Minnesota Vikings  

 

Moss officially placed on waivers; misbehavior led to release

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The Minnesota Vikings officially placed disgruntled wide receiver Randy Moss on waivers Tuesday afternoon, NFL Network insider Jason LaCanfora confirmed.

Teams will now have until 4 p.m. ET Wednesday to make a claim. Moss is owed roughly $3 million in salary if he is claimed. If he goes unclaimed, then the Vikings are responsible for his full salary and the six-time Pro Bowl pick would become an unrestricted free agent eligible to sign with any club.

Contrary to some reports, some people in the Vikings front office knew head coach Brad Childress intended to waive Moss, but word might not have trickled up to team owner Zygi Wilf, NFL.com insider Steve Wyche reported, according to a team source. Childress has control over team personnel decisions for the 53-man roster.

Childress and his staff were busy putting together a game plan for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday, a sign they won't be fired as some have speculated.

The source noted that Moss' behavior both in the locker room and after Sunday's loss at New England was a key factor in Childress' decision.

Moss' actions during a Friday locker-room buffet last week reportedly upset some teammates, including quarterback Brett Favre, according to the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.

Gus Tinnuci, co-owner of Tinucci's Restaurant and Catering, which has been in business since 1958 and provided the meal, detailed Moss' actions to Rich Eisen during the NFL Network host's Tuesday Podcast. Tinucci said Favre did not take kindly to Moss' behavior. 

"Brett was there, and I swear, if he would have had a football in his hand, I think he would have drilled it at him," Tinucci said. "He looked at him, and kind of threw his helmet down, and then Brett went right into the training room to get his ankle worked on. Favre looked at him like, 'Are you kidding me?'"

Tinnucci said he had a buffet set up with chicken, ribs and a carving station. 

"We got set up and we're ready to go at 1 o'clock and the players started filing into the locker room. And I was working with one of the players and cutting him a prime sandwich and all of a sudden I heard this yelling going on, and I looked up and sure enough it was Randy Moss.

"He said: 'What's this (expletive)? I wouldn't eat this (expletive). I wouldn't even serve this (expletive) to my dog."

Tinucci said Moss didn't eat any of the food and just walked back to his locker

"It was quiet as can be," he said. "Nobody said anything. Well, I did hear one guy later say, 'Shut the (expletive) up, Randy.' Not real loud. There was no confrontation between anyone. I mean, he said it, it was very quiet, and I just went on with my business."

Tinucci said no coaches were present at the time, but a couple Vikings employees later came up to him and apologized for Moss' behavior.

"They came up and apologized. And they said, 'you know ... its not good.'"

Meanwhile, leauge sources told La Canfora that the Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins are among teams considering a waiver claim on Moss.

Several clubs are doing their due diligence, exploring the option and trying to gauge what kind of fit Moss might be, the sources told La Canfora.

Who are the suitors for Moss?
Randy Moss is officially on the waiver wire, opening the window for NFL teams to stake their claims before Wednesday's deadline. Who are the possible suitors for Moss? More ...

» Blog: Has Childress lost team?
» Breer: Rift between Childress, team
» Wyche: Who will want Moss?
» Video: What do Vikings fans think?
» Fantasy: Harvin stands to lose

Childress confirmed the Vikings' intention to waive Moss on Monday night.

"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," Childress said in a statement. "We wish Randy the best as he moves forward in his career."

Childress didn't mention the move when he talked to reporters Monday and said Moss was staying back in the Boston area for a few days to spend time with family. Asked whether he regretted acquiring Moss, the coach said "not at present."

However, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, citing a source, said it was Moss who informed the team he would be staying out East.

That and some displays of disrespect -- including Sunday's postgame rant -- likely pushed Childress to make the move, the Star Tribune reported.

Vikings players said Childress informed them during a Monday morning team meeting that Moss was no longer with the team.

NFL Network's Michael Lombardi first reported Moss' release.

The Titans, who have a bye this week and would thus have more time to acclimate Moss to their offense, could have a glaring need at wide receiver because of receiver Kenny Britt's hamstring injury. Tennessee also is in the mix for first in the AFC South with a 5-3 record.

The Nashville Tennessean quoted coach Jeff Fisher as saying "I've had every player in the building come to my backdoor and say, 'Go get him. Go get him.' "

Safety Michael Griffin and running back Chris Johnson posted on Twitter that the Titans should "get Randy Moss," but Fisher said their feelings wouldn't factor into the decision.

The Miami Herald also reported, citing sources, that the Dolphins have interest in Moss, who has a home in South Florida. Miami's offense has struggled, and the Dolphins are a playoff contender at 4-3.

The Rams are in contention in the NFC West at 4-4, and their wide receiver group has been decimated with season-ending injuries to Donnie Avery and Mark Clayton. Likewise, the Seahawks, who lead the NFC West at 4-3, could be looking to jazz up an offense that managed just three points against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Moss, who was fined $25,000 last week for failing to cooperate with the media and make himself regularly available for interviews, stepped to the podium after the game but announced he wouldn't take any questions. He repeatedly expressed admiration for coach Bill Belichick and his former team and criticized the Vikings for not taking enough of his game-planning advice.

Moss had only one catch for 8 yards against the Patriots. In four games for the Vikings, he had 13 receptions for 174 yards and two touchdowns.

Moss, who was traded from Minnesota to Oakland in 2005 after finding his share of trouble and frustrating the organization with his attitude, expressed eagerness to connect with Brett Favre when he returned and talked about how much he still loved Vikings fans some five-and-a-half years after his departure.

While Moss' presence opened the field for wide receiver Percy Harvin, who has blossomed into one of the league's most dangerous offensive players, Moss did not materialized into the deep threat the Vikings sought when they traded for him Oct. 7. His longest catch was a 37-yarder, and he was only targeted twice against the Patriots.

"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.'"

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."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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