I'm just kidding; they're both pretty unremarkable. Maybe not utterly terrible - maybe, though I'm certainly willing to be convinced otherwise - but just really lame, especially considering Hashmarks is ESPN's ultra-cynical and ultra-halfassed attempt to cash in on blogs. The post in question is about Randy Moss. Shall we?
Over the years we've seen players take discounted salaries for a chance to play for winning teams. Randy Moss did it last season, and he'll apparently have to do the same thing to play for New England again in 2008.
NEWSFLASH! In the NFL in the salary cap era, players taking salary cuts to keep a large core of good players together is relatively commonplace. Certainly, it isn't news. Let's see what fresh insight Mike Sando can add to this.
I expected New England to use the franchise tag on Moss.
So, Mike Sando's main contribution thus far is to have been wrong. At least he has the decency to link to his own wrongness. I guess that should earn him points. But it doesn't really earn him any authority to predict what's next for Randy Moss. Fortunately, he's not going to do anything of the sort.
The Patriots apparently thought that would have been the wrong way to handle their Pro Bowl receiver. Their approach worked in the sense that Moss didn't immediately run out and take a deal elsewhere.
Is that really what we've reduced the definition of "worked" to? That it didn't immediately blow up in their face? Look, I know "worked" is a working word - it wasn't born with some fucking silver spoon in its mouth, like those effete assholes "silver" and "spoon" - and I know it probably has to work multiple definitions these days just to make ends meet...but c'mon, "worked", you know you can do better. I've heard "submarine" is hiring synonyms, and who doesn't want to tell the neighbors they're a word for something that's both Russian and nuclear-powered? "Worked", just send me your resume and we'll make something happen.
Also, I'm aware of the insanity of the phrases "'worked' is a working word" and "I know ['worked'] probably has to work multiple definitions." You either embrace absurdity or run for the hills. Or, in my case, run for the petri dishes. Heh, heh...it's funny because it doesn't make a horse's fart of sense. And that was funny because because it used a really immature but always hilarious word..."horse." And that was funny because of the misdirection - you totally expected me to say "fart" back there. And all of this is funny because callbacks are always funny. Hey, you know ouroboros?
Yeah...that was the comedy equivalent of that. Only less badass, because everything is less badass than a fucking dragon devouring itself.
Now, nearly three full days into free agency, it's fair to wonder how many teams are lining up for Moss' services. Nearly 48 hours have passed since we learned Moss would begin soliciting offers from other teams. Each day brings more questions than answers.
Since it has just broken that Moss is staying with the Patriots, you might think it's a tad unfair to give Sando too much crap for this post. I mean, hindsight is 20/20 and all that, and I really should be fair and cut him some slack. If you think that, you clearly have me confused with a human being, when in fact I'm just a fifth-generation copy of the Moneyball computer. You may know me better by my stage name...WINDOWS VISTA!!!
(Still using XP over here...)
Anyway, let's answer the apparently unanswerable questions that Sando poses.
What is the market value for a guy who gives great effort under some circumstances (New England) but not other circumstances (Oakland)?
It would seem that it's three years, 27 million with the team he gave the great effort for. Considering Bernard Berrian, who is apparently the second-best wide receiver of the current free agent crop, just inked a 6 year, 42 mil contract with the Vikings, that sounds pretty reasonable. Especially when you factor in just how vast the difference in performance last year between Moss and Berrian really was. Of course, I'm not sure whether any of you have noticed this, but there's a slight difference between Tom Brady and Rex Grossman. For one thing, Rex Grossman doesn't hide his boredom when he fucks Gisele. That compassionate crap is for pussies who read Yeats and go hiking in subway stations and shit.
(By the way, I don't care if the Sex Cannon is passe. That whole run is still my fondest memory of the Bears. Sure, that's sad as all hell, but it beats the Rashaan Salaam themed night terrors.)
Would signing Moss to a massive contract impact the answer to that question?
Considering his previous, 8 year/75 mil contract spanned his great years with the Vikings, mediocre to terrible years with the Raiders, and transcendent year with the Patriots...I'd say no, a massive contract doesn't appear to affect Randy all that much. At least, there isn't much correlation there, considering he got paid pretty much the same however well or poorly he played. And yeah, I know he restructured it along the way, but much like communism in Clue, I think the money is just a red herring.
Also, I feel like sharing with you just one example of why Clue is possibly the single most underrated movie ever.
Ah, sweet elixir of life.
Is it unfair and misleading to bring up Oakland given the state of the Raiders during Moss' years with the team?
Look, the wide receiver position is pretty much the most teammate-dependent position in football, so I think it's probably at least a bit unfair to blame Moss too much for what went down in Oakland, especially considering just how piss poor the leadership of that franchise has become. I'm not going to delve very deeply into stats here (partly because I don't really trust WR stats, also because it's late and I don't want this to get any longer than it's already going to be), but Moss was probably Oakland's best receiver in 2005 and then was about equal with Ronald Curry in 2006. His stats are OK considering how terrible everything else was. There is the effort issue, but I really hate even discussing intangibles (even if Randy's attitude looked pretty fucking tangible at times).
If the Oakland years are relevant, or if you think Moss carries baggage in general, how many teams have the leadership to fit him into their system and get maximum effort from him, without the distractions?
If by "leadership" you mean "good quarterback", I'd say there are about ten or so teams with a high enough quality quarterback to keep Randy happy. Honestly, do the leadership qualities of a quarterback ever get questioned when he's playing well? Sorry, I'm being an idiot. Eli Manning magically transformed from the disinterested failure of a younger brother into an unflappable, Tiki-destroying son of Johnny Unitas (that's right, now his father's a real NFL quarterback, not some New Orleans dilletante) because he broke a tackle and David Tyree made a crazy catch.
By the way, it might sound from all this that I'm a Patriots fan. For the record, I'm not; I liked them back in 2001 when they were an underdog and I was a younger fan with much less aversion to bandwagoning. Nowadays, I just hate everything, the way God intended.
Could the Patriots, much less other teams, experience results similar to what New England realized last season if Moss were suddenly given the security that comes with huge contractual guarantees?
No, almost certainly not. Actually, let me cut the unnecessary parts of that question:
Could the Patriots experience results similar to what New England realized last season?
16-0 regular season, 50 touchdown passes for Tom Brady, and 23 touchdown receptions for Randy Moss, all records. How the fuck is it even remotely reasonable to expect anything like that again? I mean, if the Pats come even close to that, that's incredible. Let's have a little perspective on what they accomplished in the regular season. If nothing else, it just helps underscore how big a choke-job the Super Bowl was, which I'm sure Pats haters everywhere will appreciate.
How many teams would be willing to make Moss the highest-paid receiver in the NFL?
Shit, where's Dan Snyder when you need him? Oh, and I'm going to totally guess and say "five." Five teams would have been willing to do this. And no, I have no clue which five. But I'm guessing not the Texans.
These are the types of questions a team might ask before deciding what type of contract to offer Moss.
Uh huh. What about...
"How likely is it his skills will depreciate in the near future?"
"How much of his success with the Patriots should be credited to the offensive line?"
"Does Randy Moss's primary effectiveness as a deep threat work with our quarterback and our system?"
"Will taking on Randy Moss's contract hurt our ability to complement him on offense and put together a strong defense?"
(And yeah, I know that last question about the highest-paid receiver sort of addresses that, but I can't help but think the "how many teams are willing" aspect makes it sound like some moral stand they're taking.)
In conclusion, Mike Sando wrote a lot of uninteresting, cliched bullshit with no inside information or accountability to what is actually happening. Congratulations Mike, as far as people like Tony Kornheiser are concerned, you're the platonic ideal of a blogger.