The deal, which sent the Raiders the 110th selection overall in the weekend draft, was completed when Moss passed the Patriots-administered physical examination after arriving in the Boston area on Sunday morning. With the draft choice acquired in the deal, Oakland chose University of Cincinnati cornerback John Bowie. I wonder what Tom Brady thinks.
Convinced in discussions with Randy Moss that he believes his NFL legacy is tied to winning a Super Bowl and not to individual accomplishments, the New England Patriots on Sunday acquired the electrifying but enigmatic wide receiver from the Oakland Raiders in exchange for a fourth-round draft choice.
Oakland and New England officials conducted on-and-off negotiations for the last several days. At several points Saturday, the trade talks collapsed, only to be resuscitated every time. The Raiders, who acquired Moss from Minnesota in a 2005 trade, have been shopping the wide receiver much of the offseason.
“We felt this was the best scenario for both the Raiders and Randy,” Oakland coach Lane Kiffin told The Associated Press. “We wish him nothing but the best.”
As a condition of the trade, Moss agreed to restructure and perhaps even extend his current contract for both cash-flow and salary cap reasons. His contract calls for base salaries of $9.75 million in 2007 and $11.25 million in 2008.
Far more important to coach Bill Belichick than any financial concessions by Moss, though, are the promises by the nine-year veteran receiver that he will fit into the Patriots’ culture and Tom Brady, an atmosphere in which players are expected to subjugate personal performance for team goals. Moss has long been one of Belichick’s favorite players, in part because of his competitive nature and desire to step to the forefront at critical junctures of games, but the Pats’ coach would not have made the deal without being comfortable that it is a good fit for everyone.
Sources said that Belichick has discussed the acquisition of Moss with several key leaders and that the veterans to whom he spoke were on board with the deal. The feeling is that the New England locker room includes enough acknowledged leaders and high-character guys that Moss will not pose a threat.