Randy Moss: Meeting went well
Randy Moss and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick reportedly had a meeting in the wake of the receiver's Sunday news conference in which Moss told reporters he did not feel appreciated and expected to play elsewhere next season.
Belichick did not confirm the meeting, saying he keeps conversations between himself and players private, but Moss told the Boston Herald on Tuesday about his conversation with the coach. Belichick did, however, shower Moss with some praise.
"I feel the same way as I've felt about Randy for the last three years. He's a good football player," Belichick said at his Monday news conference. "I'm glad he's on our team. I think he adds a lot to our football team. He has good energy. Everybody likes him and he's fun to have on the team. He's a good player."
After Sunday's game, Moss spoke to the media for 16 minutes about his unhappiness with his contract situation (he is in the final year of his deal), his desire to play in New England beyond this season, his relationship with owner Robert Kraft and more.
"I want to let [reporters] know, let the fans, the real fans of New England, know that I'm not here to cause any trouble. I'm here to play the last year out on my contract," Moss said Sunday. "I said time and time again before I signed my first contract here, I want to be in New England; it's a well-coached group here. I never said I wanted to leave New England. There's a lot of things that are being written or being said that have people looking at me in a negative light. I don't want to be in a negative light. I want everybody to understand -- you can print it, I don't care how you put it to ink -- I want to be here with the Patriots. I love being here. I just think that, from a business standpoint, this will be my last year with the Patriots and I'm not retiring; I'm still going to play some football. I just want to get that off my chest. Understand that this is a business."
Some of Moss' Patriots teammates came to his defense on Monday.
"Randy stated the way he felt," running back Fred Taylor said. "You can't question a man's integrity when it's from his heart."
The timing of Moss' remarks, on the heels of a 38-24 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, may not have been ideal, but Taylor didn't complain.
"I'm not questioning anything. I do understand the business side of it all," he said. "It didn't seem like it was, 'All right, this is the timing. I've got to do this or anything like that.' It was just how he was feeling at the moment."
"Contracts are part of the game," said Morris, an 11-year veteran. "I haven't heard what he said yet. I'm not really dying to go figure it out either. It's part of the game. We've got a pretty veteran team and we understand that's part of it."
Players repeatedly have lauded Moss as an excellent teammate.
"Personally, I appreciate him," second-year cornerback Darius Butler said. "He's one of the best teammates I've got."
An 81-second video posted on the Patriots' website showed Moss calling players together in the locker room after Sunday's win.
"Hey, everybody in here, coaches included," he shouted. "That's good when we all do it on the same rhythm. One clap. One clap. One clap. Sound good."
After each "one clap" players slapped their own hands together a single time.
A few minutes later, Moss stood at a podium, speaking calmly as he vented his concerns to reporters. His extended comments Sunday were unusual for a player who politely declines nearly all interview requests.
Moss told the Herald that he explained to Belichick why he said what he said at the meeting and that the talk went well.
Moss had said he wanted to discuss his feelings so they wouldn't become an issue later in the season. He also said his concerns about his future wouldn't affect how he plays.
Belichick wouldn't talk about Moss' comments after Sunday's win.
"I really wasn't even aware of it until today," Belichick said Monday. "You had the access. ... You guys must have loved it."
Patriots left tackle Matt Light, in his 10th season, also is in the final year of his contract but hasn't publicly discussed it.
"I think each guy's different," he said. "Some guys, one thing's important to them. For others, it's completely different. For me, I'm pretty happy. I've got no complaints."
The often playful Light even got in a plug for Tuesday's fundraiser, "The Matt Light Celebrity Shoot-Out," in which participants take target practice with shotguns.
"If you're frustrated, just come to the shootout tomorrow," he said with a smile. "We can blow things up."
Will Moss be there?
"I believe so," Light said. "We won't give him a gun, though."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
WEEK 1: PATRIOTS 38, BENGALS 24
- Bruins' Deadline Pursuits
- The uncertainty of the NHL trade market was center stage Saturday, with Boston facing target Antoine Vermette before he was dealt to Chicago.