Blast From The Past: Vikings, Moss Reunite

Posted Oct 6, 2010

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For 7 seasons from 1998-2004, Vikings fans wondered what could be if then-Packers QB Brett Favre were to join the Vikings and throw passes to WR Randy Moss. And since Favre signed with the Vikings prior to the 2009 season, Vikings fans have wondered what could be if Moss were to join the Vikings and catch passes from Favre.

Now, the wondering is over.

What was once considered just a fairytale union between future Hall of Famers has become reality. The Vikings and Patriots on Wednesday agreed to a deal that sends Moss, a 6-time Pro Bowler who remains one of the NFL’s most lethal deep threats, to the Vikings.

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"We feel very good about the opportunity to add a player of Randy Moss' caliber to this football team,” Vikings Head Coach Brad 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."

The acquisition of Moss is a sensational move for the Vikings, who sit with a 1-2 record after coming off a 12-4 campaign in 2009 that concluded with a heart-breaking loss in the NFC Championship Game. But the addition is as much about substance as it is about style. Moss will be a good fit with the Vikings because of his ability to stretch defenses and haul in downfield passes from Favre.

In 2009, Sidney Rice was that player for the Vikings but he’s currently sidelined with a hip injury and the timetable for his return is uncertain. Inserting Moss into the lineup immediately provides Favre with a downfield target who has made a career out of burning defenses over the top.

“This is an exciting move, I think everybody feels that in the locker room," Favre said. "It’s rare you get to play with a future Hall of Famer and get to appreciate their talents up close. Randy Moss is a great player and his career speaks for itself. I’ve admired him from a distance for a long time and you can’t help but be impressed by the guy. I’ve seen him light our teams up plenty of times in those Vikings-Packers games and I’m excited to be on the same team now.”

The Vikings passing offense has been slow-to-go so far in 2010 without Rice, but the Vikings will look for Moss to change that quickly. It wasn’t long before Moss took the NFL by storm during his rookie season in ‘98. A key element in the Vikings record-setting offense, Moss hauled in 17 TDs and 1,313 receiving yards along the way to earning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Expecting an impact that dramatic in 2010 might be a bit ambitious, but the Vikings don’t need Moss to provide such gaudy numbers. The offense features superstar RB Adrian Peterson as well as pass-catchers such as TE Visanthe Shiancoe and WRs Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin. Each of those players has a niche in head coach Brad Childress’ offense, but Moss brings that downfield element which has lacked so far this season.

Just how this trade impacts the Vikings will be known soon. There’s no official word yet on when Moss will first put the purple and gold back on, but it could be as early as this week, when the Vikings travel to New York for a Monday Night Football showdown against the Jets. Moss has great familiarity with the Jets, of course, because the Jets and Patriots share a rivalry in the AFC East and the WR has been a central part of that rivalry since his arrival in New England for the 2007 season.

Much has been made about the Vikings challenging stretch of games in October, where they will hit the road to play at the Jets this week, return home to play the Cowboys and then head back out on the road for back-to-back games against the Packers and, yes, the Patriots.

So the addition of Moss comes not a moment too early and it’s just another example of the Vikings commitment to bringing a Super Bowl victory to Minnesota.