EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –When Randy Moss walked out of the Wilf office and into the hallway, something caught his eye that hadn't been there just 30 minutes earlier.
His famed purple No. 84 jersey had been framed and placed on the wall.
When Moss arrived in Minnesota Wednesday morning, he was under the impression that he was attending a business meeting to plan ahead for the week of Super Bowl LII. Instead, Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf told Moss that he and receiver Ahmad Rashad will be the team's newest inductees into the Vikings Ring of Honor.
Moss is slated to be inducted on Sept. 11, when the Vikings host the Saints on *Monday Night Football *for the 2017 season opener.
Moss said he "had no idea" of the surprise announcement beforehand.
"I walked down the hallway, I'm looking at [Mick] Tingelhoff, I'm looking at [Cris] Carter, I'm looking at [Chris] Doleman," Moss told Twin Cities media members during a podium session. "So there's just a lot of guys that, I know my history, I know my players to be able to see them, so when I come out of a meeting, I didn't see my jersey on that wall, so when I come out, I'm like, 'Hold on a minute – did ya'll just put this up here?'
"So it's definitely humbling, and I'm speechless," Moss added. "I really don't know what to say, but the one thing I will tell you is the love, the passion that I put into this game. To some it might have been arrogance, but to me, I was just focused, tunnel vision, because I always wanted to play the game of football."
From the age of 6, Moss' passion for the gridiron drove him to eventually be selected by Minnesota 21st overall in the 1998 NFL Draft.
Moss had a record-setting performance – recording 69 catches for 1,313 yards and 17 touchdowns – en route to receiving Rookie of the Year honors.
Moss started 108 of 113 games with the Vikings and appeared in eight playoff contests over seven-plus seasons in Purple. During that time, he played in five Pro Bowls (1998-2000; 2002-03) and was named All-Pro three times (1998, 2000, 2003).
The wide receiver ranks second in NFL history with 156 receiving touchdowns, is third all-time with 15,292 yards and holds the NFL's record for touchdown catches in a season with 23 as a New England Patriot. Moss also ranks second in league history with 10 seasons of 1,000-plus yards and 64 career 100-yard games. He totaled 982 receptions in 14 seasons.
"First of all, I just want to give honor to God [for blessing me] to play this sport for such a long time," Moss said. "I'm definitely thankful. I love this game, and I played with definitely a chip on my shoulder throughout my career."
Moss also said he owes his career success to former Head Coach Dennis Green, who passed away last July.
When asked what he would say to Green if he had the opportunity today, Moss grew visibly emotional and was once again at a loss for words.
After an extended pause to compose himself, Moss thanked Green for giving him a chance in 1998 when several other teams considered the 21-year-old a risk.
"I told him, 'Coach, you're not going to regret this,' " Moss recalled. "So you ask me what I would say to him? Man, I'd probably just fall in his arms and give him a hug. There's no words that I can tell him."
Moss added that he wished he had been able to fully articulate his "love and thanks" to Green for what he did for Moss and his family.
"There were a lot of teams that passed on me for wrong reasons, and Coach Green gave me that opportunity," Moss said. "Coach Green brought me here, and whatever talents that I was able to showcase, he helped me do that. Just fall in his arms and give him a big hug, man, that's my man. You see how emotional I am about him? I'm very thankful to be able to cross paths with Coach Green."
Following that era of Vikings football and since playing in Minnesota, Moss has since reconnected with the Vikings organization under the Wilf Family's ownership.
Moss thanked the Wilf Family for their leadership of the franchise.
"I think that from the time they became owners, they made promises to the organization, they made promises to the fans [and] the players, to the State of Minnesota, about the things they were going to do here," Moss said. "They wanted a new stadium, a new facility; they're bringing old, retired players back to be able to be a part of something. Not every organization does that."
Added Moss: "So for me being able to go up in this Ring of Honor, the Wilfs helped me get there, and I'm glad they're owners of this team because they made a lot of great strides for this team to be where they are."
Moss spent time on five NFL rosters during his career, but Minnesota will always hold that special place in his heart.
In hindsight, Moss acknowledged that retiring in Purple would have been ideal.
"Spending 14 years here, that would have been great, that would have been phenomenal," Moss said. "I think that sometimes my passion for the game got in the way of the business side of it, but you live and learn, you mature.
"So now I can just reflect back on the touchdowns, the games against the Green Bay Packers, the games against the Chicago Bears," Moss continued. "All that stuff was great for me, but all the memories I have … I wouldn't trade them for nothing."
View behind-the-scenes images of legends Randy Moss and Ahmad Rashad as the two wide receivers visited practice and were told by Vikngs Owner Mark Wilf that they will be inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor in 2017.