EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


October 6, 2010

Belichick's dilemma: Close the deal or lose the locker room

Whether he flipped it himself or somebody peeked at his hole card, Bill Belichick showed an ace yesterday.

Word broke around the nation that the New England Patriots coach and wide receiver, Randy Moss, had drifted apart.

Foxsports.com wrote that deal with Minnesota, sending Moss back to the Viking for a draft pick, could happen as soon as today.

As we went to sleep last night, Moss was in a state of limbo.

Is he still a Patriot? Does the team even want him?

More importantly, does Belichick have the guts to go all-in and make the call?

And if he does, can this offense, with an adjusted attitude, remain as lethal as it is with Moss commanding special attention?

Moss' act has to have worn thin in the locker room, where Belichick and his staff are attempting to regain order after a rocky 2009.

The surefire Hall-of-Famer can't be pleased about his nine catches through four games, especially in a contract year after the Pats politely declined any attempts at an extension.

And look at his past. Moss just isn't the kind of guy to keep the issues under his helmet.

So the question remains, when this team returns from a three-day mini-vacation on Thursday morning, will anyone be home at "81 locker?"

New England sports fans may now get the opportunity to do what they do best, that is kick the daylights out of an athlete as he leaves town.

Just ask Nomar Garciaparra or Richard Seymour, each of whom had their heads chopped off halo first in these parts.

Imagine the verbal pounding Moss is in for if the deal happens, first for two solid weeks on sports talk radio and then at Gillette Stadium when he, Brett Favre and the Vikings come to town on Halloween.

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