To Pay Him Or Not?
Randy Moss has a year left under contract in New England, what will be his fourth with the team. The way the former All-Pro receiver sees it, 2010 will likely be his final season with the Patriots.
Because while Moss has been ultra-productive in his three previous years in New England -- three 1,000-yard efforts and 47 touchdowns in 48 games -- he doesn't see the team giving him another contract extension to stick around.
Moss got a three-year, $27 million deal following his recording-setting 2007 first season in New England, but doesn't envision a similar scenario playing out moving forward.
"I don't think they going to extend my contract," Moss told reporters in Jupiter, Fla. at a charity softball game for the charitable foundation of former teammate Heath Evans. "I understand the beast, the nature of it. I think that just with what I think and what I know I don't think they're going to re-sign me back. So, after this season if there is not a lockout I'll be looking for a new team. I've got a lot of respect for the Patriots and what they did for me and my family. The only thing I can do is just play this year out and see what my future holds after that."
In fact, Moss seems happy that he got the chance to remain with Tom Brady after setting an NFL record with 23 touchdown receptions in 2007.
"It's the business of it, man," Moss said. "You got to understand the business of football. There is not bad blood. There is no animosity on my side or their side. I think it's just the nature of the business of the NFL.
"You know the Patriots don't really pay, so when I got my second contract from them that was a blessing in disguise. I understand the business. I don't think they're going to re-sign me back. I'm not mad. I'm not bitter. It's just the way things are in this NFL, so like I said after this year I'll be looking for a new team. I think so."
Moss was asked to expound on the "Patriots don't really pay" portion of his comment.
"That's not a knock on them. That's just how they run their organization," Moss said. "That's how it is. Put it like this, I guess that before I came there the philosophy was believing in their system. I think that's where they really don't pay guys because they have so much faith in their system. I didn't mean it as a knock against the organization. They just don't pay. If as an individual I'm not really in their future plans I would like to go elsewhere."
Patriots owner Robert Kraft was asked about the comments in Indianapolis just before the start of the NFL Scouting Combine.
"I didn't interpret what he said as anti-Patriot," Kraft told the Boston Globe. "He's a smart business man too. He's getting himself positioned."
For now Moss will be positioned, once again, as the centerpiece of New England's receiving corps.
--Moss isn't worried about the Patriots going without an offensive coordinator, at least in title, for the second straight season. The former All-Pro is simply focused on the offense, regardless of who's calling the plays or drawing up the game plans, getting back to its elite form from a few years back.
"All I hope is that we get this offense back to where we were when I first got to New England," Moss said. "I don't care who is the offensive coordinator. I don't care who is calling the plays. I think a lot of us had a lot of excitement in '07 and I don't think that a lot of things should have changed.
"We got the same offensive line, running backs, wide receivers, so we have the same offense. I don't see why we can't get back to the same potent offense we had two or three years ago. I know it takes a lot of hard work, a lot of time and a lot of effort. I'm willing to do that, so hopefully we can get back to the same offense we were a couple of years ago."
Covering New Ground
--Gillette Stadium is getting a state of the art new turf this offseason as the Patriots and MLS's New England Revolution will be playing their upcoming seasons on the next generation of FieldTurf that's currently being installed in Foxborough.
"The Patriots and Revolution have enjoyed great success on FieldTurf at Gillette Stadium," said Jonathan Kraft, president of The Kraft Group, in a release announcing the upgrade. "When we heard that FieldTurf was finalizing the development of Duraspine PRO, we wanted to be one of the first to have it. The surface will set the stadium apart, particularly for soccer events, which pay close attention to the differences in playing surface dynamics when choosing venues."
Bodden To Hit The Market
--CB Leigh Bodden is one of New England's starters scheduled to hit free agency March 5. After one season with the Patriots, one in which he tied for the team lead with five interceptions, Bodden is open to a return to New England but is also certainly going to listen to what's out there for him on the open market.
On Sirius NFL Radio's "Late Hits" program with hosts Bryan McGovern and Ross Tucker, Bodden said there hasn't been much in terms of talks with the team.
"I did talk to Bill [Belichick], but all the business has to be done through my agent and those guys over there," Bodden told the Sirius guys. "But I feel like it's too early. Combine's right around the corner, and that's where a lot of guys' talk is -- all the GMs, all the coaches.
"I just let my agent handle (the negotiations). It's just, first and foremost, trying to talk to the Patriots and seeing if we can get something done there."
--FB Mosi Tatupu, a member of New England's 50th Anniversary Team and former Pro Bowl special teamer, died Feb. 23 at Sturdy Memorial Hospital (Attleboro, Mass.) at the age of 54. Details of his death were not known.
"I know that I share a heavy heart today with Patriots fans everywhere who have learned of Mosi Tatupu's passing," said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. "I was shocked by the news this morning. My sons and I loved to watch Mosi. He was one of our favorite players for more than a decade. I don't think you could watch a Patriots game in the '80s without becoming a fan of his. He was a dominant special teams player and a punishing rusher who loved the Patriots as much as the fans did. He gave everything that he had on every play and immediately became a fan favorite. There was an entire section of the stadium known as 'Mosi's Mooses,' but I think everyone in the stadium considered themselves one of his supporters. I am glad that our fans had an opportunity to honor him at last year's season opener when we welcomed back the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team. He was an iconic player and will be remembered for all of his contributions as a Patriot, both on and off the field. Our sincere condolences go out to all of Mosi's family, former teammates and many friends who are mourning his loss today."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "That just shows you right there that he is not very satisfied in the direction that the defense had been going. He wanted to be more involved." -- Former Patriots safety and defensive leader Rodney Harrison on Bill Belichick's decision to not name a defensive coordinator and take on a more active role on that side of the ball in 2010.
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