With the news that the Vikings have acquired Randy Moss for a third round pick and no intentions of signing him to an extension, it’s clearer than ever that Minnesota has pushed all of its chips to the middle of the table. They’re all in.
As for 2010, the Vikings are obviously a better team with Moss. If he is basically a rent-a-player for the remainder of the season, he will be motivated to prove he deserves one more payday. He’ll need to get in synch with Favre quickly if he wants to prove he deserves $9-10 million per year. Reportedly, Moss was “shocked” to be traded. Without a new deal, he would be a potential headache for a new team. Minnesota is the one place you don’t expect that to happen. He has a shot at his first ring here.
Moss provides a missing ingredient in the Vikings offense–the ability to stretch a defense. The Vikings offense has been dink and dunk through three weeks, in part due to the lack of Sidney Rice, in part due to Favre’s rustiness. Speaking of Rice, this trade speaks volumes about the severity of Rice’s hip injury. They clearly weren’t assuming Rice would be able to step onto the field and be the Pro Bowler he was last year–at least right away.
The trade makes things much more interesting in the NFC North. Packer fans are thinking, hmmm, the Vikings offense had a clearcut hole and they went out and plugged it. How come our team never does that? Let’s not forget, they surrendered a third rounder in this deal–a steep price for a guy who will only play 13 games for you. I don’t see any way they pay Moss big bucks, not with Rice still holding his hand out and Harvin not far behind.
Things just got a bit tougher for the Pack in their bid to unseat the purple atop the North. The trade doesn’t address the Vikings’ issues on the offensive line, where they are vulnerable at center and have gotten mediocre play at tackle. But their offense has a chance to look a bit more like last year’s edition. And that offense gave the Packers problems. Twice.