Minneapolis // A trade was confirmed yesterday that sees Randy Moss leave the New England Patriots to return to the Minnesota Vikings.
The Patriots will receive a 2011 third-round draft pick in exchange for the seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, who started his career at the Vikings in 1998.
He was a first-round draft pick of the Vikings in 1998 and spent his first seven seasons in the NFL with Minnesota. He was traded to Oakland in 2005, where he languished for two years before being revitalised in New England.
Moss set an NFL record with 23 touchdown receptions in 2007. But he has said several times this year that he expected 2010 to be his last season with the Patriots. He did not have a catch in New England’s 41-14 victory over Miami on Monday night.
“When you have done so much and put so much work in, it kind of feels like I am not wanted,” Moss said last month.
“I am taking that in stride and playing my final year out and whatever the future holds is what it holds, but it is kind of a bad feeling – feeling not wanted. It is not like my production has gone down.”
Moss caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards in his first season with New England in 2007. He had 69 catches for 1,008 yards and 11 TDs in 2008, when Tom Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury early in the year and came back with 83 catches for 1,264 yards and 13 scores last season.
Moss was in the final season of his three-year, US$27 million (Dh99.1m) contract and has made no secret about his desire for a new deal.
It was not immediately known if the Vikings had entered into discussions with Moss for a long-term deal or if that would affect his desire to be traded back to the place where his career began.
The Vikings will be happy to have him. Sidney Rice, the Pro Bowl receiver, will miss at least the first six weeks of the season because of a hip injury and Percy Harvin has struggled all season with migraine headaches.
Without the deep threat that he had in Rice, Brett Favre’s production has dropped dramatically at quarterback. The Vikings have lost two of their first three games and their receiving group lacks the big-play receiver who can out-jump smaller cornerbacks for passes down the field.
* Associated Press