Andrew's answers: Tuesday's mailbag
What is with this whole mess with Randy Moss? Why’s he getting cut after the Vikings gave up a 3rd round pick?
Randy Moss will be waived by the Vikings today. The Vikings decided yesterday but waited until today to complete the formality. It is not clear why the team was told yesterday yet the transaction was not made. Perhaps they were unable to contact Randy by the time of the waiver wire. The Vikings also don't mind letting the other 31 teams have another day to marinate on making a waiver claim for Moss and taking the $3.39 million financial burden off their hands (more below).
It’s interesting that Randy’s Rant: Part II occurred in the exact venue that Randy’s Rant Part I did: Gillette Stadium. Moss vented his way out of New England and was the shipped to Minnesota, fulfilling his longtime wish of playing with old friend Brett Favre.
Now Moss is cold product in Minnesota four weeks after the much-heralded acquisition. The Vikings (or at least the head coach of the Vikings) decided he had seen enough, flushing away the third-round pick they gave up in the process.
It's not clear why Brad Childress felt compelled to shed Randy rather than discipline him for his comments. The team could have pursued a large fine and/or suspension in the "conduct detrimental" category for the Rant: Part II which showed some insubordination. Childress probably felt that no Randy Moss was better than a sullen and divisive Randy Moss that could affect and infect young players in the locker room.
This is obviously not the first time the Vikings rid themselves of Moss, although in 2005 they received the seventh overall pick in the 2005 Draft and Napoleon Harris from the Raiders. Team officials told me of his sense of entitlement, selfishness and bad influence on younger players back then. Perhaps they thought that somehow Randy had changed over the past five years. Evidently not.
What are the financial implications of cutting Moss?
As we are past the October 20th trading deadline, all players are now subject to the waiver wire and the claiming priority. Moss has nine weeks left on his 2010 salary of $6.4 million (the Vikings paid Moss $1.5 million for his trouble), a prorated amount of $3.39 million. If claimed, the claiming team would assume the same contract that the Vikings had assumed from the Patriots -- the final year of a three-year $27 million deal -- and pay the $376,471 weekly amount.
If Moss goes unclaimed, he can then file for termination pay as a vested veteran at the end of the season for that $3.39 million. He can then also double down and negotiate a new salary with the team of his choice, thus receiving compensation for 2010 from two teams.
Like Terrell Owens since his release by the Cowboys 18 months ago, Moss may become a year-to-year player at this point in his career, selling his services on an annual basis to the highest bidder.
The Favre-Moss experiment didn't work out so well, no?
After two attempts to acquire Moss in Green Bay, the Vikings fulfilled answered Brett’s wishes in a way the Packers never would. Brett described the Moss acquisition as a great 41st birthday present, yet the present is gone after one month. This will not help the passive/aggressive relationship of Favre with Childress, although Favre’s point person of communication in the organization has been offensive coordinator Darell Bevell, not Childress.
Brett and Randy will likely talk about what could have been had not the head coach gotten in the way. Speaking of Brett..
You immediately predicted Brett Favre would play again after injuring his ankle last week and after his injury this week. Why so sure?
To me, there's a world of wasted chatter on the subjects of (a) Brett retiring year after year, and (b) Brett not playing due to injury. In my time in Green Bay, there were countless weeks where it appeared to be a stretch that Favre would play considering the injury he suffered the previous week. Of course, he played. He always played. And he will continue to play if at all possible to line up.
Sometimes fate would intervene to allow Brett to play. I remember a game against the Redskins in 2002 where he was yanked down by LaVar Arrington and stayed down. You could hear a pin drop in Lambeau Field; it was if the President has been shot. He was carted off into the locker room as an uncertain future awaited him and all of Packer nation.
It turned out that Favre had a lateral collateral ligament sprain; the least problematic of the ACL, PCL and LCL group. And, as fate would have it, it turned out we had a bye the following week and he was; of course, ready to play the next game. I recall the comments of our medical staff after Favre’s MRI that week: that his joints were pristine, a genetic marvel for someone having already taken a lifetime of hits.
From a front office viewpoint, a team’s ability to count on a player’s availability is underrated. Players have different talents and skill sets, but some simply have a hard time being available and dependable. Favre always gave the Packers the ability to carry two quarterbacks on the roster, address other areas of the team, and not have to worry about the most important position on the field being ready for the next game.
Brett has been the focus of much criticism, some well-deserved with throws that make us all yell “NO!” One of his legacies, however, will be his incredible ability to be available – and usually effective -- when the offense trots out every game. It’s what he does: he just plays.
Follow me on Twitter at adbrandt.