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More on Moss to Skins Talk

More on Moss to Skins Talk

In the long history of this blog (OK, just five months), there has never been a reaction to an entry the likes of the one received to the Randy Moss trade speculation talk that appeared here last week. There have been so many comments, challenges and questions that a follow up is called for.

First of all, let me clarify my position. The original blog entry focused on one column by Dan Daly of the Times that proposed trading Lavar Arrington, a first and a second pick for Moss and then releasing Mark Brunell to help pay for the deal. There are some who proposed other deals and other ways of making it happen and how to restructure Moss’ deal to make it all fit under the cap. None of that mattered to me. Here is the official Redskins Blog position on the possibility of trading for Randy Moss:

I would not trade a warm six pack for Randy Moss.

Moss is a head case, a problem child, and a cancer.

At some point the six pack can get cold.

With that out of the way, let’s turn to some of the comments I’ve received.

The vast majority thought that trading for Moss would be a bad idea.

There is no way, no how, that Gibbs would back a deal for Moss. . .

I would rather see someone with less talent than Randy Moss who will give 100% on each play. That's the kind of players Joe Gibbs won 3 rings with, not with spoiled primma donnas who only care about themselves. . .

Moss will never be a Redskin. Gibbs wouldn't tolerate him, and at this stage, I doubt even Dan Snyder would want him. . .

As a diehard skins fan, I would be ashamed to have Moss on my team representing our franchise, and I guarantee you that it will not happen. . .

The notion that Joe Gibbs would agree to trade a star player with character for one without is far more prohibitive than the financial restrictions, IMO. . .

Ok, let's just drop all this crazy speculation that we might trade for Moss. His punk arse won't EVER have the privilege of wearing the burgundy and gold, certainly not under Gibbs' watch. You can take THAT to the bank, folks.

On the other hand, there has been some love for the idea of picking up Moss if the right deal is there:

Its a GUARANTEE that whatever team he goes to he will still produce, and if we are winning he will have nothing to complain about! . . .

Why wouldn't you want to have a playmaker on the offense that could change any team? . . .

Well, just not as many lovers as haters.

More amusing were a few Vikings fans who have piped in hoping to spur a trade of Moss. One wrote me to say that the Redskins could convert Moss’ 2005 salary to bonus and spread out the impact. When I explained that the Redskins need no part of additional cap hits in the future, he said:

You are right. I just want to see Minnesota get rid of him.It seems as though the Daly column has sparked a round of speculation in media throughout the country about the possibility of the Redskins acquiring Moss. Peter King, in a Sports Illustrated.com article speculated that there was a chance that the Redskins would franchise free agent cornerback Fred Smoot and send him and their first-round pick, number 9 overall, to Minnesota for Moss. To his credit, King said that there was only a one in 20 chance of this happening.

The New York Post and the Pioneer Press, a Twin Cities paper, both speculated that a deal that included the Skins’ first rounder and receiver Rod Gardner would work.

Mind you, neither paper nor King cited either a Vikings source or a Redskins source that said such a deal had been proposed by either side. That’s why the word “speculation” is used in both cases.

In their initial round of talks about trading Moss, it seems that the Vikings are trying to make up for one of the biggest trading mistakes that any sports team has ever made. In 1989, they gave up 5 roster players (LB Jesse Solomon, DB Issiac Holt, RB Darrin Nelson, LB David Howard, DE Alex Stewart), and 6 assorted draft picks (conditional 1st & 2nd round in '90 and '91; 1st round and conditional 3rd in '92) in exchange for Herschel Walker. They’re not asking quite that much for Moss, but the initial offers a pretty steep for a 29-year-old receiver.

They aren’t going to get it. No matter who ends up getting Moss, he won’t command a premium player and multiple high draft picks. The reason is simple—everyone knows that the Vikings want to get rid of Moss so it will soon become a buyer’s market. They will be doing well to get a high draft pick OR a good player with maybe another mid-level player or pick thrown in.

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Enemy Intel: Yes, Redskins fans, you need to root for the Cowboys again

Enemy Intel: Yes, Redskins fans, you need to root for the Cowboys again

Here is my weekly Redskins-centric spin around the NFL:

Before we get going, let’s line up the NFL wild card contenders by current seed and their remaining four games.

Giants (8-4): Cowboys, Lions, @Eagles, @Redskins
Bucs (7-5): Saints, @Cowboys, @Saints, Panthers
Redskins (6-5-1): @Eagles, Panthers, @Bears, Giants
Vikings (6-6): @Jaguars, Colts, @Packers, Bears
Packers (6-6): Seahawks, @Bears, Vikings, @Lions
Cardinals (5-6-1): @Dolphins, Saints, @Seahawks, @Rams
Saints (5-7): @Bucs, @Cardinals, Bucs, @Falcons
Eagles (5-7): Redskins, @Ravens, Giants, Cowboys

—The Redskins can knock the Eagles out of any practical chance of making the playoffs with a win on Sunday. An Eagles loss would mean they could finish no better than 8-8 and that is highly unlikely to get it done this year.

—For a second straight week, Redskins fans need to root for Cowboys to win. Or for their opponent to lose. Some wanted to make that distinction last week when Cowboys played the Vikings and the optimal outcome for the Redskins was a Dallas win. However you want to look at it, a Giants loss to Dallas could move the Redskins to within a half game of the No. 5 seed.

MORE REDSKINS: Assessing the four remainig opponents

—There should be no hesitation about pulling for the Saints to beat the Bucs. A Washington win and a Tampa Bay loss puts the Redskins back into playoff position with the No. 6 seed. The Bucs are 2.5-point favorites at home. They are the hot team, coming in with four straight wins while New Orleans has lost three of four. The Saints are on the fringe of contention but Redskins fans need to pull for the teams ahead of Washington in the standings.

—The Redskins can’t look for much help when it comes to the team immediately behind them in the standings. The Vikings visit the Jaguars, who are locked in to yet another season of double-digit losses. You might be tempted to look for the home underdog to put up a fight and they might. But Blake Bortles has thrown three pick sixes this year and the Vikings have returned two interceptions for TDs this year. Look for such a play to be decisive and for the Vikings to remain tight with Washington in the standings.

—The other team a half game behind the Redskins is the Packers. They host the Seahawks in what could be very snowy conditions in Green Bay. Seattle is a three-point favorite but if the weather gets crazy anything could happen. Redskins fans need to root for the Seahawks, for obvious reasons.

RELATED: Three Redskins out on Sunday, Reed questionable

—The Cardinals creeped back into contention with their win over the Redskins. That win and the fact that they have a tie on their ledger means that the Redskins do not want to finish with the same record as Arizona. This is one of the few situations where a tiebreaker would matter. It’s an easy call to pull for them to fall to the AFC Dolphins.

—I went 2-1 last week, winning with the Patriots over the Rams and the Seahawks over the Panthers. I have four NFL picks this week, all of them road favorites: the Redskins -1 on the road over the Eagles, the Cowboys -3 at the Giants, the Falcons -6 over the Rams in L.A., and the Seahawks giving three to the Packers.

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Need to Know: Assessing the Redskins' four remaining opponents

Need to Know: Assessing the Redskins' four remaining opponents

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 10, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No media availability

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 9; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 14; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 22

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Around Redskins Park

The Redskins have four games remaining on their schedule. Three wins would give them a record of 9-6-1 and a very good shot at the playoffs. Four will almost certainly get them a ticket to keep playing; two wins or fewer will have them needing a whole lot of help to make the postseason

Let’s take a look at the Redskins’ remaining four opponents and revisit the confidence level on the Redskins’ chances of beating each one of them. (I first did this exercise a few weeks ago).

@Eagles, 5-7, weighted DVOA via Football Outsiders, 15.3% (ranked 5th)
The Eagles looked like playoff contenders for about half of the season but they have taken a tumble back to earth, losing five of their last six. Right now the Redskins are the better team, although their long injury list is an area for concern. The Eagles appear to be in some degree of disarray after their coach accused some unnamed players of giving less than full effort. Confidence that the Redskins will win: High

Panthers, 4-8, DVOA -7.5% (25th)
They won’t be able to defend their NFC championship much longer. By the time this game comes around they could be either eliminated or on the verge of being mathematically out of the playoffs. Their problems are numerous including big issues at cornerback (too bad they didn’t have a guy who could have helped franchise tagged) and an offensive line that has been injury-wracked all year. Still, Cam Newton is a scary quarterback and he still has tight end Greg Olsen and receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Ted Ginn Jr. If the Redskins get into a shootout they could be in trouble. Confidence: Moderately high

@Bears, 3-9, DVOA -3.0%, (24th)
Matt Barkley is the Bears’ third starting QB this season and in most statistical categories he’s the worst of the three. The Bears have been hit by injuries as hard as any NFL team with multiple starters on injured reserve. They probably would have struggled even with those players healthy; without them they are one of the five worst teams in the NFL. The one thing to beware of is the late December weather in Chicago, which could randomize the outcome to an extent. Confidence: Very high

Giants, 8-4, DVOA 5.0%, (12th)
The new players on the Giants’ defense were just starting to gel when end Jason Pierre-Paul’s season ended after sports hernia surgery. Their defense, with the No. 7 DVOA (-9.6%), won’t collapse but it won’t be as strong. Eli Manning’s stats are down a tick from last year but as long as he has Odell Beckham to throw to the Giants won’t be totally stymied on offense. This one is hard to get a good feel for this far out, not knowing what might be at stake for either team. Confidence: Moderate

For comparison purposes, the 6-5-1 Redskins have a DVOA of 9.8% (10th)

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