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Moss deal has long-term effect on Vikings

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Posted Oct. 10, 2010 @ 5:38 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

There is no question that the acquisition of WR Randy Moss is an immediate upgrade over the personnel the team had at receiver. He should provide QB Brett Favre with the downfield receiver he has lacked thus far this season and also will have an effect on what kinds of defensive fronts RB Adrian Peterson will see.

There’s also no question what the move indicates — that the Vikings are undaunted following a 1-2 start and still believe they are a Super Bowl-caliber team. The move was not made simply to appease Favre but also to add one of the more dangerous wideouts in the NFL.

But Moss coming on board will have a significant impact on how the Vikings are built beyond this season.

The first issue of business has to do with Moss’ contract. He remains in the final year of his contract and would be set to hit free agency in 2011. The Vikings made the trade without any real extension talks taking place, and there is some thought that the Vikings want to delay them a bit in order to keep him motivated and make him want to earn his next deal in Minnesota.

As for Moss, he said he didn’t want to talk about money.

“I am not really wanting to get into the contract,” Moss said in his introductory press conference. “Things will work themselves out.”

The deal also reshapes the team’s WR structure. Moss lined up with Sidney Rice, when he returns from his hip surgery, offers a scary outside duo. And with Percy Harvin in the slot, it’s potentially the best trio in the NFL, provided they are at full health. Throw in TE Visanthe Shiancoe, and that’s a ton of receiving talent on one field.

But it’s clear that WR Bernard Berrian’s days as a Viking won’t last beyond this season unless something drastic changes. Not only has Berrian struggled to fill the role he was brought in to handle the past two seasons, but his pay scale would make his return almost impossible — with or without a new salary cap.

The Vikings will have to take care of Moss and Rice, who wanted a new deal this year, and at some point, Harvin. That’s a lot of money to commit to one position, although a lot of salary would come off the books if Favre didn’t return next season.

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