EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- With a new, $75 million contract in
hand, Minnesota Vikings receiver Randy Moss finally has the money
he's dreamed about -- and even more pressure on his purple-covered
Two days after signing the deal, which includes an $18 million
signing bonus, Moss said he's ready to lead Minnesota to the Super
"Two out of my three years I've been in the NFC Championship.
I've been like a pinch from the Super Bowl," Moss said Friday.
"It's been frustrating. I've been angry at myself. I've been angry
with my team."
"I just want to see my team succeed," he added. "That's it."
Just six months ago, after the New York Giants drubbed the
Vikings 41-0 in the NFC Championship, Moss criticized some of his
teammates and wondered whether the Vikings could ever win a
He also admitted in an interview last season that he didn't give
his all on some plays.
While most Vikings fans were overjoyed that Moss signed an
extension -- he's regarded as the game's best receiver, after all --
many haven't forgotten those comments.
"You are now the highest-paid receiver, so you better make the
plays," Vikings fan Amy Kocon of New Brighton warned, when asked
by a reporter about Moss's new contract. "You better be on the
ball all the time, not just when you feel like it."
At Friday's news conference, Moss, 24, dismissed the fallout
over his admission. "The critics are just talking and just trying
to sell newspapers," he said.
The deal makes Moss the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL
and third-richest player overall -- behind quarterbacks Drew Bledsoe
and Brett Favre.
Moss had said he expected a contract in the neighborhood of $100
"I knew they would get a deal done," said receiver Cris
Carter, who since Moss's deal was announced has waffled on his plan
to make this his last season. "It was just a matter of where they
would meet. He (Moss) knew he would have to come off of $100
Carter said Moss is developing into a "great receiver playing
receiver," rather than being a great athlete who happens to catch
The deal has no restriction against Moss playing basketball. He
played this summer for the Pennsylvania ValleyDawgs in the United
States Basketball League.
"It's a commitment Red McCombs made to have the premier player
in the league," coach Dennis Green said.
Still, the superstar must overcome some skeptical fans who
remember big-game losses, missed catches and lack of effort.
"He has to give his all on every play," said Mike Mobley, a
48-year-old Eden Prairie attorney. "I never see Jerry Rice take a
Said Kellie Warner, 25, of Plymouth: "He's very cocky. Sometimes
he just exudes this thing like he's the greatest thing in the
Nonetheless, Warner, who hosts weekly Vikings football parties,
relishes the idea of Moss and strong-armed quarterback Daunte
Culpepper playing together for years.
"Those two together?" she said. "That's just great."
Sure, Merril Hoge caught Randy Moss taking plays off last season. But as Chris Mortensen breaks down Moss' contract and his fellow draft class of '98, he explains why Randy Moss is worth every last dime.
Mort's complete analysis