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Moss for Lavar?

Jan 21, 2005, 6:53 PM EDT

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I really thought that Dan Daly knew better than this. In a recent column he wrote:

The word out of Minnesota is that the Vikings might be ready to part ways with Randy Moss, their never-a-dull-moment wide receiver. Some people in the organization, important people, are ‘exasperated with him,’ my friend Kevin Seifert wrote in the Minneapolis Star Tribune earlier this week. ‘At the very least, they plan to initiate a substantive internal discussion about Moss and his future with the franchise this offseason.’

It’s hard to read that sentence without a picture of Moss in a Redskins uniform popping into your head. I mean, think about it: If the pre-eminent pass catcher in the NFL became available, could Dan Snyder possibly resist taking a run at him?

I doubt it.

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Dan the Man has always had a weakness for the Big Splash (see Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith et al.), and trading for Moss would be, well, the Cannonball to End All Cannonballs.

Uh, Dan, the Deion/Smith/George fiasco was five years ago. Even before the grownups, led by Joe Gibbs, came onto the scene Snyder had learned that chasing after big money, big attitude players wasn’t they way to go. There is not much chance of a) Snyder asking Gibbs if he could try to cut a deal for Moss and b) Gibbs giving it the green light. It’s worse than the odds of Rod Gardner not dropping an easy pass, worse than those of Mark Brunell threading a rope between to defenders 35 yards downfield.

But, we’re all allowed to speculate, I guess. But Daly didn’t stop there. He proposed a deal that simply could not be done and I’m amazed that he didn’t realize it.

So imagine, if you will, this scenario: The Vikings send Moss to the Redskins for their No. 1 pick (ninth overall), a No. 2 (either this year or next) and LaVar Arrington (without whom the Washington defense did just fine this season, ranking third in the league).

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The trick would be to make the numbers work. The Redskins would be hit with a huge cap charge if they traded Arrington so early in his deal, but they could alleviate some of it by releasing Mark Brunell, their grossly overpaid backup quarterback.

The numbers don’t work, Dan. The cost of trading Arrington and releasing Brunell (the cap consequences are the same in either case) prior to June 1 would be prohibitive. The dead cap for Arrington would be just a shade over $12 million and for Brunell it would be about $3.7 million. Add in Moss’ salary of $7.25 million and you have about $23 million, or over a quarter of the cap, tied up in the acquisition of one player.

Again, prohibitive.

Daly does start to redeem himself towards the end of the column, pointing out the obvious reasons why Gibbs would not want to trade for a player that he saw walk out on his team with time still left on the clock. Guys like Gary Clark and John Riggs marched to a different drummer, but they never marched out of the stadium early.

And if he could find a way to be unhappy in Minnesota, where he scored 90 touchdowns in seven seasons, he could certainly find a way to be unhappy in Washington, where the leading receiver scored only one TD in 16 games this year. Like most serial screw-ups, he’d be on his best behavior with the Redskins until he wasn’t — and then, heaven help them.

Despite this and despite the financial roadblocks the size of the Hoover Dam, in the end, Daly insists that it still could happen.

But desperate teams do desperate things. They’ll even trade for players with more baggage than a 767 — if they’re good enough.

I guess if you’re a columnist desperate for material you’ll come up with something like this.

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