Breaking News: Vikings release Randy Moss

MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 17: Wide receiver Randy Moss  the Minnesota Vikings looks on prior to the start of the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Mall of America Field on October 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

In rather shocking news, NFL.com’s Michael Lombardi is reporting that the Vikings have waived receiver Randy Moss.

Or maybe it’s not shocking given what transpired following the Vikings’ 28-18 loss to the Patriots on Sunday. Moss essentially called out Brad Childress and the coaching staff for not listening to him more throughout the week while game planning to stop New England’s offense, then he waxed poetically about how much he missed the Patriots, then he didn’t even travel back to Minnesota with his teammates (he reportedly stayed in Boston with his family).

I’d probably waive him too if I were in charge, just so he knew he wasn’t bigger than the team. That said, it’s only been four weeks since the Vikings acquired him for a third round pick and now they’re going to give up on him? I don’t care what he said or how big of a malcontent he is – that’s just not smart. Obviously they knew Moss had a penchant for being a headache and they still felt the need to trade for him in order to revive their dead passing game. But the minute he acted up, they dumped him and essentially sacrificed a third round pick for nothing.

Don’t get this twisted – I’m not defending Moss. He completely disrespected the Vikings and it was embarrassing to watch him campaign for his return to New England just minutes after changing in Minnesota’s locker room. He’s too talented for a team not to pick him up on waivers, but why anyone would want this guy (who obviously hasn’t learned a thing since coming into the league) is beyond me.

After all this, how great would it be if he wound up back in New England? The Patriots trade him to Minnesota for a third round pick and wind up getting him back four weeks later? You can’t make this stuff up. (Although initial reports are that the Dolphins and Seahawks are interested and the Patriots are not.)

The Vikings are a complete and utter mess both on and off the field. Brad Childress has no idea how to handle big personalities like Moss and Brett Favre and will never be competent enough to lead his team to a Super Bowl. Favre has also showed his age and the team just dumped their biggest receiving threat. Unbelievable.

For as banged up as they are, the Packers have a clear shot at the NFC North crown. The Bears are an overrated mess and the Vikings are essentially dead. The second best team in the division may actually be Detroit, which could climb back into the race with a couple of wins. (It’s a long shot I know, but it could happen.)

Even given Moss’s comments after the game, this is pretty surprising. He has always been very moody, even for a prima donna wide receiver. He was targeted two or three times on Sunday and had a chance to make a play when he drew a pass interference penalty on a deep pass down the sideline. Once the flag was thrown, he still could have made an attempt on the ball but didn’t bother to dive.

Moss is too talented to cut in most fantasy leagues, but there’s no telling what the rest of 2010 has in store. Someone will pick him up on waivers, so unless he lands back in New England, he’ll have to learn a new offense and show some effort if he hopes to garner a new contract after the season. All Moss owners can do is wait and see what happens to him this week.

As for the rest of the Minnesota passing game, this is probably going to hurt Percy Harvin, who was flourishing over the middle while Moss was attracting a lot of attention along the sidelines. Harvin may see more targets but will likely be less productive. Visanthe Shiancoe gets a big bump as he becomes the team’s second-most reliable receiver. Greg Camarillo, Bernard Berrian and Greg Lewis should also have an opportunity to shine.

On the whole, this hurts Favre, who has really struggled with Sidney Rice out of the lineup. Rice now becomes the wild card. If he can come back at full strength, there’s a chance that he’ll be able pick up where he left off last season. He’s worth a stash if you have the room. I wouldn’t cut a productive WR to acquire him, however.

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