POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Nov 02, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 01:33 a.m. HST, Nov 02, 2010
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.
Vikings players confirmed yesterday that coach Brad Childress informed them during a team meeting that the wide receiver had been released.
"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 last night in a team-issued statement. "We wish Randy the best as he moves forward in his career."
The NFL Network first reported the struggling Vikings (2-5) had waived the six-time Pro Bowler 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 following Minnesota's 28-18 loss and critical of the Vikings for not taking his game-planning advice.
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 Sunday's 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 paying enough attention to his advice in the run-up to the game.
"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.' "
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.
Childress didn't mention the move when he talked to reporters and said Moss was staying in the Boston area for a few days to spend time with family.
ASHBURN, Va. » Mike Shanahan changed his story in a hurry. The new explanation: Donovan McNabb was benched more because of his body, not his brain.
Less than 24 hours after declaring he yanked McNabb because of a "gut feel" relating to the quarterback's less-than-full competence in the offense, the Washington Redskins coach instead insisted yesterday it was a preplanned move that had more to do with "cardiovascular endurance" issues.
McNabb, because of nagging hamstring and groin injuries, wasn't in good enough shape to run a 2-minute offense with no timeouts -- according to Shanahan.
"The cardiovascular endurance that it takes to run a 2-minute, going all the way down with no timeouts, calling plays, it's just not easy." Shanahan said. "If I thought it was the best situation to do, then Donovan would have run the 2-minute offense."
ALAMEDA, Calif. » Oakland rookie middle linebacker Rolando McClain briefly broke his long silence to the media to make a plea to Raiders fans to come out to this week's game.
McClain has not done an interview with the local media since the season opener against Tennessee on Sept. 12. He has declined numerous requests since then. When asked yesterday if he had time to talk, McClain said he wouldn't give an interview until the Raiders sold out a game.
"If the fans come out and we can sell out a damn game, I'll talk to the media," McClain said. "Until then ... I need full fan support."
The Raiders play AFC West rival Kansas City on Sunday in a matchup of the top two teams in the division.
Oakland has gone 11 straight games without a sellout. Coach Tom Cable made a plea to the fans immediately following a 59-14 win at Denver on Oct. 24, saying the team needs them to fill the Oakland Coliseum. Instead, the Raiders drew just 35,721 for their 33-3 win over Seattle on Sunday.