Shutdown Corner - NFL

The Patriots didn't apply the franchise tag to Randy Moss, which means that on February 29th, Randy Moss will be free to shop his other-worldly receiving skills to anyone in the league.

However--and I've never seen this as vigorously stressed in news reports as it has been with this Moss situation--none of this means that the Patriots and Moss don't already have a deal in place (though, if that were the case, I don't know why they wouldn't have just announced it yesterday). 

But it's still entirely possible that at 12:01 a.m. next Friday morning, Moss could sign an already-agreed-upon long-term deal with the Pats. Of course, the same is true of every other unrestricted free agent-to-be that didn't get the franchise tag.

Basically, what this means is that we'll still have no idea of the Patriots intentions as they concern Randy Moss until February 29th.

If they do already have a deal in place, there would be nothing legally binding Moss to that deal. If that deal existed, some other team could still call Randy (or make some shady illegal contact with him before then) at 12:01 and offer him a 5-year, $864 bazillion deal.

Certainly, some cash-loaded team out there would take a shot at swiping Moss. And if Moss was willing, he could, on a smaller and less perfidious scale, Carlos Boozer the Pats. This has the potential to get interesting.

• Moss not designated franchise player by New England / Yahoo! Sports

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