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Belichick talks Moss

Posted by Shalise Manza Young, Globe Staff  March 23, 2010 10:32 AM

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Moss-softball.pngLast month, Patriots receiver Randy Moss caused a bit of a stir with comments he made at former teammate Heath Evans's charity softball game (that's a pic of the wideout at the event), saying among other things that he doesn't think New England will extend his contract once it ends after the coming season, and that the Pats "don't really pay" their players.

Bill Belichick was asked this morning if he's spoken with the enigmatic veteran since he made those statements.

"Well, conversations between myself and the players I'll keep between myself and the players," Belichick said. "I think we all know that this is a performance business; I think every one of us is [aware] of that. I think we all kind of feel like we're year to year. You're judged by your performance every year; that's not a big secret."

Moss's on-field performance last season was consistent with his performances the first two years of his Pats' career: he had 83 catches for 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns. Over three seasons here, he's totaled 47 touchdowns.

But off the field Moss had an up-and-down season last year. He was lauded for playing through a bad back against Atlanta in Week 3 and stepping up in Wes Welker's absence, but in December his effort was questioned when Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble claimed Moss "shut it down" when Carolina defensive backs got physical with him.

When New England acquired Moss via a draft-day trade with Oakland in 2007, the receiver agreed to a low-money one-year contract; after his season for the ages, he was rewarded with a three-year deal worth $27 million. He will make $6.4 million for the coming season.

As Robert Kraft pointed out in the days after Moss's "they don't pay their players" riff, Moss has made over $20 million for the past two years' work.

Belichick was asked if he has seen in his 35 years of NFL experience that a mindset like Moss's -- that this is his final year with the team -- could affect a player.

After a pause Belichick said, "I think Randy is pretty mentally solid."

For what it's worth, Moss has arrived in Foxborough to participate in the offseason workout program. The news was first reported by nesn.com's Jeff Howe.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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