I'm amazed that so many fans as well as the media can't see the forest through the trees and were scratching their heads as to why the Patriots didn't tag Moss.
As Karen Guregian notes, there was little for the Patriots to gain by angering Moss by tagging him - even if both sides were intent on reaching a long term deal.
The bottom line would be that by tagging Moss the Patriots would hold all the cards - and that would put Moss in a position of weakness - knowing that if indeed a long-term deal couldn't be reached his show of good faith by playing last year on an affordable one year contract would have been thrown back in his face like an insult.
It would also be a big red flag for ALL OTHER free agents who might now, or in the future, be in Moss's situation - ensuring that the Patriots never again see such win win situation.
While the Pats lost the ability to FORCE a disgruntled Moss to play here if a long-term contract can't be reached they gained some valuable assets in their long term football strategy to attract future players of Moss's caliber.
So by not tagging Moss the Patriots send a LOUD message to Moss and all other free agents (or guys vying for a trade) that they can be trusted and that they respect players who play hard as team players on a one year contract.
Amazing to me that everyone didn't see this shaping up long before the Thursday deadline, but indeed, even some Pats fans here are incredulous that the Patriots didn't say FU to Moss by locking him into the franchise tag salary as a fall back if negotiations for a long term deal failed.