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Old 02-09-2005, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default Moss: "I don't want to be traded."

Moss on trade: I'd be 'a little mad'
Last Update: 2/9/2005 12:41:34 AM
KFAN dot com

Some media outlets may have written off Randy Moss’ chances for staying in Minnesota, but the Vikings receiver isn’t convinced just yet.

In an interview that will air in its entirety Thursday night on KFAN, Moss addressed recent trade rumors for the first time publicly, saying the speculation hasn’t bothered him and expressing desire to remain a Viking.

“I don’t really get caught up in trade rumors, ‘cause this is a business,” Moss said. “…If I get traded from here…I’m gonna probably be a little sore, a little mad, but not at the organization – probably just because I’m leaving here, and (losing) the love that I’ve developed here of growing to love the game and Minnesota.”

On the heels of two dubious late-season incidents, Moss has become the subject of constant, media-driven trade rumors since the Vikings’ playoff run ended with a loss at Philadelphia on Jan. 16.

The five-time Pro Bowler drew national criticism for leaving the field late in a loss at Washington on Jan. 2, and again a week later when he pretended to moon fans after scoring a touchdown in the Vikings’ playoff win at Green Bay. The NFL fined Moss $10,000 for the latter incident, a sum that elicited a sarcastic public response from the multimillionaire receiver.

Moss also battled his most challenging season on the field, in essence missing five games with a strained hamstring and posting career lows with 49 catches and 767 receiving yards.

Citing a team source, ESPN initially reported there was a 60/40 chance Moss would be dealt in the offseason, and last weekend reported owner Red McCombs had given the Vikings personnel office and Dante DiTrapano, Moss’ agent, permission to shop the star receiver. McCombs and vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski denied to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that any such discussion took place, and coach Mike Tice on Monday called all trade talk premature.

The Vikings are believed to be willing to deal Moss for a lucrative package -- one that likely would have to include a defensive starter and multiple first-round draft picks. Media reports have targeted Baltimore, Oakland, San Diego and the New York Jets as interested parties.

Speaking at KFAN’s St. Louis Park studio last Friday, Moss said large-scale personnel changes – including trading him – probably aren’t the solution for a team that stumbled to its second straight 3-7 regular-season finish. Instead, Moss said a lack of team unity has hurt the Vikings’ performance in recent years.

“Bringing players in here and letting players leave…I don’t think that’s the key,” Moss added. “I think (after) just getting to know one another, you know what you can expect from a guy week-in and week-out. So I’m just anxious to see…with me here or without me here, where this team goes.”

The Vikings have consistently sold out the Metrodome since selecting Moss in the first round of the 1998 draft. McCombs, who currently is in his third week of exclusive sale negotiations with Arizona businessman Reggie Fowler, understandably is lax to deal his No. 1 attraction while trying to sell the team.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported in its Wednesday editions Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor will make an offer of about $600 million for the team "within 24 hours" of the end of that exclusive negotiating period if Fowler's bid fails.

No trade can be finalized until March 2. Moss has four seasons remaining on his an eight-year, $75 million deal, but implied several times he wouldn’t be stunned if he didn't play out the second half of his contract in Minnesota.

“If I get traded…I get traded,” Moss said. “If not, then I’m going to do whatever I can do in my will to hopefully get something started.”

The interview, conducted with Vikings play-by-play voice Paul Allen, was recorded as a promotion for Moss’ celebrity bass fishing tournament, which will take place on Lake Minnetonka in late June. Half the proceeds from the tournament will benefit the SMILE Foundation.

The interview will air in its entirety during KFAN’s Outdoors program Thursday night. FAN Outdoors airs from 7-9 p.m.

Information from a variety of sources was used in this report.
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