All-pro defensive end and Hall of Famer, Alan Page, walked off the field early. Bud Grant and the Viking management had the wisdom to not make a big deal out of it. The second situation with Moss this year, "the infamous Mooning" I think was so totally blown out of proportion that it bordered on the ridiculous. I don't even consider that a problem.

Meanwhile in the same week, one of the best coaches in the NFL and all around classy guy, Tony Dungy, put Moss's value in perspective when he said that he might truly be the most valuable player in the NFL and impacts the game more than any other. You don't trade that kind of person away. Any one who watched the Vikes this year could see just how different an offensive team they were in the games that Moss was injured.

Contrary to that article, the Vikings ARE UNDER CAP. Their problems are all on the Defensive side of the ball and, more specifically, focused at linebacker. This situation could so easily be fixed. All we need is for the owner, Red McCombs, to dip into his huge pile of cash and sign one or two quality linebackers or defensive stars and you would see a 12-4 Super Bowl season in 2005. That is the difference between us and Philly. They signed Kearse and Trotter in the offseason. Alas, I have absolutely no confidence that Red will do this.....
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Postby moochman » Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:25 am

awwchrist wrote:We'll take him. 3 first round picks? Done. Koren Robinson and 2 first round picks? Done. Klondike bar? Done.


Wouldn't that be Koren Bobbleson and 4 first round picks?

And regarding the cap issue, I think the reason for trading him isn't so much a cap issue but simple prying the coin out of Red's pocket.

"Just as important to a financially strapped franchise, the Vikings would be off the hook for paying the remaining cash on Moss' contract -- $36.5 million, including his 2005 base salary of $7.25 million."

Dread McCombs want to sell the team and I think he may feel that keeping a low overhead will bloat the books and make it look even more profitible.

Mostly it's just smoke, IMO, but were it to happen I hope the idiots in the front office remember that you never trade within your division.
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Postby Free Bagel » Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:59 am

aussieboy wrote:The Vikings should trade some of their RB depth in order to improve their team.


Everyone says this, but honestly I don't think they can get ANYTHING for any of those guys.

Just looks at it from the other team's perspective. There are a plethora of RB's available in FA and the draft this year, and what you're looking at in the Vikes is a handful of RB's that have put up mediocre numbers in perhaps the best offense in the league, with one of the best O-lines.

A guy like Henry could be had for likely a 2nd rounder, and several others could be had without giving anything up. Where does that leave the value of the Minn. Rb's?
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Postby Goatwhacker » Mon Jan 17, 2005 12:05 pm

It's no secret I don't care for Randy Moss, so my opinion may be biased. There is no such thing as an untouchable player (manning probably comes the closest). If the Vikings can improve themselves by dealing Moss, then that's what they should do.

In the case of Moss, although he is the best WR in the game today, he does carry some negatives. I don't know how he is regarded by his teammates, probably none of us do unless we have a spy in the locker room. I can certainly see some potential for his being possibly disruptive to the team.

The thing that bugs me about Moss is that at times he doesn't appear to me to be giving his best effort. To use a baseball analogy, he doesn't seem to run out the ground balls like he should. I know some of this had to do with his injuries, but there were times this year where Culpepper would be out of the pocket and Moss wasn't making any effort to come back to the ball, he would just kind of give up on his pattern. This kind of behavior doesn't usually endear someone to their teammates and can spread.

So yeah, the guy is supremely talented but he also carries some baggage. Whether that baggage is enough to consider a trade, only Vikes insiders know for sure.
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