Randy Moss is no longer a Minnesota Viking.
Michael Lombardi of NFL Network first reported that the Vikings waived Moss on Monday, one day after he followed an unproductive game in a loss to the Patriots with a bitter press conference in which he questioned the Vikings’ coaches and suggested that he’d rather be back in New England. Multiple media outlets confirmed the news.
And just like that, the experiment of bringing Moss back to Minnesota has ended, and the Vikings have effectively signaled that they know they’re not Super Bowl contenders and don’t want to put up with a malcontent like Moss in their locker room. If the Vikings are going down, they’re going down with the guys they want.
Minnesota is out the 2011 third-round draft pick it sent to New England in exchange for Moss in October.
Moss lasted just four games with the Vikings, his second stint in Minnesota after playing his first seven NFL seasons there. Minnesota went 1-3 after trading for Moss, with the 33-year-old WR making 13 catches in those games. He had just one catch for eight yards, though, on Sunday when the Vikings lost to the Patriots.
Afterward, he held a bizarre press conference. Earlier in the week, Moss had been fined $25,000 for failing to talk to the media – so following the Vikings’ loss in New England, Moss interviewed himself in a long-winded rant.
“I do answer questions throughout the week, and for the league to fine me $25,000 … ,” Moss said. “I am not going to answer any more questions for the rest of this year. If it is going to be an interview, I am going to conduct it. So, I will answer my own questions and ask myself the questions and give you the answers. So from here on out, I am not answering any more questions the rest of this season. …
“To the New England Patriots’ fans, that ovation at the end of the game, that really felt heart-warming. I think I actually shed a tear for that. Like I said, it has been an emotional roller-coaster this whole week,” Moss said, before offering some thinly-veined criticism of the Vikings’ coaches and game plan Sunday.
“I tried to prepare; tried to talk to the coaches and players about how this game was going to be played – a couple tendencies here and a couple tendencies there. But the bad part about it, you have six days to prepare for a team and on the seventh day, that’s Sunday, meaning today, I guess they come over to me and say, ‘Dang Moss, you were right about a couple plays and a couple schemes that they were going to run.’ 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 is when they acknowledge the hard work you have put in all week. So that is a disappointment.
The big question now is whether any NFL team will place a waiver claim on Moss. Although he’s not the player he once was, he’s still talented enough to make a difference to some team down the stretch. But will any head coach want the headaches he brings? The Vikings and Patriots have both determined this year that Moss is more trouble than he’s worth.