Why Moss trade makes sense for Vikings

Posted Oct. 05, 2010 @ 11:13 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

The Vikings and Patriots have pulled off a shocker of a trade involving WR Randy Moss.

From the Vikings' standpoint, it makes sense.

They were deep in talks with the Chargers for WR Vincent Jackson two weeks ago, showing how desperate they are to find receiving help for QB Brett Favre. Not landing Jackson felt like a failure for some team officials, as it was believed that few other receivers of his caliber would be available prior to the trade deadline.

All indications are that this will be Favre's final season in the NFL, and the team wants to give him — and the Vikings — every chance of winning it all.

Favre was irked in 2007 when his then-team, the Packers, failed to land Moss from the Raiders. The Patriots offered a fourth-round pick then and acquired Moss, who immediately helped them get to the Super Bowl that season.

There is little doubt that Favre was 100 percent behind the trade for Moss, a player he admired from within the division for years when the Packers and Vikings played twice per year.

With Sidney Rice still on crutches and Percy Harvin a question mark with a hip injury and chronic migraines, landing Moss will be a big help. What made Favre successful with Rice last season was the ability to throw the deep jump ball to the taller receiver and have him go up and make a play. Moss isn't quite the same type of receiver, more of a deep-ball specialist than a physical battler, however.

But Moss will add a vertical threat to tilt the field — a necessary ingredient for the balanced offense that they have not had to date this season.

Any offense with Favre, Moss, Adrian Peterson and Harvin will have to be taken seriously. It might not click immediately, with Moss needing to pick up the Vikings' system and build a rapport with his new quarterback. But adding a weapon of his caliber almost certainly will change the way teams defend the Vikings.

The compensation — a third-round pick — is something the Vikings were more than willing to part with. Head coach Brad Childress has been desperate to land a front-line receiving threat while the Super Bowl window remains open. It might strike some as a slightly foolish risk, especially considering they now will have to pay three receivers (Moss is a free agent after the season with no extension with the Vikings close to being done) and because of Moss' colored history with the organization. But that was a different head coach and a different owner. Six years in NFL terms is a long time.

And anytime you have a chance to go for a title, wise NFL people will tell you that you take it and ask questions later. That appears to be exactly the Vikings' thinking: They are taking a dance with the devil and going for broke.