EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Just four weeks ago, Randy Moss gushed about returning to Minnesota. He felt fortunate to return to his first team and was looking forward to seeing those purple No. 84 jerseys again.
One day after Moss' rant following a loss at New England, the happy reunion was over.
Players confirmed Monday that coach Brad Childress told them during a team meeting of the wide receiver's release.
"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 team-issued statement. "We wish Randy the best as he moves forward in his career."
The Star Tribune in Minneapolis reported that Childress did not tell owner Zygi Wilf of his intention to cut Moss, and that the coach angered many in the organization by working alone. Technically Moss was not put on waivers by the 4 p.m. deadline and the team did not confirm he was gone until issuing the statement. The move will officially happen today.
The NFL Network first reported the Vikings had waived the seven-time Pro Bowl player less than a month after acquiring him from the Patriots for a third-round draft pick. Moss returned to New England on Sunday and was wistful about his days with the AFC East leaders after Minnesota's 28-18 loss to the Patriots and critical of the Vikings for not taking his game-planning advice.
After Sunday's game, Moss repeatedly expressed admiration for coach Bill Belichick and his former team and criticized the Vikings for not paying enough attention to his advice in the run-up to the game.
"I don't know how many more times I'll be in New England again," Moss said. "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 regard Moss' remarks as "incendiary."
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. The Star Tribune reported that his agent, Joel Segal, wrote in an e-mail that "Randy is very sad to find out about being waived by the Vikings this morning. He has and always will remain fond of the fans in Minnesota."
One of Moss' former teams, the Raiders, would not rule out reacquiring him once he officially clears waivers. "We have an interest in anyone we think can help us," coach Tom Cable said.
The team that claims Moss — in order from worst (Buffalo) to first (Patriots) — would assume the rest of his $6.4 million base salary, a little more than $3.2 million. If no team claims Moss, he would become a free agent.
CARDINALS: Coming off Sunday's loss at home to the Bucs, coach Ken Whisenhunt declined to pick a starting quarterback. Derek Anderson relieved rookie Max Hall against Tampa Bay but both were intercepted twice.
COLTS: Jim Irsay insists Peyton Manning will be the league's highest-paid player next season. He'll just have to wait until after this season to close the deal. The owner said he was prepared to make a contract offer to Manning during the team's off week, but Manning and his agent, Tom Condon, wanted to wait until after the season. Irsay did not divulge details of his proposal but has said that the baseline will be the extension — $18 million annually and $48.5 million guaranteed — that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady signed recently.
COWBOYS: Wade Phillips is starting over. After looking at film from this year and last, the coach concluded that his team, expected to be a Super Bowl contender, is 1-6 because of poor fundamentals. So he's putting his players back in training-camp mode. Phillips refused to specify, but he bounced his plan off owner Jerry Jones and apparently was told to go for it. Also, Jones remained adamant about not changing coaches.
EAGLES: Quarterback Michael Vick, who expects to start Sunday vs. the Colts after missing three games with a rib cartilage injury, completed his first full practice since getting hurt.
GIANTS: Center Shaun O'Hara (sprained right foot) is uncertain for Sunday's game at Seattle. Also, backup cornerback Bruce Johnson, who had arthroscopic knee surgery, went on injured reserve, ending his season.
STEELERS: Profootballtalk.com reported that linebacker James Harrison, fined $75,000 for a hit two weeks ago that was used as an example of the helmet-to-helmet shots that the league was looking to eliminate, will be fined again. Sunday night he was flagged for a roughing-the-passer penalty on Drew Brees of the Saints.
TITANS: With a bye coming, quarterback Vince Young (left ankle) might return to practice soon. But coach Jeff Fisher said receiver Kenny Britt (right hamstring) will miss some time, probably at least one game.