- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 6, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - When Randy Moss first came to Minnesota 12 years ago, he electrified a stagnant franchise and immediately turned the Vikings into Super Bowl contenders.

Now the Vikings need him to do it again.

The New England Patriots traded the seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver to the Vikings on Wednesday, giving Moss the exit he expected all along and sending him back to the place where he became a superstar, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the transaction had not been officially announced.

ESPN first reported the deal was done, with the Patriots getting a third-round draft pick.

Moss will go from catching passes from Tom Brady in New England to hauling in Brett Favre’s throws with the Vikings, who desperately needed a downfield threat after Pro Bowl receiver Sidney Rice had hip surgery in August.

The Vikings play at the New York Jets on Monday night, and they are only three and a half weeks away from an Oct. 31 game in Foxborough, Mass., against the Patriots.

The Vikings began the year with championship aspirations after reaching the NFC title game in January. But they have lost two of their first three and Favre’s game has struggled to get off the ground with Rice and Percy Harvin both struggling with injuries.

The Vikings have reverted to a run-first offense early this season, leaning heavily on Adrian Peterson while Favre tries to get on the same page with receivers. It’s been a revolving door all year, with the Vikings trading for Greg Camarillo late in August and signing Hank Baskett in Week 3, four days before their game against the Lions.

“The problem is, it’s been a new guy every week and you say, ‘Okay, I’m going to play this guy at slot and this guy at flanker,’ and then the next week you take the flanker and you move him to slot,” Favre said after a win over Detroit.

The Vikings failed to trade for disgruntled Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson earlier this season, and Favre has said he would like to see another big receiver added to the roster.

Undoubtedly, the soon-to-be 41-year-old quarterback will be fine with who the Vikings got.

Favre openly campaigned for the Packers to acquire Moss when Oakland put him on the trade block in 2007. The Patriots ultimately ended up parting with a fourth-round pick to pry Moss away, and Favre privately fumed at the swing and miss by the Green Bay front office.

The Packers shipped Favre to the Jets in 2008 and he signed with the Vikings in 2009.

Now, Favre and Moss have finally been united.

Moss was a first-round draft pick of the Vikings in 1998 and spent his first seven seasons with Minnesota, where he emerged as one of the biggest playmakers in the league. He was traded to Oakland in 2005, where he languished for two years before being revitalized in New England.

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