The Vikings swung the trade for WR Randy Moss with one caveat — they did not get to extend his current deal.
That facet was a key element in any trade the team wanted to make with Chargers WR Vincent Jackson, so it will be interesting to see how things progress with Moss and money.
There’s little doubt that Moss wants to make top-receiver money. He made $9 million per year over his three-year extension with the Patriots and certainly won’t want to go too much below that on a per-year average.
One reason why the Patriots had to settle on a third-round pick was because Moss was entering the final year of his deal and because he is set to turn 33.
The age is less of an issue than the contract, and now the Vikings are faced with a tough situation. In the next three years, they will have to dole out a pretty penny to three receivers — Moss, Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin — and cut their losses with another one in Bernard Berrian, who is costing $6.4 million this season and is on the books for nearly $4 million more next year.
Can they afford that? Certainly, they might not be paying QB Brett Favre, he of the $20 million deal this year. But they likely would have to invest some of that money back into another quarterback, and we don’t yet know what the NFL’s salary structure will be in 2011 with no new Collective Bargaining Agreement on the horizon.
The Patriots were hesitant to pay Moss the first time around, and they clearly had made their minds up they were not going to re-sign him after this season, hence the trade. So will the Vikings be willing to offer a long-term deal to lock up a future Hall of Famer for the rest of his career when three teams now — including themselves, in 2004 — have let this guy walk for a value that is nowhere commensurate with his football value?
It will be the most interesting non-football-related question that pertains to this trade from the Vikings’ perspective.