Brad Childress said Wednesday the Vikings' decision to send a third-round pick in the 2011 draft to New England for wide receiver Randy Moss had less to do with Sidney Rice's hip injury and more to do with "a rare opportunity" to get a potential Hall of Fame player.
The Vikings coach, speaking at a news conference at Winter Park, said the plan is for Moss to arrive at the Vikings facility either late Wednesday or early Thursday. He will then practice on Thursday as players return to work after a day off and take part in Monday night's game against the New York Jets at the New Meadowlands.
"We're always looking for an opportunity to make this football team better," Childress said. "Our organization, our ownership is committed to that and I think you try to be as resourceful as you can. I'm just happy that, obviously, they supported this move and I think we'll be better for it. I think he's a good football player."
Childress said he spoke briefly with Moss on Wednesday morning and that he seemed "to be in a good frame of mind." Moss is entering the last season of his contract and Childress refused to answer if he might get an extension. "I usually don't speak about people's contracts in public," Childress said. "We'll probably cross that bridge when we get to it."
The expectation is that Moss will line up at a few of the different receiver positions for the Vikings, but there is no question he will take over as Brett Favre's top option. That will enable Percy Harvin to move back into the slot and means Bernard Berrian will be fine just running go-routes much of the time.
Childress said he had texted with Favre on Wednesday but hadn't talked to him about the trade that also saw New England send a seventh-round pick in 2012 to the Vikings.
"This is an exciting move," Favre told the Vikings website. "I think everybody feels that in the locker room. It’s rare you get to play with a future Hall of Famer and get to appreciate their talents up close. Randy Moss is a great player and his career speaks for itself. I’ve admired him from a distance for a long time and you can’t help but be impressed by the guy.”
Asked about the possibility that Favre and Moss could begin free-lancing at times, Childress said: "We're already talking about a mutiny. Am I crazy enough to think that doesn't happen? I think it happened with Tom [Brady] and [Moss], too, [in New England]. When you see the hand go up and you see him go. That happens. It's about trying to get behind somebody and if he can more power to him."
Childress did not say if Favre lobbied for the trade. Favre twice attempted to get the Packers to acquire Moss when the quarterback was in Green Bay. "I don't think any of us thought that this guy was going to be available," Childress said. "He may lobby, it's like a wish list. But you can probably say that about [Houston's] Andre Johnson and all the other good receivers in the league. I don't think anybody every thought about it."
Moss is known for wearing his emotions on his sleeve and has had a few issues in his career because of that. ESPN reported Wednesday that Moss and Pats quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien were involved in a heated exchange at halftime of New England's victory at Miami on Monday. Moss did not catch a pass in that game.
"I think he's an emotional guy, part of what makes him a good football player," Childress said of Moss. "Do people always agree when you have 53 players and 20 coaches? Not always. I think it was a lesson for me at a point in my life to be able to appropriately question authority, which I didn't always do. Temperatures can rise from time to time, when you're playing an emotional game, whether it be on the sideline, whether it be in the locker room, it still comes down to communicating. And different people communicate different ways."