Moss Contract Details

He didn't get the $100 million he wanted, but both Randy Moss and Red McCombs are happy after Moss got his new deal done Wednesday.

Randy Moss said he wanted to be the NFL's highest paid player. Few people thought it would be done. Red McCombs said he wanted to sign Moss before training camp starts Sunday. Few people thought it would be done.

Both Moss and McCombs pulled off the surprise Wednesday, as Moss agreed to an eight-year contract extension that will pay him as much as $75 million. The contract includes an $18 million signing bonus -- $10 million paid this year, $7.5 million paid in 2002 and $500,000 paid in 2003 for salary cap relief reasons -- and the base salaries of his contract make his deal worth slightly more than $8 million a year.

Moss will receive the full amount of the deal -- about $9 million in escalator incentives -- for making first or second team All-Pro in each of the eight years of the contract. While those numbers are far from guaranteed, it provides Moss with incentive and clearly makes his success hinge on his contract.

While some fans and media bristled at the amount of the contract, McCombs had told VU earlier that he expected Moss' price to be as high as it would be and McCombs got personally involved in the negotiations Monday -- increasing the signing bonus and contract total three times in order to get the deal signed before camp opened.

The contract eclipses the deal signed last year by Keyshawn Johnson and also surpasses the contracts signed by Brett Favre and Drew Bledsoe recently. While both of their contracts call for $100 million, they are 10-year, back-loaded deals that have no realistic opportunity of ever being played out. Moss said he wanted to be the highest paid player in NFL history and Wednesday he became a man of his word.

* For the whining of sports talk radio fans about the deal, it should be noted that, by the time Moss' contract is half completed, his deal may not be as outrageously high-priced as it appears now. For example, Terrell Davis turned heads when, unlike the QB's signing monster deals to open cap room, he signed a nine-year, $56 million contract with Denver two years ago. The contract has been dwarfed by Moss and likely will be avarage at best for featured running backs of the future -- the downside to signing long-term deals from the player perspective.
* Despite the huge contact, Moss 2001 salary cap number actually went down by about $100,000, creating a little more room on the current cap situation. By the time Moss' big contract numbers start kicking in, the Vikings won't have the burden of big contracts currently against the cap with John Randle, Todd Steussie and Robert Smith.
* The Vikings dropped the list of unsigned rookies to two, signing sixth-round cornerback Carey Scott on Wednesday.

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