Surprise, surprise, there’s a whole lotta handwringing going on about Randy Moss, particularly in the Boston media.

Rather than debate the on-field impact of the wide receiver, which is very much open for debate, a lot of scribes and TV pundits are resorting to emotional arguments determined to make Moss’ questionable character the center of the story.

The most shrill of the gloom and doomers are fretting that the Moss signing and drafting of Lord of the Dance Brandon Meriweather signal a shift in philosophy. They’ve concluded that now all of a sudden Bob Kraft is handing the keys to Gillette Stadium to a street mob of thugs and criminals. Coming from the Boston media, this theory has some racial implications (didn’t hear this much wailing when Ted Johnson was arrested for domestic violence).

Some are even suggesting the move stinks of desperation. You know, because Bill Belichick was so desperate to give up a fourth-round pick.

Belichick is anything but desperate. It is clear that if Moss’ character is ever an issue during his stay in Foxborough, it won’t be one for long, and Moss will be dismissed faster than you can say Terry Glenn. And that’s even if he’s got 60 catches by the Colts’ game.

He knows there will be no cancer in the Patriots locker room, not with a core of veteran players that create an atmosphere of professionalism that withstood the post-game embarrassment in San Diego.

That doesn’t mean every player who puts on a Patriot uniform is automatically going to go from shishkabobbing an opponent’s calf to helping old ladies cross the street. But Kraft and Belichick have shown their patience is short for those who embarrass themselves or the team on or off the field. That has not changed and will not change.

Randy Moss’ attitude and career could be resurrected and he could be an astounding success with a Super Bowl ring to prove it. He could put up mediocre numbers like he did in Oakland last year, get the Patriots as far as the AFC Championship and be considered a mild disappointment.

Under no circumstances will he destroy or even be a major hindrance to New England’s chances of winning this year, though. Belichick is too smart to let it get to that point.

The risk involved in this move is minimal, but minimal risk moves make for a lot less copy and a lot less interesting television when they can be blown up into something short of a sign of the breakdown of morality in America.


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