Can The Patriots Keep Randy Moss Motivated?
Is there a better way to kick off the 2010 NFL season than with a little Randy Moss drama? Or might you prefer a win?
Well lucky for the Patriots, they didn’t have to choose Sunday.
Soon after New England’s 38-24 win over Cincinnati, Moss made a statement to the press, essentially saying he doesn’t think he’ll be a Patriot after this season.
Sunday’s statement came after reports last week that Moss felt “unwanted” in New England, which came after the Patriots made a certain teammate of his the highest paid player in the NFL.
Moss is in the final year of his three-year, $27 million contract with the Patriots and said it would be like “a slap in the face” if he didn’t get a new contract before the offseason.
But rest assured Patriot fans, Moss said that despite his unhappiness, he doesn’t plan on “toning down” his game. Not like last time. Or the time before that.
This isn’t the first time Moss has taken issue with an NFL team. He wasn’t happy at the end of his career in Minnesota when he would walk off the field before the games ended, and he wasn’t happy in Oakland when he averaged just 42.5 yards per game.
Moss has averaged over 1,000 receiving yards in each of his NFL seasons except two: his last year in Minnesota, when he had 767, and his last year in Oakland, when he had just 553. And his three touchdown catches his last year as a Raider were the lowest number of catches in his career (though, to be fair…it was the Raiders).
Moss’ lack of productivity in his second season with the Raiders prompted a trade to New England…for a fourth round draft pick.
In his first three seasons in New England, Moss caught 99 more receptions and 23 more touchdown passes and gained nearly 1,500 more receiving yards than he did in the three previous seasons with Oakland and Minnesota.
But never mind all that. It’s in the past. Since joining the Patriots, Randy Moss has ceased all shenanigans and, for the most part, has let his talent outshine his bad reputation.
His teammates like him, his coaches like him and, most importantly, he likes them. He wants to retire a Patriot.
So what’s the problem? Oh, the contract thing.
To his credit, Moss never promised the Raiders or the Vikings that he wouldn’t tone down his game if and when times got tough. So if New England is as lucky as they were this past weekend, Moss will stay true to his word and play at the same caliber he has been for the past three years until he gets his new contract -- whether it’s with the Patriots or not.
To reach writer Kamille Simmons, click here.
Sign up for Neon Tommy's weekly e-mail newsletter.