Moss didn’t like Packers’ offer, perception of himPHOENIX — Wide receiver Randy Moss is experiencing a football renaissance some predicted would never happen. Whether it should have occurred in Green Bay is a matter of debate.
By: By TOM SILVERSTEIN/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Daily Telegram
PHOENIX — Wide receiver Randy Moss is experiencing a football renaissance some predicted would never happen.
Whether it should have occurred in Green Bay is a matter of debate.
During a Super Bowl XLII news conference Wednesday at the Patriots’ team hotel in nearby Scottsdale, Moss indicated that before being traded to New England in April he was open to playing for the Packers because of his relationship with quarterback Brett Favre.
But Moss wasn’t thrilled with the financial package the Packers offered, and even more so didn’t appreciate the way in which he was being perceived.
“Green Bay was in the picture, but the things told to me about maneuvering money around and making it a good fit — the Packers were really talking a lot about the wrong things, not the right things,” Moss said when asked whether he was ever close to being a Packer. “When they started talking about the wrong things, I hung the phone up and didn’t want to talk to them anymore.
“I thought about it. It was something that could work out just for the fact Brett Favre was there, but I think as the conversation continued throughout the day and the next day, I really didn’t want to go to Green Bay.”
General manager Ted Thompson’s loss was New England’s gain.
Moss caught 98 passes — the third-highest total of his career — for 1,493 yards and an NFL-record 23 touchdowns this season. With him in the lineup, the Patriots went undefeated during the regular season, setting an NFL record for most points and most touchdowns in a season. If they beat the New York Giants on Sunday, they can become the first team to go 19-0.
During the playoffs, Moss has not had much of an impact. He has just two catches for 34 yards and is looking for a breakout game against the Giants.
“The last couple of weeks they’ve taken me out of the game and it’s allowing other guys to do their thing,” Moss said. “For this being my first Super Bowl, you’d expect me to say I want the ball or that I want to put up numbers. But at this point, I just want to win.”
Were things a little bit different nine months ago, Moss might have been doing his winning in Green Bay.
The Packers reached a tentative agreement with the Oakland Raiders to send a fifth-round draft choice for Moss and were given permission to negotiate a new contract with him. Under the terms of his deal with the Raiders, Moss was scheduled to make base salaries of $9.75 million in 2007 and $11.25 million in 2008. The Packers wanted to cut his salary down to less than $3 million.
On the Friday before the draft, Moss’ agent arranged for his client to speak to coach Mike McCarthy on the telephone.
Moss didn’t like what he heard.
Asked what he considered the “wrong things” the Packers were talking about, Moss said, “It was like they were telling me that they’re going to take a chance on me, but if you do come here these are the things you have to work out: ‘Be on your best behavior; Donald Driver is the top receiver here so don’t come in there trying to step on his toes.’ Things like that.
“I didn’t think that was right because my whole career things have been taken out of (context) at times, but at the end of the day all I wanted to do was win games. I don’t feel they (the Packers) really wanted me. Brett wanted me, but I don’t think the Packers’ organization wanted me.”
The Packers, in fact, were interested in Moss, but McCarthy had a young team and didn’t want the mercurial receiver disrupting his clubhouse and setting a bad example the way he had through various stages of his time in Minnesota and Oakland.
“Is it too much to ask a guy to be a good citizen?” McCarthy said.
“I think that’s reasonable. He and I talked about fit. I said, ‘I think No. 1, is this a good fit for you and a good fit for us?’ We talked about how we would use him, the starting point once he got here. But I don’t recall ever having a conversation where we gave him conditions.”
Contrary to reports that Favre had spoken to Moss in an attempt to recruit him, Moss said he and Favre never talked.
At the same time all of that was going on, the Patriots were reconsidering their interest in Moss and decided on Saturday of the draft to up the ante to a fourth-round pick. They offered Moss a one-year, $3 million deal that unlike the Packers’ offer wasn’t tied to meeting various performance levels.
Before the Packers knew it, Moss was a New England Patriot.
— Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune