The future Hall of Famer was shockingly released by the Vikings on Monday after he didn’t fly back to Minnesota on the team plane. Initially on Monday, Vikings head coach Brad Childress told the Minnesota media he gave Moss permission to stay in the Boston area to spend time with family and expected Moss to return in time for Wednesday.
Later on Monday, the NFL Network reported Moss had been waived. He'll be on the league's waiver wire until 4 p.m. Tuesday, and every team will have a chance to claim him, with priority going to the teams with the worst record. If Moss is not claimed, he'll become a free agent and can sign with anyone.
Moss was held to one reception for eight yards in a 28-18 loss to the Patriots on Sunday, and the wide receiver made some headline-grabbing comments in his postgame news conference — some of which criticized Childress and Minnesota's coaching decisions.
Moss wasn’t much of a factor with the Vikings, either, catching 13 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns in four games. He didn’t look like a guy who was willing or comfortable to fill his role in that offense, and there were too many times when he was stopping his routes short. While that has long since been a criticism of Moss, this appeared to be happening far more often this season with the Vikings than with the Patriots, who are 3-0 since trading Moss.
It seems highly unlikely — but not completely inconceivable — Moss will wind up back with the Patriots. Surely, they love the guy, but they shipped him out earlier this season for a reason, and it's hard to imagine they were doing it just to add a third-round draft pick.
The Patriots have definitely struggled on offense without Moss, but Moss didn’t exactly make them a juggernaut during his four games in New England this season. Plus, the Patriots are playing their best football of the season, and they're improving on a weekly basis, which likely wouldn’t be the mark of a team that was ticked off at the front office for trading Moss. And the guys in the locker room, including wide receiver Wes Welker, sounded disheartened over the notion that Moss wanted out of town before that trade.
Moss will find a place to play, as plenty of contending teams are looking for help at wide receiver, but it's too hard to picture that place being Gillette Stadium.
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