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Two days after Randy Moss said he was feeling "not wanted" by the New England Patriots as he enters the final year of his contract, quarterback Tom Brady made clear his feelings on his star receiver.
"There's only one Randy Moss that will ever play this game," Brady said. "He's the greatest, probably, downfield receiver in the history of the NFL. Those catches that he makes, where you guys see he runs 65 yards down the field, you throw it and he just runs and catches it. That's impossible to do.
"And I ask him, 'How did you do that?' And he says, 'I don't know, man. I've been doing it for a long time.' He has some special skills that nobody's really gifted with."
On Monday, Moss expressed his frustration with his contract status in an interview with CBSSports.com. Moss is making $6.4 million in the final year of a three-year contract he signed before the 2008 season.
"When you have done so much and put so much work in, it kind of feels like I am not wanted," Moss told 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 [Patriots quarterback] Tom [Brady's] or whoever else's contract.
"I am a little older and understand the nature of the business -- 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."
Brady said that the 33-year-old Moss, who was not spotted at the beginning of practice Wednesday, looked as good this preseason as he did when he first joined the club in 2007 because he "works his butt off."
"He's everything we look for a receiver," Brady said. "He's been a great player for his whole career, what he's done here, in terms of his productivity. What he's done this preseason, in training camp, he's been a great example, a great leader. We're lucky to have him. We really are. He's something."
Earlier in the day, Brady was asked during an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI if he'd like to have Moss return to the team in 2011.
"I would love to have him, of course I would," he said. "It's not my decision. I think this is something that is out of every player's control. I would love to have Logan [Mankins], I would love to have some other players who have been extremely important to our team.
"Randy is important, was important, will be important, especially from my standpoint as a quarterback. I love Randy and I'd love to play with him for a long time."
Last season, Moss caught 83 passes for 1,246 yards and 13 touchdowns.