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Patriots WR Randy Moss found a way to overshadow a convincing season-opening 38-24 victory over the Bengals with a bizarre postgame press conference in which he blasted the media, said a contract offer in the offseason will be a "smack in [his] face," and claimed he does not expect to be a Patriot in 2011.
Earlier in the week, a CBS Sports story came out saying that Moss, whose contract expires at the end of this season, felt unwanted and unappreciated in New England. After Sunday's win, Moss said, among other things, "I don't care how you put it on your ink, I want to be here as a Patriot. I love being here. 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."
The PFW Spin
For a guy who doesn't talk to the media much, Moss picked an odd time to vent. A reporter even asked Moss, "Do you understand how bad this looks after a 38-24 win to stand up here and talk about the contract?"
Kudos to that reporter for the question on everyone's mind.
In a game with many positives for the Patriots — the return of Wes Welker just eight months following reconstructive knee surgery to record a team-high eight receptions and two TDs and a young secondary standing up to Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens — Moss' words took most of the headlines.
Last week, QB Tom Brady called Moss "probably the greatest downfield receiver in the history of the NFL." Moss hauled in five catches for 59 yards against the Bengals and is still Brady's top deep threat. All the notables in the Patriots' organization: head coach Bill Belichick, owner Robert Kraft, Welker and Brady, have shown support for Moss, saying there are no problems and that he is wanted in New England.
The Patriots proved on Sunday that they are still the team to beat in the AFC East. With Pro Bowl OLG Logan Mankins an off-the-field distraction with his holdout, the Patriots cannot afford to have another openly frustrated player, especially one as controversial and important as Moss.
If a motivated Moss steps up his game as he plays for a new contract, it certainly would benefit the Patriots. They probably would prefer he keep his mouth shut about it, however.