When you violently kick a fellow classmate in high school and get booted from not one, but two prolific collegiate programs in Notre Dame and Florida State, not many NFL teams are going to jump at the chance to draft you.
After 20 picks and 19 teams decided to forego the chance to select Randy Moss in the 1998 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings made the highly talented, but controversial wide receiver their number one choice at No. 21 overall. So burnt by the snubbing, Moss decided to make the NFL his personal playground and soon the Vikings organization, led by head coach Dennis Green, looked like geniuses.
Moss, quarterback Randall Cunningham and fellow wide receiver Chris Carter gave Minnesota the number one offense in ’98. Moss would set the record for touchdowns by a rookie with 17, and also finished third in receiving yards with 1,313.
The Vikings would eventually lose to the Atlanta Falcons in the ‘98 NFC Championship game, but Moss’s record-breaking season allowed him to earn the NFL Rookie of the Year Award.
Moss is explosive, with a huge height advantage over most NFL cornerbacks and is fast with a 40-time in the low 4s. He also has excellent hands and is considered by many to be the best wide receiver in the NFL.
His trouble making tendencies, however, has led to many off the field problems.
On September 24, 2002 in downtown Minneapolis, Moss was driving in his Lexus and was preparing to do an illegal turn. A city worker saw what he was trying to do and stood in front of his car while ordering for him to stop. He didn't stop, however, until she fell on the ground. He was originally charged with Suspicion of Assault with a Deadly Weapon and a misdemeanor for marijuana possession. He eventually pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor violation and was ordered to pay a $1,200 fine and perform 40 hours of community service.
His antics did not stop there, however, and in a ‘04 playoff game at Green Bay, Moss scored a touchdown then proceeded to fake moon the Packers fans while rubbing his butt all over Green Bay’s goal post.
A week before the mooning stunt, Moss walked off the field in the forth quarter while time was still on the clock and the Vikings trying to recover an onsides kick attempt. Moss said afterward that he didn’t think Minnesota would recover the ball.
The Vikings had finally had enough of the wide receiver and traded Moss to the Oakland Raiders in the ’05 offseason. With a new team and a fresh start, he was ready to shut up and just play. But his first year in Oakland was marred with injuries and bad overall play by the team.
Although he stayed out of trouble during his first year as a Raider, Moss’s frustrations began to get the best of him in ’06. He complained publicly about the lack of production from Oakland’s dismal offense, and vented frequently about not wanting to play for the Raiders. The team eventually fired head coach Art Shell and replaced him with former USC assistant coach, Lane Kiffin. After Kiffin was hired, reports quickly surfaced that Moss and the new head coach were at odds and that the team was seeking a trade. A trade eventually did take place, as the Raiders sent Moss to New England on draft day in April of 2007.
Moss flourished in his first season in New England, staying out of trouble and building a connection with quarterback Tom Brady. It appears that the old Moss is back, at least on the playing field that is.
New England Patriots Official Player Bio: Randy Moss
Career notes, photos and stats on Randy Moss can be found at the Official Website of the New England Patriots.
NFL.com Player Profile: Randy Moss
Find a small profile, game logs, stats and merchandise on Randy Moss NFL.com.
Rotoworld Player Page: Randy Moss
Rotoworld.com has some of the best fantasy reporting and advice on the web. Click on the “Previous News” tab to get current and past information on Randy Moss for your fantasy football team.
Randy Moss Wikipedia Page
Find a comprehensive background on Randy Moss’s life and football career at Wikipedia.com.
The Official Website of Randy Moss
Find interesting notes, photos and bios at Randy Moss’s official website.
Latest on Moss
Moss had an outstanding season for the Patriots, hauling in 98 receptions for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns. He missed the opportunity to get a ring, however, when the Pats were dropped by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. Moss did catch a touchdown in the loss, but wasn't as heavily involved in the game as he had been in the regular season.
News and Commentary
Moss revels little-known side in Web Q&A
Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald sits down with Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss to find out what else is behind the NFL superstar.
In a class of his own
After 19 teams passed on him during the 1998 NFL Draft, Randy Moss decided to make his critics pay. His first revenge: Achieving 1998’s NFL Rookie of the Year Award.
Welcome to Randy Moss’ world
After Moss faked mooned a crowd after scoring a touchdown in Green Bay, USATODAY.com columnist Mike Lopresti has seen enough of the wide receivers' antics.
Moves, emotions have Moss causin’ a commotion
ESPN Classic takes a look back at Randy Moss’ road to Minnesota and his news making moments both on and off the field.
A rolling Moss gathers no stones
ESPN.com Page 2 columnist Jason Whitlock holds back nothing while criticizing Randy Moss and the Vikings organization for letting him get away with all of his off the field problems.
On being fined $10,000 by the league:
Ain't nothing but 10 grand. What's 10 grand to me?
On worrying about paying fines:
When you're rich you don't write checks.
On getting the ball more when he played for the Vikings:
”I think if we'd been getting me the ball earlier, we'd probably have a Super Bowl ring now. ... Like I said earlier, if we'd have done this since my rookie year, we'd have some jewelry around here. ... I think by them getting me the ball, if we're winning, I'm happy. If they are getting me the ball and we're losing, then we've got to find a way to win.”
On not being able to celebrate after touchdowns:
“I mean, how can a guy go out there and really let everything, like I've always said, I like to play, within those white lines, I let myself go. I like to be free. That's why I have my time to just go and just erupt. And with all the rules and the guidelines we've got to follow, man, the league is, they're taking away the fun.”
On his talent:
“I'll tell you what's under it, playa, ... The best receiver in the game.”