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Two sides to this strange tale

Posted by Albert Breer  June 1, 2010 12:19 PM

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Here's what generally happens with a player firing an agent and hiring a new one: The news of the firing comes out, then about a week later, a new agent is hired.

It happened with teammates Anquan Boldin and Karlos Dansby -- two of the bigger names to move this offseason -- last year in Arizona. It happened with Vince Young and Andre Johnson this year.

So all the self-created hubbub over this whole agent change is enough to make you wonder where the heck Randy Moss's head is at. An attempt to recapture fleeting star power? A veiled run at one last big contract? A need for attention?

Whatever it really is, there's no question that Moss's situation is certainly one to watch as the 33-year-old goes into his 13th NFL season. And there really are two ways to look at this, and try to forecast what the Patriots will get out of their star receiver in the final season of the three-year deal he inked back in March 2008.

Train of Thought 1: When Moss was gearing to leave his other two NFL stops -- Minnesota and Oakland -- things didn't end well. He had 49 catches for 767 yards and 13 touchdowns (the last number is outstanding, the other two, by his standards, not so much) in 2004 with the Vikings. And he had 42 catches for 553 yards and three scores (bad all the way around) in 2006 with the Raiders.

Say what you will about those being tough situations, but the fact is that Moss didn't rise above them. In the regular season finale in 2004, Moss left the field with two seconds remaining on the clock and, in explaining himself afterward, said he didn't think the Vikings would recover the onside kick. He was also widely seen by Raiders coaches to have quit on them in 2006.

Train-of-Thought 2: Moss has only been in a contract year once before. That was 2007. You guys remember what happened: 98 catches, 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns. One of the greatest seasons ever posted by a receiver.

So now he's in a contract year again.

Maybe all of this has no effect whatsoever on Moss. But one thing that seems pretty obvious is that all this -- age (clear in how he's faded late in recent seasons), contract status, off-field image -- is on his mind now. Otherwise, this whole thing wouldn't be made into the big deal that it has been by the player in question.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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