Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Updated: October 7, 12:41 PM ET
Sources: Moss, coach in exchange
By Mike Reiss
Receiver Randy Moss and New England Patriots quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien were involved in a heated exchange at halftime of the team's victory Monday over the Miami Dolphins, according to player sources.
The locker-room exchange, described as an "outburst" by one player, came two days before the Patriots traded Moss to the Minnesota Vikings for a 2011 third-round draft choice, and could have contributed to the team's decision to make the deal.
The Patriots trailed 7-6 at halftime of the game, and Moss had just one pass thrown in his direction up to that point. According to sources, Moss told O'Brien it was on him to make some adjustments. O'Brien, who calls the plays, didn't take kindly to the remark, and emotions rose.
Moss finished without a reception and wasn't thrown to in the second half as the Patriots went on to win, 41-14.
The Vikings also will receive New England's seventh-round draft pick in 2012, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The Vikings play the Jets Monday night at New Meadowlands Stadium, and Vikings coach Brad Childress said without hesitation that Moss would be in uniform against the Jets -- his old purple No. 84.
Moss likely will get another chance to match up against Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who returned to practice Wednesday after injuring his hamstring in Week 2 trying to cover Moss.
On Wednesday, Revis questioned Moss' effort in the second half of that game, when Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie held Moss without a catch with Revis out.
"In the second half, you could tell he was putting his foot on the brake," Revis said. "I mean, everybody knows that's Randy. Sometimes he plays 100 percent, sometimes he doesn't."
The Vikings didn't practice Wednesday. Moss is expected to join the team Thursday and talk with reporters afterward.
Moss' agent, Joel Segal, said the Vikings have not contacted him about a long-term deal, so Moss joins a long list of Vikings in the final year of their contracts. Among them are wide receiver Sidney Rice, linebackers Ben Leber and Chad Greenway, and defensive end Ray Edwards.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a statement Wednesday that he has had discussions during the "past several months" with Moss and his representatives about Moss' "place on our team and his future in football."
Belichick added that "many things were taken into consideration before making the trade."
Moss was in the final year of his contract and did not expect to return to New England in 2011.
Player sources said the halftime exchange was not the first time they had felt friction between Moss and O'Brien.
After Monday's win, when asked by the Boston Herald about being held without a reception, Moss said, "It's called a game plan."
Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter. Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini and The Associated Press was used in this report.