Dennis Green drafted Randy Moss with the idea that the wide receiver could provide a home-run punch for the Vikings' offense. And Moss delivered as perhaps the game's best receiver, and certainly its best big-play threat.
Unfortunately, the proposed trade of Moss to the Raiders only delivered the Vikings a double at best. While it doesn't hurt to acquire the No. 7 pick in the draft, the Vikings' decision to acquire Napoleon Harris is curious.
Harris has been considered a disappointment in his three seasons with the Raiders.
The curious part about the acquisition is that the Vikings already have two Harris-type linebackers in E.J. Henderson and Dontarrious Thomas. They are young, big, mobile and aggressive. But the problem with youth is mistakes, and that's why Harris isn't a good fit.
On paper, the Vikings have one of the most athletic linebacking corps in the league with the addition of Harris. But Harris is more of middle linebacker and the Vikings already have Henderson manning that spot. Unless the Vikings are shifting to a 3-4, Harris' acquisition might put Henderson on the bench, and that doesn't really help the defense.
But then that's the problem with making major trades. It's hard to get full value. Moss is the league's best game-breaker, but the Vikings got tired of the controversies that have surrounded him. Mike Tice had a good relationship with Moss and made it work, but that still didn't stop Moss from walking off the field in the final seconds of a loss against the Redskins in Week 17, or having the infamous incident with a meter maid last season.
Moss was a good teammate, but he was a pain to the team in many ways, too.
He is a rare talent and his abilities worked perfectly with quarterback Daunte Culpepper. While Culpepper and Moss were friends, the quarterback saw that Moss' days were nearing an end and predicted that a trade would happen.
From that standpoint, a trade needed to happen. The Vikings coaches want this to be Culpepper's team, but that would never have happened with Moss around. Moss draws all the attention. It's always going to be his team. But he doesn't show enough passion to be a true team leader.
The Vikings are entering a new era, the Culpepper era. Expect them to use the No. 7 overall pick they'll get from the Raiders to draft a big wide receiver such as Braylon Edwards or Mike Williams. The Vikings have enough shorter, lighter receivers with speed, so a big receiver would be a nice fit. Minnesota, however, might have to move up to make sure it gets one of those two receivers.
Even though the Vikings gave up a great threat, they still should be able to win if they come up with the right replacement for Moss. Culpepper is one of the NFL's most talented quarterback, and will be even without Moss.
But offense isn't the problem in Minnesota. The Vikings needed defensive help and Harris just doesn't look like the right fit. Of course, it's not as though there were better offers. The Ravens took a passive approach to the Moss trade, and it was too soon for the Falcons to do anything. They still have to figure out if Peerless Price is the right receiver for Michael Vick.
The real winners are the Raiders. They locked up Jerry Porter for three years with his voidable contract at about $5 million a year. They picked up Moss, who will work well with Kerry Collins, who throws one of the best deep balls in the NFL.
This was an old-school Raiders deal, which shows you Al Davis still has the touch. He acquired a game-breaker for a struggling young middle linebacker and a first-round pick. But there is still pressure on Al to find the right running back to make the offense really go. Last year, he tried to get Corey Dillon and failed.
Say what you want about the Raiders, but for as much as they might be too aggressive at times, they also make the offseason interesting. Credit Oakland and Davis for going for the home run and hitting it out of the park.
John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.