COULD NOT HAPPEN TO A MORE DESERVING GUY Jerry Gilbert
On e of the big stories leading up to Super Bowl involved Randy Moss, who is thought by many Packer Fans to be the important player that Packer General Manger Ted Turner let get away last Spring. It has always been my belief that Randy Moss always wanted to go to New England. He encouraged the Green Bay possibility only to improve his bargaining position.
There was plenty of evidence for my point of view in the spring and by running his mouth in January, Randy Moss confirmed it. Last Spring we knew that Moss had been very unhappy in Oakland, and his lackadaisical approach to the 2006 season proved it.
His play was so bad that some suggested that his skills had deteriorated and that he was past his prime. The fact that no one offered a draft choice as high as the second round shows the effect that his performance in Oakland had on how he was perceived. Remember also, that Moss had a lucrative contract still in effect with the Raiders. Any new team had to make a deal with Oakland and another deal with Randy, and as he said, and as is true with most veterans changing teams, one of the key factors in choosing a new team is whether that team appears to be a contender for the Super Bowl. With New England in the picture, there was no way that Moss would accept an equivalent or even slightly better deal from Green Bay.
Coming off consecutive 4-12 and 8-8 seasons, the Packers were favored almost nowhere to reach the Super Bowl. By contrast, coming off of a string of post season appearances, and having added a number of free agents, the New England Patriots were universally expected to be one of the top three or four team in the league. With the addition of a Pro Bowl caliber receiver, many thought they would be about as successful as they turned out to be.
When Moss shot off his mouth about how he had disrespected the Packers by hanging up on them, because they dared to talk to him about how he might fit in as a compliment to Donald Driver. He also said that he thinks Brett Favre tried to call him, but he did not get the call and did not try to call back.
Not being willing to accept Randy Moss at face value, I will break down the implications of what he said. First, he suggests that, even after his record in Oakland, no one has the right to ask questions to determine whether he would be a good fit for the organization. Every job applicant faces those questions, and make no mistake, he was applying for a job. Moss answered by saying in effect, if you want to be the coach and define my role, I am not interested. He communicated that nonverbally by hanging up the phone.
Now look at the Brett Favre comment. From the time that Moss became a possibility for the Packers, he was saying that his reason for considering Green Bay was to play with Brett Favre. If there had been a germ of truth in his claimed wish to go to Green Bay and play with Favre, he would have made very sure that his best advocate in the organization could contact him. Anyone who says that Favre may have tried to call me but I do not know, reveals himself to be a person who had no real interest to play with Bret Favre. The Packers were a team on the rise who were likely a few years away. New England was a favorite to win the Super Bowl.
If Moss is close to the truth about his conversation with Packer coach Mike McCarthy, it shows that he would not have been a valuable addition to the Packers. The unselfishness of the members of the Green Bay Packers is a major reason for the success they had this season. Randy Mouth would not have helped this team.
And since he went to New England to win the Super Bowl, the outcome of that game is a good ending for his and this story.