After just his fourth game with the team this season, the Vikings have cut loose Randy Moss.
Vikings head coach Brad Childress informed the team of the decision today stating “he is no longer with us,” but refused to go into any more detail.
This may be attributed to Moss’ open criticism of the team of ignoring his advice about plays the Patriots were likely to use heading into the last Sunday’s game and then after the game refusing to cooperate with the media by not answering any questions.
Moss had already been fined $25,000 on Oct. 13 for failing to meet media requests. Evidently, the penalty did not enter the equation in his decision last Sunday.
"I got fined $25,000 for not speaking to you all. Me, personally, I really don't care," Moss said. "But at the same time, I do answer questions throughout the week. For the league to fine me $25,000, I'm not going to answer any more questions for the rest of this year. If it's going to be an interview, I'm going to conduct [it]. ... I'll ask myself the questions, then give y'all the answers. So from here on out, I'm not answering any more questions for the rest of this season."
Seen a possible move to save the team’s floundering season, Moss was brought on for a third-round draft pick a few weeks ago and had caught 13 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns in four games with the team.
However, the baggage must have been too much for Brad Childress who has a reputation of ruling with an iron first regarding his team-first message, although Childress said he did not regret acquiring Moss last Sunday, at least, “not at the moment.”
He also denied not taking into account Moss’ advice heading into the game with the Patriots.
Still this has to be viewed as a black eye for Childress, who saw his team give up a third-round pick, a highly valued one in the NFL, and then failed to make the trade work. In addition this was ironically the second time that Childress had waived a highly regarded wide out. In 2006, he released Marcus Robinson on Christmas Eve after critical comments regarding the team's preparation appeared in a local newspaper.
With the Vikings now at 2-5 and nurturing a wounded Brett Favre, many question whether the Vikings should cut their losses and look forward to next year. Although the Favre and supposed Childress feud has received the most headlines, the Vikings are struggling in many areas including a pass rush that has been non-existent most of the season.
While Moss has made no comment yet regarding the Vikings decision, he did leave some compliments for the Patriots organization forcing some to speculate he would like to return to the team.
However, Moss would have to clear waivers down to the Patriots who would be 32nd in line to claim him.
If any team did claim Moss they would owe him roughly $3.6 million or nine of his 16 game checks from his $6.4 million salary.
Many suitors exist including the Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, and New York Jets who may be looking for a receiver to fortify their playoff run.
If no team claims him he would essentially become a free agent and be able to sign with any team and the Vikings would still be on the hook for his remaining salary.
While the season began with much promise for the Vikings with the return of Favre and a strong nucleus from last year’s team that came just up just short of the Super Bowl, they have seen their season marred by injuries, inconsistent play and inner politics, in turn quickly falling apart. In the grand scheme of things Moss’ exit may be seen as the final blow.