For a team built to win with offense, it’s clear the New England Patriots have suffered an uncanny streak of bad luck through injuries and off-the-field problems. In a make-or-break season where every player counts, should they consider calling the Washington Redskins about Santana Moss?
Danny Amendola the lone bright spot for Tom Brady in training camp
The Patriots probably felt like they had everything planned out for 2013. They knew there was a strong likelihood All-Pro slot receiver Wes Welker would leave in free agency, and that is just what happened. In response they were quick to scoop up the younger but similar Danny Amendola to give Tom Brady that same threat on the field. The problem is they couldn’t have imagined their other issues all hitting them at once. Star tight end Rob Gronkowski went through two surgeries on his back and forearm. Aaron Hernandez was arrested for possible homicide. Deion Branch and Brandon Lloyd both left in free agency. Suddenly the experience level for the New England receivers has taken a nose dive, which is dangerous living in the NFL. Amendola is the only one standing out in camp so far while rookies like Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce offer flashes of ability but are nowhere near consistent. Brady understands it takes patience with young players before they can become serious threats but at age 36 he doesn’t have that kind of time anymore. Many experts believe the window for the Patriots to win another Super Bowl is closing. The one thing they can’t afford is a slip in offensive production given the threats they’ll face in the AFC alone. Is there anything they can do?
Moss still good but less needed with Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan
The best option is finding a veteran somewhere who can not only come in and help Brady, but also bring along the rookies with his experience. That is the job Santana Moss has embraced with the Washington Redskins. At age 34 he isn’t in his physical prime but that hasn’t stopped him from finding ways to contribute. He did catch eight touchdown passes in 2012 along with 573 yards despite starting just one game. The speed and the route running ability is still there. Washington simply doesn’t need it. Much of their success came from spreading the ball to other targets like Pierre Garcon (633 yards) and Josh Morgan (48 catches). Moss believes his experience can give them a leg up on their opponents as the Redskins prepare to defend their division title. Whether the front office should think the same way is another story. As great as Moss has been for the team in 13 seasons, he is a free agent next year. Normal circumstances say they let him play out his contract and consider re-signing him next March. These are not normal circumstances. Teams around the league have receiver problems whether from injuries or lack of talent or experience. New England is a perfect example. Even at the age of 34 Moss suddenly has drawing power on the trade market. Would the Patriots consider parting with a 5th or 6th round pick if it meant giving Tom Brady that experience and playmaking ability?
If things continue the way they have in the New England Patriots camp, the answer isn’t hard to see. Santana Moss isn’t a long-term solution, but he has one or two good runs left in him. That is enough.