NFL

Minnesota Burning: Moss or Childress?

We are just getting the tip of the story in Minnesota regarding the Randy Moss release.  According to Jason LaCanfora, Randy Moss is not on the waiver report for Monday, meaning that as of today, he has not been officially placed on waivers.  According to Michael Lombardi on NFL Network (Lombardi, of course, originally broke the story), Brad Childress made the decision to release Randy Moss, but did so without consulting with management. 

It appears to be a unilateral decision, and one which Brad Childress is contractually permitted to make as he has control over the 53 man roster.  Brad Childress has told the team that they are releasing Moss, but it hasn’t happened yet.

NFL Network is also reporting that the locker room is split over the decision.  I have this crazy feeling that we haven’t heard the end of this yet, so get your fresh popcorn and stay tuned.  This could go any number of ways (the simplest being that Moss is waived officially tomorrow), and all we know now is what we suspected all along: the Vikings are a dysfunctional mess.  Does Childress go down instead?  Is this the first step toward the Favre era ending before the season ends? 

Assuming that the Vikings follow through on placing Moss on waivers, the teams can place a waiver claim within 24 hours of Moss appearing on the report (which, if it happens tomorrow, would be late Wednesday).  Priority order if there are multiple claims is reverse order of standings, with ties on winning percentage broken by strength of schedule.  Thus, the Bills would have first crack.  (Here is a link with the full order). 

Of course, any team has to take on Moss’ existing contract, which will pay him 6.4 million for the rest of the year.  Teams with losing records will have to weigh whether it is worth that to add a player who may not be motivated.  Winning teams will have to assess the impact on locker room chemistry (though Moss’ chemistry issues seem to be with front offices and coaches).  Teams that throw downfield or play a play action game plan can benefit from Moss drawing double coverage.  San Diego, with injuries to several receivers right now and Vincent Jackson not back yet, could be a home.  Kansas City has some combination of Chris Chambers and Terrance Copper occupying space opposite Dwayne Bowe, and if Moss can accept working with Pioli again in a more run-oriented environment, the on-field production can’t be any worse.  If no one bites on the 6.4 million tag, then the Patriots, who have the last waiver position, can then sign him to a cheaper one year deal. 

It should make for some drama over the next few days, and Mike Shanahan and Wade Phillips want to personally thank Brad Childress.

[photo via Getty]

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