Moss, who did not have a reception in New England's 41-14 win over the Dolphins Monday night, has voiced his displeasure with the Patriots because he has not received a contract extension. The seven-time Pro Bowl receiver is currently in the final year of a three-year contract, worth $27 million.
The Vikings are in desperate need at wide receiver. Pro Bowl receiver Sidney Rice is currently out with a hip injury and second-year wideout Percy Harvin has been dealing with migraine headaches since training camp, according to the Associated Press. Minnesota is 1-2 in the NFC North and will face the New York Jets next Monday night at the new Meadowlands Stadium. Moss has already beaten Jets defensive back Darrelle Revis for a touchdown reception in the second week of this season. Revis was injured on the play, but could return for the Vikings game.
The trade also brings up the question: Who will replace Moss in the Patriots' offense? Moss is arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, and teams regularly put two defenders on him. Moss had 50 touchdowns in 52 games. If teams no longer have to worry about Moss deep, how much will the Patriots' short passing game suffer? What does Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady think about losing a key receiver?
It's hard to escape the conclusion that this will weaken the Patriots' offense, as ESPN writer Tim Graham says, there's "something amiss with Randy Moss trade." Is there something not yet revealed about this deal?
Certainly, slot receiver Wes Welker could see more passes thrown his way in the short term. Trading Moss now could signal the ascendancy of Patriots second-year receiver Brandon Tate, who has sparkled early this season with a pair of kickoff returns for touchdowns, including one on Monday night. Also, Julian Edelman, who saw action last year in Welker's absence, could find himself on the field more this fall.