In April 2007, Randy Moss was a 30-year-old wide receiver who looked like his best days were behind him. Then his phone rang.
"I got a phone call and it was Bill Belichick," Moss told ESPN.com. "I thought it was a friend or somebody playing with my phone. I actually cussed him out. When he kept saying it was Bill Belichick, I knew he was serious. I started being apologetic because I had cussed the man. Then he told me the Raiders were thinking about trading me. I had to be in Foxborough by 10 p.m. Eastern, or the trade would void. So, I just did everything that I could possibly do to get up there by 10 p.m.
"After I got off the phone with him, I was excited. I was hyped. I was in a club that night. Defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, who played for the Detroit Lions at the time, was there, so I went up there, high-fiving him, hugging random people. Shaun asked me what was going on and I said to him, 'I'm getting ready to be a Patriot.' The first thing that came out of his mouth was, 'Man, that's cheatin'.' "
It did feel like cheating once Moss and Tom Brady started playing together. For the cost of a fourth-round pick, the Pats got one of the greatest seasons in the history of the wide receiver position. The Patriots went 16-0, Tom Brady threw a then-record 50 touchdowns and Randy Moss set an NFL record that still stands by catching 23 of those scoring throws.
Quite a jump in production for a guy who had 11 touchdowns in two years during his lost Raiders tenure.
Speaking of the Raiders, coach Lane Kiffin said on the day of the trade he felt it was "the best scenario for both the Raiders and Randy." He was half right. Moss stamped his Hall of Fame ticket that year while the Raiders used their draft choice -- the 110th pick overall -- to select Cincinnati defensive back John Bowie.