Updated Oct. 6, 2010 @ 12:35 p.m. ET
The Patriots have traded WR Randy Moss to the Vikings, both teams have confirmed.
Moss, who had a terrific run in New England, joins a Vikings team in need of receiver help and one desperate to win a Super Bowl in what could be Brett Favre's final season.
The trade remains stunning a day after reports first surfaced that the teams were in discussion for the future Hall of Fame receiver.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick issued a statement Wednesday afternoon on the Moss trade:
"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. 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.
"While I will keep private the details of internal conversations with players and staff, suffice it to say that many things were taken into consideration before making the trade.
"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. 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."
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com reported Wednesday that Moss had argued with Patriots coaches during Monday night's game in Miami and that incident led the Patriots to accelerate efforts to trade Moss.
Vikings head coach Brad Childress, whose team tried but failed to land disgruntled Chargers WR Vincent Jackson recently, also commented on the Moss deal.
"We feel very good about the opportunity to add a player of Randy Moss' caliber to this football team," 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."
Childress will address the media on Wednesday following practice. There is no scheduled media access at Winter Park today because the Vikings play on Monday night at the Jets.
It is believed, but not known, that Moss will play in the Monday-night game. The Vikings were said to want to expedite the trade as quckly as possible in order to get Moss up to speed on the team's offense.
Moss also will have another interesting game on his schedule when the Vikings face the Patriots in New England on Halloween.
In 52 career games with the Patriots, Moss caught 50 TDs and the team compiled a 40-12 record, including 15 games with Tom Brady injured in 2008 and Matt Cassel starting. But many people in New England would add one asterisk to Moss' legacy there, that he never won a Super Bowl, losing to the Giants in XLII.
Moss spent his first seven seasons with the Vikings and was traded following the '04 season to the Raiders. In 109 games (104 starts) with the Vikings, Moss caught 574 passes for 9,142 yards (15.9 avg.) and 90 touchdowns.
He currently ranks second in NFL history with 151 career TD receptions, fifth with 14,604 career receiving yards and 10th with 935 career receptions. Over his 190 career games, Moss has averaged 76.9 yards per game. In 2007 with the Patriots, Moss set an NFL record with 23 touchdowns in that Super Bowl season.
Neither team disclosed what the compensation was for Moss going to Minnesota, but mutliple reports have said it will be for a third-round pick. If so, the Patriots would own two first-, two second-, two third- and two fourth-round picks. They acquired the extra first in the Richard Seymour trade, a pick that could land in the top 10, and the second-rounder came from Carolina in the Armanti Edwards deal on Draft Day this year. The fourth-round pick came via the Laurence Maroney trade ealier this month to Denver.
The way we see it
Moss publicly vented his frustration about the Patriots as he awaited a new deal. It's no secret that QB Brett Favre would love to play with Moss (he tried to bring Moss to the Packers during the offseason Moss was traded to New England), and he's in desperate need of a receiver with the team's No. 1 wideout, Sidney Rice, sidelined following hip surgery and not set to come back for at least two weeks at the earliest.
The Patriots have no shortage of weapons for Tom Brady, although they are trading away one of the greatest receivers of all time. By the way, the Vikings travel to New England for a game on Halloween.
With Favre likely playing his final season, the window of opportunity for the Vikings is closing fast, and Favre, who turns 41 Sunday, needs receiving help. And now he has it.
The question becomes how much does the 33-year-old receiver have left in his tank?
Another key question: Will the Vikings be willing to give Moss the high-end, multiyear contract he's seeking?