The Minnesota Vikings waived receiver Randy Moss four games after acquiring him from the New England Patriots.
“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,” Vikings coach Brad Childress said in a statement released tonight by the team. “We wish Randy the best as he moves forward in his career.”
Moss, whose 153 touchdown catches are second to Jerry Rice’s 197 in National Football League history, was traded to the Vikings by the Patriots on Oct. 6 for what ESPN said was a third-round draft choice in 2011.
After the Vikings lost to the Patriots yesterday, Moss wore a black Boston Red Sox cap to his postgame news conference, criticized his new team and complimented Patriots coach Bill Belichick and New England’s players.
Moss said the Vikings disregarded his input into how to best prepare for the game at New England, where he played three-plus seasons before being returned to Minnesota, the team that drafted him.
“They come over to me and say, ‘Dag Moss, you was right about a couple of plays and a couple of schemes that they were going to run,” Moss said of his new team after the game. “It hurts as a player that you put a lot of hard work in all week and toward the end of the week, Sunday, when you get on the field, that’s when they acknowledge about the hard work you put in. That’s actually a disappointment.”
He also called Belichick “the best coach in football history” and praised the Patriots’ work ethic.
“I miss them guys, man,” Moss said. “I miss this team. It was hard for me to come here and play. It’s been an up-and-down roller-coaster emotionally all week.”
Moss, who was fined $25,000 by the NFL on Oct. 30 for failing to make himself available to the media, also said he’ll no longer answer reporters’ questions this season.
“For the league to fine me $25,000, I’m not going to answer any more questions for the rest of this year,” he said. “If it’s going to be an interview, I’m going to conduct it, so I’ll answer my own questions, ask myself the questions then give you all the answers.”
Stayed in Boston
Childress said at a news conference today that he’d permitted Moss to remain in New England after the game.
“I allowed him to stay back there and visit with his family since he’s from there,” Childress told reporters.
A four-time All-Pro selection, Moss was a first-round draft pick by the Vikings in 1998. He played his first seven seasons in Minnesota, catching 574 passes for 9,142 yards and 90 touchdowns, all of which trail only Chris Carter in franchise history.
Moss and his contract are now eligible to be claimed by clubs in reverse order of this season’s standings. The Buffalo Bills (0-7) have the first option, followed by the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys (both 1-6). With the best record in the NFL at 6-1, New England would have the last option to claim Moss. If Moss isn’t claimed, he becomes a free agent.