Minnesota Vikings acquire Randy Moss from New England Patriots

New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss, left, celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Tom Brady during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010.( AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss, left, celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Tom Brady during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010.( AP Photo/Charles Krupa) (Charles Krupa - AP)
By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 7, 2010; 12:20 AM

Wide receiver Randy Moss returned to his original NFL team Wednesday when he was traded from the New England Patriots to the Minnesota Vikings for a draft pick. The Vikings added Moss in an attempt to provide some pass-catching help for quarterback Brett Favre amid a disappointing start to what they'd envisioned as a potential Super Bowl season.

The Patriots announced they would receive an undisclosed draft choice in the deal. According to multiple reports, it's a third-round selection next spring.

Vikings Coach Brad Childress said at an afternoon news conference at the team's training facility that he'd spoken to Moss by phone.

"He seems to be in a good frame of mind," Childress said. "I'm always excited to add a good piece to the puzzle. . . . It was a rare chance for us to take advantage of [an opportunity to obtain] a Hall of Fame player who still, I think, has pretty good tread on the tire."

The Vikings posted a picture of Moss on their Web site with a message saying: "Welcome Back [No.] 84."

Moss apparently goes to Minnesota without a new contract, at least not yet. There have been reports that negotiations between Moss and the Vikings on a new deal have not begun, but could commence after Moss joins the team. He is in the final season of his current contract.

He had only nine catches in four games this season for the Patriots and did not have a catch in Monday night's 41-14 triumph over the Miami Dolphins.

According to a report by ESPN, Moss had a heated exchange with Patriots quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien at halftime of the Dolphins game. Moss had only one pass thrown in his direction, a first-half incompletion in the end zone after quarterback Tom Brady faked a clock-stopping spike of the ball.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick did not discuss the reasons behind the trade.

"In this business, there are complex and often difficult decisions, but it is my responsibility to make them based on what I feel is best for our football team, in both the short term and long term," Belichick said in a written statement. "I am grateful for the opportunity to have coached Randy Moss and aside from facing him as an opponent, I wish him the very best for the remainder of his Hall of Fame career."

Moss, 33, played his first seven NFL seasons for the Vikings before being traded to the Oakland Raiders. He was in his fourth season with the Patriots.

The Vikings are off to a 1-2 start this season and have struggled without wide receiver Sidney Rice, who is expected to miss at least half the season after undergoing hip surgery.

The move unites Moss with Favre, who previously wanted to play with Moss with the Green Bay Packers. Favre, prior to his final season in Green Bay, lobbied for the Packers to trade for Moss before the 2007 season. Instead, Moss was traded from the Raiders to the Patriots.

Moss had three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons for the Patriots, including a career-best season in 2007 in which he had 98 catches for 1,493 yards and an NFL-record 23 touchdowns. The Patriots set a single-season NFL scoring record that season and were unbeaten until being upset by the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. Brady set a single-season league record with 50 touchdown passes that year.

Last season, Moss had 83 catches for 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Moss had spoken openly about his contract situation, saying he expected this season to be his final one with the Patriots. He signed a three-year, $27 million contract extension with the Patriots after his first season with the team.

The Vikings are scheduled to play at New England on Oct. 31.


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