Desperate for a deep threat, the Vikings went for the home run but ended up striking out on Randy Moss.
The cost was a third-round pick and considerable embarrassment. After the Vikings decided Monday that they will waive Moss, the question is whether another team is willing to pay $3.388 million to rent Moss for the rest of the season with the hopes he can make an impact.
Moss' name did not appear on the league's official waiver report Monday. If Moss doesn't appear on the waiver report until Tuesday, the soonest he could be awarded to a team is Wednesday. Waiver claims are made in inverse order of the current standings, so Buffalo, the team with the worst record in the league, has the first shot to claim Moss. A team can claim him and pick up the final year of a contract that pays him $6.4 million a year. If no one claims him, the Vikings owe him the remaining $3.388 million of his deal and he’s available for about $450,000, with Moss picking the team he would like to join.
Whether it’s by waiver claim or a signing, here are the options available for Moss:
St. Louis Rams: This might not sound like a Rams-like move, but Moss has to be a consideration. Remember, the Rams were in the final mix to sign Terrell Owens before he went to the Cincinnati Bengals. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur knew Owens from their days together in Philadelphia. There isn’t a similar Moss connection with the current Rams staff. Thanks to the rapid development of rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, the Rams are 4-4 even though they don’t have much left at receiver after injuries to Donnie Avery, Mark Clayton and Danario Alexander. Moss could be worth the gamble in a waiver claim.
Seattle Seahawks: The team might be over budget after paying T.J. Houshmandzadeh not to be a Seahawk, but Moss would be the deep threat this team lacks. The Seahawks looked into acquiring Vincent Jackson. They made a bold move in the trade for running back Marshawn Lynch. Pete Carroll is the type of coach who wouldn’t mind Moss being a little bit of a risk. At USC, Carroll worked with many different personalities and egos.
Washington Redskins: This would be a natural move to claim Moss on waivers if owner Dan Snyder had his way. At wide receiver, the Redskins have Santana Moss, Joey Galloway and a lot of no-names. Money wouldn’t be an issue, so if the Redskins don’t claim him, count them out. But Moss would make great sense. Donovan McNabb has a good deep arm. If he could get some healthy running backs, McNabb would work some play-action passes to Moss. The question is whether coach Mike Shanahan is on board.
Miami Dolphins: After adding Brandon Marshall, the Dolphins aren’t looking for another receiver, but they could put in a waiver claim to prevent him from going back to the New England Patriots. Even with Marshall, the Dolphins have been among the worst teams in the league for explosive plays, so they could justify the move from the offensive standpoint too.
New England Patriots: For economic reasons, the Patriots probably wouldn’t claim him, but if he’s available for about $450,000, how fitting would it be to bring back Moss? The Patriots fleeced the Vikings for a third-round choice, and they could end up with the player for nine games.
Kansas City Chiefs: A year ago, the Chiefs got some positive results picking up wide receiver Chris Chambers. Moss makes even more sense. The Chiefs are 5-2 and in a good position to win the AFC West. General manager Scott Pioli knows Moss from their days together in New England. Matt Cassel might not have the deep arm that works best for Moss, but Moss could make the Chiefs even more dangerous on offense if they make the playoffs.
John Clayton, a recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's McCann Award for distinguished reporting, is a senior writer for ESPN.com.