The New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings are discussing a trade that would send star receiver Randy Moss back to Minnesota, according to a league source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Moss, a seven-time Pro Bowl player, was a first-round draft pick of the Vikings in 1998 and spent his first seven seasons in the NFL with Minnesota. He was traded to Oakland in 2005, where he languished for two years before being revitalized in New England.
Moss set an NFL record with 23 touchdown receptions in 2007. But he has said several times this year that he expects 2010 to be his last season with the Patriots. He did not have a catch in New England’s 41-14 victory over Miami on Monday night.
Foxsports.com first reported the discussions and said that the trade was contingent upon Moss agreeing to a contract extension with Minnesota.
Moss is in the final season of a three-year, $27 million contract and has made no secret about his desire for a new deal.
The Vikings have a need for Moss. Pro Bowl wide receiver Sidney Rice will miss at least the first six weeks of the season because of a hip injury, and Percy Harvin has struggled all season with migraine headaches.
Without the deep threat that he had in Rice, quarterback Brett Favre’s production has dropped dramatically, and the Vikings have lost two of their first three games.
ROETHLISBERGER RETURNS TO PRACTICE
Ten seconds were all Ben Roethlisberger needed to prove to the Pittsburgh Steelers he wasn’t affected by his month away.
On the first pass he threw in his first post-suspension practice, Roethlisberger found fast wide receiver Mike Wallace far downfield for an over-the-shoulder catch of a perfectly thrown football.
Right about then, his teammates probably were thinking the same thing: Ben is back.
“We have our whole team here, and we have our leader — our quarterback — back with us,” Wallace said. “He makes everybody better. The offense is definitely going to go in another direction.”
Roethlisberger showed no rustiness or lack of rhythm in his first practice since training camp, zipping passes throughout a 30-minute passing drill designed to quickly get him and his receivers back in sync.
“It was a good step, and I don’t think it’ll take as long as I thought,” Roethlisberger said.
He’ll have two more practice days during this bye week to regain his timing and precision, followed by a full work week before the Oct. 17 home game against Cleveland.
“It normally takes a while to get going out there, but it felt pretty good,” said Roethlisberger, who worked with a private quarterbacks coach during his suspension.
Miami fired special teams coordinator John Bonamego one day after the Dolphins had a punt blocked, had a field goal blocked and allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown in Monday’s loss to New England. … Redskins running back Clinton Portis said he doesn’t think his injured groin will allow him to play this week against the Packers. … The Jaguars released veteran Todd Bouman, leaving Trent Edwards as the only quarterback behind David Garrard. … The Panthers released receiver Dwayne Jarrett, hours after he was arrested on a charge of driving while impaired, his second DWI in less than three years. The Panthers replaced him with David Clowney, who was claimed off waivers from the Jets. … Colts safety Melvin Bullitt will miss the rest of the season with a right shoulder injury. … The Falcons waived linebacker Robert James, who had been suspended for the first four games after violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.