Vikings waive Randy Moss
Randy Moss sounded Sunday night like he would much rather still be a New England Patriot than Minnesota Viking.
He may now actually get his wish.
The Vikings officially placed Moss on waivers Tuesday, less than one month after acquiring him in a trade with New England.
Coach Brad Childress informed the team early Monday afternoon.
“This decision was made based on what we thought was in the best interests of the Minnesota Vikings, both in the short and long term,” Childress said in a statement released late Monday. “We wish Randy the best as he moves forward in his career.”
Linebacker Ben Leber said players were surprised by the news. But he didn't sound happy about Moss's post-game remarks.
"It was just, 'Wow,'" Leber said. "Just because it sounded like it was unprompted and sounded like he wanted to get some stuff off his chest. He certainly has every right to do that. I don't think that's the way to do it."
NFL Network first reported that Moss would be waived.
"Randy is very sad to find out about being waived by the Vikings this morning," Moss' agent Joel Segal told the the Minneapolis Star Tribune in an e-mail Monday.
"He has and always will remain fond of the fans in Minnesota. We will let the process of the waiver wire take its course and we will move on from there."
The report of Moss’ release comes less than 24 hours after a controversial news conference following a 28-18 road loss to New England. Moss praised the Patriots repeatedly while taking a swipe at Vikings coaches and players for allegedly not heeding his pregame advice on how to best his former team.
Moss also specifically knocked head coach Brad Childress for unsuccessfully attempting to score a fourth-down touchdown from the Patriots 1-yard line rather than kicking a field goal at the end of the first half.
“No disrespect to the Minnesota Vikings and their organization ... but I miss (the Patriots),” said Moss, who refused to answer questions from the media during his five-minute speech.
Moss will be able to be claimed by any team provided that club is willing to accept the remainder of his $6.4 million base salary for 2010 (about $3.4 million). If unclaimed, Moss would become an unrestricted free agent.
Buffalo, the NFL’s only winless team at 0-7, has first dibs in the waiver-claim process. New England would have the last shot at claiming Moss because the Patriots (6-1) have the NFL’s best record.
It’s unknown whether the Patriots have as much interest in a reunion as Moss. Patriots coach Bill Belichick never gave an exact reason why Moss was traded after three-plus seasons in New England, but it’s believed there were concerns about potential volatility that would disrupt the locker room.
Moss, who is in the final year of his contract, had expressed his displeasure about the lack of an extension after a season-opening victory over Cincinnati.
Seeking a deep threat for quarterback Brett Favre in the absence of injured wideout Sidney Rice (hip), the Vikings acquired Moss for a 2011 third-round draft choice before the NFL’s trade deadline.
Moss had 13 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns in four games with Minnesota but made an even bigger impact on the players around him. In particular, slot wide receiver Percy Harvin has 19 catches for 287 yards and two touchdowns since Moss arrived.
Moss was limited to one reception for eight yards against New England but also drew constant attention from New England’s safeties that helped free Harvin for a six-catch, 104-yard outing.
In a Super Bowl-or-bust season, the Vikings (2-5) had little interest in signing Moss to a contract extension but were desperate for wide receiver help after a deal with San Diego for Vincent Jackson failed to materialize.
Despite his reputation for selfish behavior, the 33-year-old Moss is considered one of the greatest deep threats in NFL history. He has 948 career catches for 14,778 yards and 153 touchdowns since entering the league with Minnesota in 1998.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.