Why Leave Now?

By Zack Cimini

Randy Moss is adamant about leaving the Vikings, after yet another early exit in the playoffs. It?s understandable that Moss is angry at the results year in and year out, but does he honestly think a trade is going to help that? Everybody can?t win, as there is only one Super Bowl champion. So if Moss goes to the next average joe it?s only going to further advance Moss?s latest antic problems. Maybe his rookie season success of coming a field goal away from the Super Bowl, is still burning inside of him. Regardless of what it is, Moss?s best decision would be to stay put.

Besides Peyton Manning, there may not be a better quarterback in the league over Daunte Culpepper. No one possesses the strength, size, and speed he does, and that has paid huge dividends for Randy Moss. In fact, it seemed like Culpepper finally came into his own this year, by ridding the fumbling problems and mistakes that plagued him in the past. The main reason for the Vikings finishing 8-8, was because they couldn?t win close games. They could have easily been a 12-4 team, but that wouldn?t have mattered because they would have been in the same situation in the playoffs. Philadelphia?s defense was just too good for them, and they?ll need to supplement their offense more around the running game next season.

When you don?t even try to run the football, it makes you one-dimensional. The Vikings have great receivers, but they needed to utilize Michael Bennett and Onterrio Smith more. If you think back to the Vikings 1998 season, a lot of their success came with Randy Moss and Cris Carter, but also running back Robert Smith. It got to the point that Randall Cunningham was so at ease, that he started grinning at the line of scrimmage, like a fat kid at the candy store.

Even in years past, a lot of the blame went on the Vikings defense. They were always giving up too many points, and the Vikings offense couldn?t keep up with it. They weren?t the best this year, but showed great signs with Chris Hovan, Claiborne, and an improving secondary. An average defense should be more than enough for a high potent offense, it?s not like they?re the Chiefs defense.

By being in the weak NFC, it wouldn?t be wise to go to any team besides the Eagles, Falcons, or Panthers. Of course the addition of Moss would upgrade any team dramatically, but the offsets aren?t as good as the balance of staying in Minnesota. The NFC North still has two teams trying to find themselves in the Lions and Bears, and the Packers are steadily declining. Clearly, the Vikings have the most upside of the division and perhaps could contend for a bye if they make the right moves in the front office this off-season.

Moss was just overreacting like most players do after an early exit. After he calms down, look for him to become more focused on the next season and put aside any grudges. No other coach in the NFL is going to show Moss as much devotion as Mike Tice does, and if he pulled the shenanigans that he has done with a Shottenheimer or Cowher he?d be subject to more than a petty fine.

Moss is a grown veteran, but surely someone still needs to get through to him. A couple of seasons with Cris Carter just wasn?t enough, and somewhere Carter is shaking his head at the way Moss is maturing. Who knows how one more year with Carter would have helped Moss, instead of Carter ending his career in a Dolphins uniform.


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