Vikings waive Moss after 1 month
The melodrama in Minnesota continues, with the Vikings releasing wide receiver Randy Moss on Monday.
Moss, 33, began his second NFL stint in Minnesota just under four weeks ago. He had been traded from New England after more than three seasons with the Patriots.
The NFL Network first reported the transaction, coming after a tumultuous day Sunday in New England. Vikings linebacker Ben Leber told reporters that coach Brad Childress informed the team that Moss would not return during Monday's meeting.
"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 Monday night in a team-issued statement. "We wish Randy the best as he moves forward in his career."
Childress did not mention the roster move during his news conference eralier in the day.
About an hour before the news came out, Childress took 12 consecutive questions during his regular news conference about Moss, his effort, and his mindset in response to a rant by Moss following Sunday night's 28-18 loss to the Patriots. When asked whether he regretted acquiring Moss, Childress said, "Not at present I don't."
Moss caught just one pass Sunday and after the game went on a bizarre rant in which he effusively praised the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick, while criticizing his own team's game plan.
Moss also said he wouldn't be talking to the media for the rest of the season. He said if reporters approached, he would ask his own questions and then answer them for reporters.
He had been fined $25,000 US last week for not making himself available to the media in the days leading up to the Vikings-Patriots clash.
Moss has 13 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns since coming to Minnesota, but the team has gone just 1-3 during that span.
Childress said Monday he didn't see Moss's remarks as "incendiary." The closest he came to criticizing him was acknowledging he could have caught a pass that fell incomplete in the end zone while the Patriots were called for pass interference.
"But again, I don't know," Childress said. "He was restricted. If they called pass interference, there had to be some kind of restriction."
Asked whether he felt Moss had been playing hard, Childress said, "He's playing hard when he needs to play hard."
Childress had hailed Moss as a model team player early last week, but moodiness and selfish actions have dogged the standout performer throughout his 13-year career.
Moss rose to star status during a seven-year tenure with the Vikings beginning in the late 1990s, and had his career rejuvenated with the Patriots after a disappointing two-year turn with Oakland.
52 receptions shy of 1,000
Moss is 52 receptions away from becoming just the eighth player ever with 1,000, and is closing in on 15,000 career reception yards, only achieved by three players.
His contract called for a $6.4-million US base salary this season, leaving the Vikings on the hook for at least $1.5 million. If Moss is claimed on waivers, the team that signs him is responsible for the remainder of his salary. If he clears waivers, then he can sign as a free agent under new terms.
Minnesota sent a third-round draft pick to the Patriots to obtain Moss.
New England parted ways with Moss largely because they were not interested in re-signing him to a long-term deal when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady strenuously denied media reports of a rift between him and Moss.
With the top record in the NFL, however, New England ranks at the bottom of the waiver wire pecking order.
The Vikings have plummeted from the NFC Championship game in January to a 2-6 start this season.
Most of the drama in Minnesota this season has surrounded 41-year-old quarterback Brett Favre, including his indecision about returning to the NFL, his apparent friction with Childress over play-calling, and the league investigation into alleged inappropriate conduct involving a female employee while he played with the New York Jets in 2008.
Favre played through two fractures in his left foot against New England on Sunday, and then was knocked out of the game late after taking a hit to the chin. He received stitches as a result of the play, but said he'd be able to play next week.
With files from The Associated Press