Given that the Patriots just traded away their best deep threat without getting any immediate return for it, I think most football fans would be right in assuming some kind of personality factor must have come into play.
Randy Moss already publicly voiced his displeasure with the team earlier this year. ESPN reported that Moss had a heated exchange with QB coach Bill O’Brien at halftime of the Dolphins game. Former Pats wideout Troy Brown says Moss openly gave coach Bill Belichick the silent treatment. And our guy Florio reported an unnamed source saying Moss ”p--sed off” Belichick at every turn.
So tell us, Coach Belichick. Did any of these things factor into Moss getting sent packing?
"There was never any incident or discipline problem with Randy, there never has been one with me in four years," Belichick said during a press conference addressing the deal. "It certainly wasn't about contract and money, I think Randy showed and proved from the first year he was here what that was all about. He [re-did] his contract and made the whole [trade from Oakland] work. I think you can eliminate those two things."
So then, why did you trade him?
”In the end, it was a difficult decision, but one that I feel is in the best interest of the football team.”
Yes. But how?
”I have confidence in our players, that if they continue to work hard and improve that we'll be competitive and be able to win games. That's what we're here to do -- win games. We've won more games than any other team in the last decade. Hopefully we'll continue to win them going forward. That's what we're here for."
BUT THAT DOESN’T EXPLAIN ANYTHING!
Listen, we all know the drill with Belichick by now. He isn’t going to say anything. He won’t even acknowledge his presence in a room when he’s clearly in it. WHAT? ME? IN THIS ROOM? NO, NO, I’M NOT HERE AT ALL! He’s not going to give anything away.
But New England fans deserve something a bit more than this. If Belichick’s reasoning for trading Moss was that he thought Brandon Tate could do his job, or because he wants to stockpile draft picks, then at least say THAT. Give people a reason not to loathe this trade. Otherwise, people will just assume you’re lying through your teeth, and that Moss has spent the past three weeks cursing out towel boys and painting the locker room with dog urine.
You can get away with being Mr. Evasive when you’re making all the right moves, as Belichick has done in the past. But this is a legitimately bad move that makes the Patriots, who are 3-1 and in clear contention, worse for this season. There needs to be an explanation. You can’t just say you did what was best and think everyone will sit there and take it. Because no one buys that contracts or personality didn’t factor in. And if they weren’t a factor, then the trade is even dopier.
I don’t think Belichick is one of these guys who believes every player on his team has to be an angel. But I do think he’s a guy who has limits as to how much crap he’s willing to take from one player, particularly one with one foot out the door. That’s the only viable reason to cripple his own team like this, and it would be nice if he didn’t try and play the Jedi Mind Trick on you every time he spoke about it.