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Brandon Tate: Does he help Patriots forget Randy Moss?

Brandon Tate is no Randy Moss. But, with reports of locker room problems, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick may have had no choice but to send Moss away.

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New England Patriots wide receiver Brandon Tate (19) scores against the Miami Dolphins in the Patriots' 41-14 victory at Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida, on Oct. 4.


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Now that Randy Moss is headed to the Minnesota Vikings, where does that leave the Patriots passing attack?

Second-year receiver Brandon Tate will, more than likely, see more playing time with the offense. Other than a pair of touchdowns on kickoff returns, Tate remains untested. Disgruntled Chargers wideout Vincent Jackson is another possibility through a trade, but do the Patriots have enough to offer San Diego?

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Yes, Randy Moss causes problems for opposing defenses with his height and speed. But the New England offense has worked best when quarterback Tom Brady gets rid of the football quickly, whether it's a wide receiver screen or quick toss to a slanting tight end. Rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez has become a target for Brady in the passing game this season.

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One football stats website says the Patriots won Super Bowls without the seven-time Pro Bowler. Moss, it argues, ended up being just "another shiny hood ornament" in New England with no titles.

There have been reports that Moss had become a distraction in the Patriots' locker room. When the Patriots won those three Super Bowls in four seasons, the flashiest receiver they had during that stretch was Deion Branch. The Super Bowl XXXIX MVP was subsequently shipped off to Seattle after grousing about his contract.

In addition to Moss, the Patriots have sent their 2012 seventh-round draft pick to Minnesota.