Randy Moss did not appear on waivers for 24 hours because Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was furious about being circumvented by coach Brad Childress. The owner considered retaining Moss and firing Childress, according to a team source.
Childress and two team executives did not respond to emails and text messages sent by ESPN seeking comment.
Childress, according to The Star Tribune, put his job in jeopardy because he didn't follow franchise protocol and talk to Wilf before deciding to place Moss on waivers.
Childress is under contract for three more seasons. He was asked Friday if he thought he still had Wilf's support.
"My sense doesn't make any difference," Childress said. "You'd have to speak to him on that. We've always communicated very well and I haven't seen any change on that."
Wilf, who lives in New Jersey, spent much of the past week observing practices and meeting individually with Vikings players. One of the players who met with Wilf told ESPN he sensed the owner was attempting to determine how much support remained for Childress among veteran players and wanted to remind them they could still make the playoffs.
Childress admitted he expects a negative reception from the Minnesota crowd on Sunday.
"I'm not crazy enough to think there won't be catcalls," he said. "That's part of the deal, that happens every time I walk on or off of a field. It's always interesting to hear what people have to say. That's part of the audience participation thing."
Moss drew the ire of some teammates before his release when he insulted the team's caterer after last Friday's practice, appeared to play half-heartedly in a loss to the Patriots and then lauded New England players and coaches while second-guessing Childress and the Vikings staff. The Star Tribune also reported Friday that Moss went to Wilf in the locker room immediately after the game and loudly encouraged him to fire Childress.
"I guess some people didn't know how to take on that personality," said veteran offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, who played with Moss during both of his Vikings stops. "When I got here the first time, he was already here and everybody was used to him. So for him to come back to this team and the whole new coaching staff probably didn't know how to take on such a strong personality."
Ed Werder is an NFL reporter for ESPN. The Associated Press contributed to this report.