Revisiting the Vikings-Raiders Blockbuster Trade for Randy Moss

Oakland Raiders WR Randy Moss
Oakland Raiders WR Randy Moss / Robert B. Stanton/Getty Images

During his seven-year stint with the Minnesota Vikings in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Randy Moss announced his arrival as one of the most physically talented players to ever play in the NFL and eventually became one of the greatest receivers of all time.

Unfortunately, Moss and the Vikings both felt like a change was needed in 2004, and Minnesota traded the mercurial star to the Oakland Raiders, who were in need of a big move to add some juice to the locker room. In exchange, Minnesota acquired the No. 7 overall pick in the 2005 draft, a seventh-round pick, and linebacker Napoleon Harris.

Harris played 39 games for Minnesota over three years, never escaping the doldrums of "decent" during his tenure in Minneapolis. The No. 7 pick was used on Troy Williamson, a receiver with depth perception problems and poor hands that quickly became one of the biggest busts of all time.

Moss looked like a shell of himself in Oakland. Injuries and some of the worst quarterback play of all time limited him to just 53.7 yards per game. In 2006, a quarterback room of Andrew Walter, Aaron Brooks, and Marques Tuiasosopo (ouch) could only get Moss the ball 42 times all year.

Moss' career was saved when the New England Patriots traded a fourth-round pick to Oakland to acquire him in 2007.

Who Won The Trade?

There are no winners in this deal, even when a player of Moss' caliber changed hands. The Raiders got in injured, underperforming, unmotivated Moss that only was able to turn back the clock and become legendary again under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in New England, while Minnesota was given a bunch of flotsam in exchange for one of the top three receivers in NFL history. For both teams, this was a trainwreck.