Randy Moss traded back to Minnesota Vikings [Updated]
[Updated at 9:57 a.m.: The trade has been confirmed by both teams. The Patriots said on their website that Moss had been traded to the Vikings for an undisclosed draft pick.
"Over the course of the past several months, I have spoken with Randy and his representative about Randy's place on our team and his future in football," Coach Bill Belichick said in a statement. "Consistent with my dealings with Randy from the day we acquired him through our conversation this morning, it has been honest, thoughtful and with great mutual respect."
Belichick added that he feels the move "is best for our football team, in both the short term and long term."
Visitors to the Vikings site are greeted with the message, "Welcome Back 84," as well as the opportunity to "Get your #84 gear here."
"We feel very good about the opportunity to add a player of Randy Moss' caliber to this football team,” Vikings Coach Brad Childress said. “He is a tremendous competitor and was an integral member of the Vikings organization from 1998-2004. 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 and look forward to his contributions."]
The Patriots will receive a third-round draft pick in the trade, which was first reported by ESPN. In Moss, the Vikings should get the downfield threat quarterback Brett Favre has needed since Pro Bowl receiver Sidney Rice had hip surgery in August.
Moss was a first-round pick for the Vikings in 1998 and emerged as one of the league's top receivers, catching 574 passes for 9,142 yards and 90 touchdowns in seven seasons. But he was surrounded by controversy both on and off the field and was traded to the Oakland Raiders in 2005.
After two non-productive seasons in Oakland, Moss revitalized his career in New England with quarterback Tom Brady, setting an NFL record with 23 touchdown receptions in 2007. He is in the final season of a three-year, $27-million contract and has made contradictory public statements about his future with the team.
He did not have a catch in the Patriots' 41-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Monday night.
-- Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: Randy Moss. Credit: Greg M. Cooper / US Presswire