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Moss trade to Vikings close

Report: Contract extension the key

By Monique Walker and Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / October 6, 2010

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The drama surrounding Randy Moss is back. But this time he didn’t say a word.

A day after Moss didn’t have a catch in a game for the first time since the 2006 season, rumors swirled the receiver is on the trading block and may be headed to Minnesota.

The Patriots and Vikings have been in trade talks for a while, and as of last night were close to a deal if Moss and the Vikings can agree on a contract extension, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports said on WEEI’s “Planet Mikey Show’’ last night.

A Patriots official responded by saying simply, “There’s no trade.’’ Efforts to reach Moss’s agent, Joel Segal, were unsuccessful.

The Vikings and Moss have yet to talk about a contract extension, but late last night ESPN cited sources saying the trade will be completed today.

Segal asked the Patriots for a trade on Moss’s behalf after New England’s Week 1 win over Cincinnati, the Herald reported. After that game, Moss, 33, broke his summer-long silence with a passionate but bizarre news conference in which he stated his desire to remain with the team and his willingness to leave the organization if he didn’t get a new contract before the end of this season.

Moss addressed many issues at the news conference, including his contract.

“If you do a good job . . . you want to be appreciated. I don’t think me, personally, I’m appreciated,’’ he said that day. “I want to let you all know, I want to let the fans — the real fans — of the New England Patriots know that I’m not here to start any trouble. I’m going to play my last year out on my contract, and as I’ve said time and time again since I signed my first contract here, I want to be here in New England. It’s a great group of guys here, a well-coached group here, and I never said I want to leave New England.

“But I just think, from a business standpoint, this probably will be my last year here as a Patriot. And I’m not retiring, I’m still going to play some football.’’

Glazer said he didn’t think the trade was the result of the Patriots having any problems with Moss, but rather a chance for them to get something for the receiver, as he is in the last year of his contract.

Moss has not received permission from the Patriots to negotiate with another team, according to the NFL Network, but a deal could be done without that, however.

The Vikings (1-2) are in desperate need of a big-play threat with star receiver Sidney Rice out for at least the first half of the season because of offseason hip surgery.

Another Vikings game-breaker, receiver Percy Harvin, was plagued by migraines during training camp. He has 12 catches, 106 yards, and one touchdown in three games this season, but Harvin doesn’t extend the field like Moss, who has just nine receptions in four games, but has 139 receiving yards and three touchdowns, the type of home-run hitter quarterback Brett Favre has been pleading for.

The Vikings tried to acquire receiver Vincent Jackson from the Chargers two weeks ago but couldn’t reach an agreement with San Diego.

If a trade goes through, it would return Moss to the team that drafted him in the first round out of Marshall in 1998. It also would create a rather interesting matchup Oct. 31 when the Vikings come to Gillette Stadium.

On Monday night, Moss was frequently on the field, but quarterback Tom Brady looked his way just once, on a fake spike at the close of the first half. The pass went off Moss’s fingertips in the end zone.

Moss rejuvenated his career with the Patriots when he arrived via a trade from the Raiders in 2007. He signed a three-year, $27 million contract at the end of the ’07 season that ends after this season. In the offseason, Moss fired his longtime agent, Tim DiPiero, and signed with Segal.

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