- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 6, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS | 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 receiver on Wednesday, giving Moss the exit he expected all along and sending him back to the place where he became a superstar.

“He is a tremendous competitor and was an integral member of the Vikings organization,” Vikings coach Brad Childress said in a statement. “Once again, ownership was completely supportive of our efforts to add a valuable football player to our team. I know the entire organization is thrilled to welcome him back to the Twin Cities.”


ESPN and Foxsports.com reported the Patriots will receive a third-round draft pick.

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.

“In this business, there are complex and often difficult decisions, but it is my responsibility to make them based on what I feel is best for our football team, in both the short term and long term,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to have coached Randy Moss and aside from facing him as an opponent, I wish him the very best for the remainder of his Hall of Fame career.”

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.

“This is an exciting move, I think everybody feels that in the locker room,” Favre said on the team’s website. “It’s rare you get to play with a future Hall of Famer and get to appreciate their talents up close. Randy Moss is a great player and his career speaks for itself. I’ve admired him from a distance for a long time and you can’t help but be impressed by the guy.”

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 passing game has struggled to get off the ground with Rice and Percy Harvin both struggling with injuries.

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.

The Vikings and owner Zygi Wilf delivered in a big way Wednesday.

“It’s kind of a, ‘Man, we wish this would have happened a week later,’” Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson said.

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.

Story Continues →