Vikings decide to waive Randy Moss
"This decision was made based on what we thought was in the best interests of the Minnesota Vikings, both in the short and long term," head coach Brad Childress said in a statement. "We wish Randy the best as he moves forward in his career."
More on Randy Moss
Who wants Randy Moss? ESPN.com's NFL Nation Blog looks at all 32 teams to see who's likely to put in a claim for Moss and who's likely not interested. Blog
It was already a disappointing season in Minnesota before Brad Childress sent Randy Moss packing. That doesn't bode well for Childress' job security, writes Kevin Seifert. Blog
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• Karabell: Moss' fantasy impact
• From Sunday: Moss' postgame rant
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• From Sunday: MacMullan on Moss
Vikings players said Monday that Childress told them that Moss "is no longer with us."
Moss' name did not appear on the league's official waiver report Monday, but he could be awarded to another team as early as Wednesday.
A team can claim Moss and pick up the final year of a contract that pays him $6.4 million in base salary. Winless Buffalo has the worst record in the league and the first shot to claim Moss, followed by Carolina and Dallas. If no team claims him, the Vikings owe Moss the remaining $3.388 million on his deal. He'd be available for around $450,000 and Moss could choose the team he would like to join.
Various league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets and even the Patriots are among the teams possibly interested in claiming Moss.
Sources close to the situation told Schefter that Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is angry that his team plans to waive a player he wanted in Minnesota. Wilf played a major role in the re-acquisition of Moss and is unhappy with the way Monday's events regarding Moss unfolded.
Linebacker Ben Leber told the Star Tribune that Childress didn't give the team a reason for Moss' ouster from Minnesota.
"No reason, really, [he] just wanted to give everybody a heads-up and say this is what's going on, and that's it," Leber told the newspaper. "He didn't really dive into any details, and just said that's what we're going to go with."
Patriots wideout Wes Welker was shocked to hear of Moss' dismissal, but when asked if he wanted Moss back with New England, Welker said that was coach Bill Belichick's call.
"You know, that's all Coach Belichick's decision. So whatever he decides we're open to as a team. And I'm sure he'll do what's best for the organization," Welker said.
But Belichick was not talking at his Monday news conference.
"I can't comment on the status of any players in the league or any transaction," Belichick told the media.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, though, was a bit more forthcoming.
"We'll look at Randy and make a decision if he gives us a better chance to help our football team win," Shanahan told the assembled media Monday afternoon.
Moss' exit from Minnesota was first reported by the NFL Network.
Following the Vikings' 28-18 loss to the Patriots, in which Moss had one catch for 8 yards, the veteran receiver announced that he would not be answering any more questions from the media for the rest of the season.
He also criticized the Vikings for not heeding his advice on certain plays the Patriots were likely to use against the Vikings. He also expressed his admiration for the Patriots.
Randy Moss ranks 77th in the league in receptions this season -- just a part of a substandard year for the All-Pro wideout.
NFL Ranks This Season
"I'm definitely down that we lost this game. I didn't expect we'd lose this game," Moss said. "I don't know how many more times I'll be in New England again. But I leave coach Belichick and those guys with a salute: 'I love you guys. I miss you. I'm out.' "
On Monday, Childress disagreed with Moss' assertion that the Vikings ignored the receiver's advice.
"I think we did a pretty good job of heeding it, both offensively and defensively," Childress said, according to the Star Tribune. "He gave us some windows into how we thought they would end up playing. That's obviously in his eyes."
Childress said Monday he didn't see Moss' remarks as "incendiary." The closest he came to criticizing him was acknowledging he could've caught a pass that fell incomplete in the end zone while the Patriots were called for pass interference.
"But again, I don't know," Childress said. "He was restricted. If they called pass interference, there had to be some kind of restriction."
Asked whether he felt Moss had been playing hard, Childress said, "He's playing hard when he needs to play hard."
Leber didn't sound happy about Moss' postgame remarks.
"It was just, 'Wow,' " Leber said. "Just because it sounded like it was unprompted and sounded like he wanted to get some stuff off his chest. He certainly has every right to do that. I don't think that's the way to do it."
Moss had not spoken to reporters since Oct. 13, taking a $25,000 fine from the NFL for failing to cooperate with the media. The money didn't sway him to open up last week in the days leading up to his return to New England, which traded him to the Vikings on Oct. 6.
"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."
In four games with the Vikings, Moss had 13 receptions for 174 yards and two touchdowns. The Vikings were 1-3 in those games, including Sunday's loss at New England.
Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, ESPN.com's John Clayton, ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss and The Associated Press was used in this report.