According to various media sources, Randy Moss has reportedly been waived by the Minnesota Vikings.
This comes one day after we were allowed to ponder the philosophical, introspective implications of his announcement that he would only answer his own questions at press conferences.
No doubt the waiving of Moss comes in the "damage control" phase of the Vikings' unmitigated disaster of a season.
The Vikings are 2-5 despite many pundits during the preseason predicting them to make a deep run into the playoffs, if not a Super Bowl berth.
Brad Childress already gave up a third-round pick to acquire Moss, and now Childress has buyers' remorse. Why?
After our annual dose of Favre-gate, plus more Favre (Sterger-gate) and more Favre (the souring relationship between Favre and Childress, which, by the way, this does nothing to help), Moss came out and became a controversy-magnet unto himself.
You guys ever see that stand-up special from Chris Rock, where he talks about Roy Horn (of Siegfried and Roy) getting attacked by a tiger? "Everybody says that tiger went crazy. That tiger ain't go crazy, that tiger went tiger!"
Well, America, Randy Moss went Randy Moss. There are a handful of athletes who are generally talented enough in their field and what they do that the fans, media and coaches simply accept any crazy thing they do, like thanking your psychiatrist, trashing entire cities and releasing rap records. Moss is one of those athletes.
Forget what you hear about Moss' stats this season—he remains the single greatest deep threat in the league. He's tall, he's fast and as Moss himself said, "They can't jump with me!"
Moss does things that a stat-line won't show you; for instance, picking up a big block or creating opportunities for other receivers by enlarging the offensive field of play vertically and horizontally. His former Vikings teammates considered him a "good teammate," and many of them expressed shock that Moss had been waived.
Any team can claim Moss off waivers (the rule goes in ascending order of league record, eg. Bills get the first shot, and the Patriots get the last one); however, as a deep threat, Moss can make virtually any team's offense better in complement, all the prospective team needs to do is pick up Moss's contract. However, if no team picks him up by Tuesday at 4 p.m. EST, Moss is free to sign with whichever team he wants.
Moss is due $3.38 million for the rest of this year, the last year of a three-year, $27 million contract he signed with the Patriots in 2007.
Will any team pick Randy Moss up if they know that he wants to go back to the Patriots?
Look at it from the perspective of Childress—Moss doesn't want to be on a losing team. Moss handled his duties as a wide receiver for the Vikings (in his second tenure) with absolute professionalism and class. His numbers don't reflect the Moss of old, but we've addressed this—he has proven himself capable on the field in ways that numbers can't show.
So where does Moss go from here?
I'm thinking he's going back to New England. Think about that for a second; the team with the league's best record just dropped their wide receiver for a couple weeks and acquired a third-round draft pick, made their divisional rivals (the Jets) crap a brick, and now they have a (small) chance of getting him back, with the Vikings picking up the tab on the last year of Moss' contract?
I wouldn't put it past Bill Belichick to come up with a plan that brilliant, and neither would you.