Regardless of what is said over the next few days, Randy Moss affected the locker room in Oakland in an adverse fashion. Players were unhappy with his presence and were even more upset about his play – or lack thereof.
When he was unhappy, people knew because it affected the way he played.
LaMont Jordan, the most outspoken player, wants to win. Moss wants to win too. They went about it in different ways. While Jordan was man enough to blame himself for his play, Moss would blame everyone else and forget how many passes he dropped, his lollygagging on the field, and general disinterred play.
Moss wanting the ball and going to a young quarterback and telling him so would have created an awkward situation.
"We talked about what was expected," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said of his conversation with Moss. "I am glad he is on our team. He is a smart receiver."
Moss is one of seven players in NFL history to record more than 100 receiving touchdowns and is one of 27 players in league annals to record more than 10,000 receiving yards. His 101 career receiving touchdowns rank fifth on the NFL's all-time list, his 10,700 career receiving yards rank 21st and his 676 career receptions rank 29th. Moss has recorded seven seasons with 1,000 or more receiving yards and has caught 10 or more touchdown passes in six seasons. The Marshall product is the only player in NFL history to record 1,000 or more receiving yards in each of his first six NFL seasons.
That wasn't enough in Oakland. In fact, it wasn't even a consideration. There have been plenty of teams that have made it work with chemistry and plenty more who have failed, despite more talented rosters.
Moss wasn't the answer in Oakland. He was the problem.
"I really haven't had a chance to really, really talk to Coach Kiffin because there was a little bit of bad blood in Oakland," said Moss. "It was not one particular person. I think it was just not winning and that's what frustrated me the most is not being able to win."
His answer is likely true but it does not matter. Oakland is a better team without him.