Randy Moss takes displeasure public

Just what the New England Patriots needed. More volatility.

The summer has been anything but a breeze for the defending AFC East champs.

Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins remains unsigned and has demanded a trade. Defensive end Ty Warren suffered a season-ending hip injury. Top cornerback Leigh Bodden is done for the year because of a torn rotator cuff. Safety Brandon McGowan is gone with a torn chest muscle. Leading man Tom Brady wants a contract extension but hasn't gotten one.

Then there's Randy Moss. On Labor Day, the star receiver spoke to a reporter for the first time this summer, expressing his displeasure with how the Patriots are treating him.

Moss wants a new deal, too, and he feels snubbed without one. Moss is entering the final year of a deal that will pay him a base salary of $6.4 million this season.

"When you have done so much and put so much work in, it kind of feels like I am not wanted," Moss told William Bendetson of CBSSports.com. "I am taking that in stride and playing my final year out, and whatever the future holds is what it holds, but it is kind of a bad feeling -- feeling not wanted.

"It is not like my production has gone down. I am speaking from an individual standpoint. I don't know about Tom or whoever else's contract."

But the Patriots are in a tough spot. Moss is 33 years old. Few receivers remain elite at such an age, but he is coming off a sublime season.

He had 83 receptions for 1,264 yards and a league-leading 13 touchdowns despite playing much of the season with a separated shoulder.

"I am a little older and understand the nature of the business," Moss said. "The older you get, the more your skills supposedly diminish. But I think I am getting wiser in how to use my physical skills. That's the frustrating part, when you put so much heart and desire into things and feel like you are not wanted."

Moss told Boston Globe reporter Christopher L. Gasper in February he was pessimistic about remaining with the Patriots beyond 2010.

"You know the Patriots don't really pay," Moss told Gasper. "So when I got my second contract from them that was a blessing in disguise. I understand the business. I don't think they're going to re-sign me back. I'm not mad. I'm not bitter. It's just the way things are in this NFL, so like I said after this year I'll be looking for a new team. I think so."

Whether or not you think the Patriots should pay Moss, his timing is impeccably poor. Moss has remained silent for months. He has avoided interviews. And six days before the Patriots will open their season against the Cincinnati Bengals, he decides to publicly declare he's unhappy.

The Patriots could have done without this.