He’s back: Vikings get Moss from Patriots in trade
Randy Moss is returning to Minnesota, finally united with Brett
Favre in the place where his exceptional ability to catch the
football first flourished.
Reviving memories of Moss’s electrifying performances, colorful
comments and contrarian behavior, the Super-Bowl-or-bust Vikings
made another eye-opening acquisiton – just in time to try to
rejuvenate a stagnant offense for a challenging stretch of
The New England Patriots traded the seven-time Pro Bowl wide
receiver to Minnesota on Wednesday, giving Moss the exit he
expected and sending him back to the team that turned him into a
superstar after drafting him in the first round in 1998.
”He can still go downtown and get the football, which is a
stand-alone factor,” Vikings coach Brad Childress said. ”He could
sprain his toe here sometime coming up, and you could say that he’s
33, it’s old age. But there’s always risk-reward. I don’t
necessarily see this as boom or bust. I think he’s got some more
football in him.”
The Vikings play at New York on Monday night, and Childress said
without hesitation Moss would be in uniform against the Jets – in
his old purple No. 84.
”Man, we wish this would have happened a week later,” Jets
running back LaDainian Tomlinson said.
Oh, and check out Minnesota’s last two games in October: at
rival Green Bay, and then at New England.
”We’ve just been missing something, and I think he can give us
another threat down the field,” running back Adrian Peterson said
on the team’s website.
The Vikings didn’t practice on Wednesday. Moss is expected to
join the team on Thursday and talk with reporters afterward.
”I know I like waking up 2 good news!” left tackle Bryant
McKinnie said on Twitter. He’s one of eight players remaining from
Moss’s last team in 2004.
Added Kevin Williams, via the team’s website: ”He’s one of the
most competitive guys I’ve ever played with and I’m happy to have
him back with us.”
The Vikings in exchange will give the Patriots their third-round
draft pick in 2011 and get a seventh-rounder from New England in
2012, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations,
speaking on condition of anonymity because the teams did not
disclose terms of the deal.
The entertaining style Moss brought with him started a string of
sellouts at the Metrodome that is still going 13 years later. His
jersey can still be seen regularly on the backs of fans, six years
after his departure.
On Wednesday at Target Field, as the Twins were facing the
Yankees in Game 1 of their playoff series, multiple Moss jerseys
were spotted in the crowd. One man across the street from the
ballpark before the game even wore a fake Afro along with his, an
ode to the time when Moss puffed up his hair before a late-season
Moss’s first stint in Minnesota was anything but smooth, with
several occasions where he was fined or admonished for his antics
or behavior. He found trouble with the law, too, for infamously
bumping a traffic cop with his car.
Tired of his attitude and wary of a hamstring injury that
hampered him in the 2004 season, the Vikings traded Moss to Oakland
in 2005. He wore out his welcome there and the Raiders sent him to
New England in 2007. Favre was frustrated at the time the Packers
didn’t land Moss; they discussed a trade with Oakland.
Childress, though, denied on Wednesday that Favre lobbied for
”I don’t think any of us thought this guy was going to be
available,” Childress said.
Childress said he has a clean slate in Minnesota.
”I’m just satisfied to judge him, not backward, but judge him
going forward and what he does with us here,” he said.
Moss will move from catching passes from Tom Brady to Favre, who
desperately needed a downfield threat after Pro Bowl receiver
Sidney Rice had hip surgery in August. Struggling Bernard Berrian
has been a nonfactor, and Percy Harvin – when healthy – is better
suited for the slot position.
”This is an exciting move; I think everybody feels that in the
locker room,” Favre said on the team’s website. ”It’s rare you
get to play with a future Hall of Famer and get to appreciate their
talents up close. Randy Moss is a great player and his career
speaks for itself. I’ve admired him from a distance for a long
time, and you can’t help but be impressed by the guy.”
Moss spent his first seven seasons in Minnesota, where he set
all kinds of records and became one of the most exciting playmakers
in the league. He burned Favre’s Packers often, racking up 9,142
yards and 90 touchdowns during his first stint with Minnesota and
fueling a run to the NFC title game following the 1998 and 2000
One of his old teammates, Nate Burleson, now with the Detroit
Lions, chimed in with his approval.
”I think this is the biggest soap opera you could see on TV for
him to go back to where he started,” Burleon said, adding: ”As a
fan of Minnesota because they drafted me, I like the move – even if
he’s in my division. I’m still a fan of him. He was kind of like a
AP Sports Writers Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis and Larry Lage
in Allen Park, Mich., contributed to this report.