The Vikings have acquired wide receiver Randy Moss from New England for a third-round draft pick, according to NFL sources. ESPN and Fox Sports first reported the trade was complete early this morning.
Moss will return to the Vikings, who drafted him in the first round in 1998 and then dealt him after the 2004 season. Moss, who is in the final season of his current three-year deal, will not get an immediate contract extension from the Vikings.
Moss, 33, will be expected to be on the field Monday night to play against the New York Jets at the new Meadowlands. The trade serves as a clear indication the Vikings don't expect to get Sidney Rice (hip) back anytime soon. It's expected Moss will arrive in the Twin Cities in the next 24 hours, meaning there is a good chance he doesn't get here until Thursday. He could practice with the team as early as Thursday.
The Vikings have yet to announce the trade.
Cris Carter, Moss' former teammate and a current analyst for ESPN, said he thinks Moss might be "a little shocked" by the deal.
"Randy's thing right now is No. 1 he wants to be appreciated like a lot of ther star athletes," said Carter, who served as Moss' mentor in his early years with the Vikings. "[He] didn't feel like he was going to get that this last year in New England and the appreciation that comes with extension. Moss is concerned beyond this year. ... With [Brett Favre] in Minnesota it's nice for one season but there's still a lot of uncertainty abot the future. I think if that's cleared up that's when you can speak to Randy Moss about how happy he really is."
Favre, of course, has said this will be his 20th and final NFL season but he also has retired twice before only to return. Favre will turn 41 years old on Sunday.
Carter said Moss is as healthy as he has been in "three or four years," adding, "that's not a good thing for defenses."
Vikings players have a rare Wednesday off because they don't play until Monday so it's not clear if or when the organization will address the trade.
The Vikings are entering a four-game stretch that begins with the Jets on Monday and includes games against Dallas, Green Bay and New England. The final two are on the road, meaning Moss will go against his former teammates on Oct. 31.