ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Randy Moss feels like a newlywed.
After comparing his rocky seven-year tenure with Minnesota to a
long marriage, Moss hit the honeymoon phase with his new team
Wednesday, joining the Oakland Raiders and getting the royal treatment.
"I'm in love right now," Moss said, beaming in his new black
No. 18 jersey, his hair in cornrows.
The star receiver arrived at team headquarters in a stretch
limousine escorted by seven police officers on motorcycles, all but
the lieutenant from the Alameda Police Department's fleet. He'd
have been there, but had a prior meeting.
Moss was greeted by fans and the franchise's three Super Bowl
His four kids all received care packages from the team: Raiders
T-shirts, hats and jackets.
The only thing missing was owner Al Davis himself.
"Since Day 1, the only thing that Mr. Al Davis and his
organization have shown is straight Class A hospitality, and I can
really appreciate that," Moss said. "I'm overwhelmed by it, I
Moss was introduced by the Raiders once his trade from the
Vikings was complete. The Raiders were working to restructure his
base salary of more than $7 million for next season into a more
cap-friendly signing bonus to be prorated over future years.
The Vikings receive linebacker Napoleon Harris, the No. 7 pick
in April's NFL draft and a late-round pick in the swap, which was
done a week ago, but couldn't be made official until Wednesday.
"I've still got love in Minnesota," Moss said, "but with the
Oakland Raiders, I get a new start and a chance to go to the Super
As part of that new start, Moss is changing his jersey number
from 84 back to 18, the number he wore when he came into the league
in 1998. The Vikings, meanwhile, were preparing to move on without
their franchise man.
"Randy is a phenomenal player and meant a lot to the community
and the Vikings organization," said Vikings owner Red McCombs, who
called a news conference for Thursday to discuss the deal. "But,
we have decided to go in a different direction at this point. We
wish Randy the best in the future."
Moss said he was nervous when introduced, but he was already
comfortable with Davis' longtime catch phrases..
"Who wouldn't want to be in the Silver and Black?" Moss asked.
"I'm committed to excellence and I just want to win, baby."
Moss, 28, will provide a huge upgrade to an offense determined
to return to the high-powered vertical passing game of years past.
It was their proficient passing attack that led the Raiders to the
Super Bowl after the 2002 season won 48-21 by Tampa Bay.
"I don't see this team slipping with the addition of me. I just
see them adding more firepower," Moss said.
Quarterback Kerry Collins couldn't be happier with the
"If he's not the best, he's certainly one of the best,"
Collins said. "You can make a strong argument. Everybody has their
own opinions. But ask any quarterback around the league which
receiver they'd want, and I think most would say Randy Moss."
Moss spent much of last season limited by a hamstring injury and
didn't reach 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in his
seven-year career. He finished with 49 catches for 767 yards and 13
"The coaches at Chicago, Green Bay and Detroit are so happy
this trade was made and they won't see him two times a year,"
Turner said. "We're so happy to have him and we'll know how to use
Moss joins Jerry Porter in a talented young receiving corps.
Porter led the Raiders with 64 catches for 998 yards and nine
touchdowns, falling just short of his first 1,000-yard season. His
receptions were a career high, and he scored three touchdowns in a
"We've got to check our egos, and the ball has to be
distributed in a way to make everybody happy," said Porter, who
re-signed for five years and close to $20 million last week.
Several of Moss' new teammates have said they aren't worried
about his sometimes controversial antics.
"Hopefully, the people love me and will accept me, and I'm just
here to make the best of another opportunity," Moss said.
Moss was fined $10,000 for pretending to pull down his pants and
moon the Green Bay crowd during Minnesota's playoff win and also
drew criticism for leaving the field with 2 seconds left in a
regular-season loss against Washington.
Other transgressions included bumping a traffic control officer
with his car in 2002, verbally abusing corporate sponsors on a team
bus in 2001 and squirting an official with a water bottle in 1999,
in addition to his infamous "I play when I want to play"
He believes he's been misunderstood at times.
"If there's anything I could say, it's just my passion and
desire to win, week in and week out," Moss said. "I mean, I love
to win. I love to compete. And when I win, I like to talk trash.
And when I lose, I don't like trash to be talked to me. I mean,
that's the competitor in me. That's the competitive edge that I
have inside of me, that God has given me, and he has given me the
talent to go out and showcase."