Patriots’ Price could benefit from Moss trade

Posted Oct. 06, 2010 @ 10:40 a.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

There are dozens of moving parts with Wednesday’s trade of WR Randy Moss to the Vikings.

From the Patriots’ side of things, they remain a viable offense with QB Tom Brady pulling the trigger. WR Wes Welker and three young playmakers — WR Brandon Tate and TEs Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski — have shown they can contribute readily, and all three will see work added to their plates.

But don’t forget about rookie WR Taylor Price.

Price, the third-round pick who has been inactive the first four games, now will have his timetable sped up significantly. The original thinking with Price was that the team essentially could “redshirt” him like it did with Tate last season. Tate was coming off a knee injury and played in only two games.

And Price was held back by the fact that he played in a simplistic passing offense last year at Ohio and was unable to attend the Patriots’ OTAs because of the school’s quarters system. Now with Moss gone, Price might be asked to contribute quicker than anyone thought he had to.

In this offense, he would not be more than a fourth receiver this season, even with the void at receiver. But he has 4.4 speed and at least can mimic an element of the offense that is gone with Moss a Viking.

Sources close to the team think Price can add something this season. Welker, Tate, Hernandez and Gronkowski are the more prominent options right now. But there’s a chance Price will get a good opportunity down the stretch, bumping up another spot on the team’s WR totem pole.