Anatomy of a Rumor

With the Vikings still toeing the official line that no trade has even been discussed for Randy Moss, media outlets have picked up on the rumor and seem to be running with it quite nicely, thank you.

As the Vikings' higher-ups convened Monday in Mobile for the Senior Bowl practices, Rob Brzezinski was forced to answer questions that have made the rounds in the past few days -- is Randy Moss going to be traded?

According to Brzezinski, the Vikings haven't completed their own internal personnel decisions yet -- that's still a week or two away -- but it hasn't stopped increased speculation that Moss will be dealt.

ESPN, citing nobody in particular, came out with the curious betting line that it is 60-40 that Moss will be somewhere else next season.

The New York Post, quoting unnamed sources, claims a "Vikings representative" contacted Raiders owner Al Davis about Moss' availability -- begging the question who has the authority to call Crazy Al? Red McCombs? Mike Tice? Brzezinski? If in fact there was a call made, it would almost have to have been one of those three.

In today's edition's of the Baltimore Sun, the paper has professed the Ravens' interest in trading for Moss.

If that isn't enough, the Jets, Dolphins, Redskins and Cardinals are said to have guarded interest of their own.

The best news of all of this for Vikings fans is that, if the team is actually interested in fielding offers for Moss, there looks to be plenty of suitors -- which could force his stock higher if a bidding war ensues.

The bottom line of this entire scenario is that Moss has been a gold mine for Red McCombs -- selling everything from jerseys to tickets to fans who want a piece of No. 84. McCombs has privately hinted that Moss would cost a team three No. 1 draft picks -- good luck on that one, Red, because the only team dumb enough to pay that kind of king's ransom is the team you bought back in 1998.

For panicky Vikings fans, take heart. There hasn't been a deal struck and, in reality, there likely isn't even a trade in the works at this point. While there's no denying Moss' value, if the right offer comes along, don't be surprised if the Vikings take it, but unless they're willing to meet halfway on a trade proposal, Moss will remain a Viking for 2005 and beyond.

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