Get the Athlon Sports Newsletter
Did Brad Childress and the Vikings make the right move waiving Randy Moss?
Were the Vikings right to cut Randy Moss?
Let’s see: In a space of a few weeks in Minnesota, Randy Moss alienated fans, teammates and coaches; launched into some bizarre postgame performance art after the loss to the Patriots, conducting a five-minute monologue in which he extolled his former team and coach while expressing disappointment with his current boss; and, as a final straw, insulted the caterer at a postgame event, apparently viewing the food provided by a popular Minneapolis eatery and shouting, ‘What the (expletive) is this? I wouldn’t feed this (expletive expletive) to my (expletive) dog!’ According to the caterer, Gus Tinucci, “If (Brett) Favre would have had a ball, he would have beaned him right in the head.”
Having failed at the most basic NFL tasks of team-building and positive community relations, Moss could have at least provided a jolt of positive energy on the field.
But what did the Vikings get in return for this seemingly unending series of headaches? In his ballyhooed return to Minnesota, Moss caught only 13 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns in four games. That stat line reads like a single-game effort during Moss’ spectacular prime in his first Vikings go-round.
He may be one of the two or three greatest receivers in history, but Randy Moss was a disaster during his short second tenure in the Twin Cities. To be even more blunt, Moss was a cancer that had to be excised before it spread and destroyed what was left of the Vikings’ fragile franchise.
This team, which had Super Bowl hopes heading into the season, is hanging by a thread. Coach Brad Childress and Favre are sniping at one another through the media, and Favre is dealing with a sex scandal back in New York. Washing its hands of the Moss disaster? A no-brainer for this troubled franchise.
– Rob Doster
If Brad Childress really wanted to do what was “in the best interests of the Minnesota Vikings, both in the short and long term,” then the incompetent coach would be stepping down from his post and leaving the Twin Cities, rather than waiving Randy Moss, in what appears to be a weak attempt to place blame on someone other than himself.
The reality is the Vikings need Moss now more than ever. Minnesota’s receiving corps has Sidney Rice (hip) learning to walk before he can run, Percy Harvin (ankle) limping around in between migraines and Bernard Berrian (head) having mentally checked out due to lack of involvement in the offense this year.
Without Moss, the burden of moving the chains falls almost entirely on the shoulders of running back Adrian Peterson and the fractured foot of 41-year-old Brett Favre. Regardless of whether Moss made big plays or not, the 6'4", 210-pound ultimate deep threat drew attention and opened up the field for A.P., Harvin and, ultimately, Favre.
By all accounts, Moss is healthy. And upon arriving back in Minnesota — where he enjoyed five Pro Bowl years over his first seven seasons in the NFL from 1998-2004 — Moss was happy, looking forward to his reunion with the purple people in the stands and a chance to finally play with Favre. Something happened between then and now. Childress either never earned, or immediately lost, the respect of Moss, who made Favre-ian criticisms of the coach’s lack of interest in how to stop a Patriots offense that Moss thrived in to the tune of 3,904 yards and 50 TDs over 52 games in New England.
Also, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf reportedly was “not happy” about Moss being waived after the team traded a 2011 third-rounder for him one month prior.
In the “best interests of the Minnesota Vikings, both in the short and long term,” Childress limited his playcalling options, put more pressure on injured players, annoyed his owner, wasted a high draft pick and divided his locker room. Brilliant move, Brad.
– Nathan Rush