Moss Key Ingredient Of Vikings Sale?

As the sale of the Minnesota Vikings progresses, many issues remain for the organization as internal discussions regarding the shaping of the 2005 team are underway. From signing talent in free agency to addressing trade issues surrounding players within the roster, this off-season could be a time of joy or discontent in Minnesota.

Whether to spend or not to spend, that is the question within the Vikings organization with the announcement that Reggie Fowler is in the process of purchasing the team for approximately $630 million.

The common belief is the Minnesota front office, led by Rob Brzezinski, will be given the green light to become more aggressive in the pursuit of players to help shape the team. A couple other moves have been rumored to supply the Vikings with ammunition to acquire further talent.

Rumors continue to swirl regarding the status of standout wide receiver Randy Moss. While the organization maintains Moss is not on the trading block, numerous media reports speculate the receiver is the center of discussions with many teams, including the Vikings.

The Oakland Raiders and New York Jets remain the suitors in hot pursuit for the talented but sometimes troubled star playmaker.

"We are not discussing trading Randy Moss at this time, internally or with another team. He (Moss) is a major component of our team and we are not looking to trade him," a team source said. "It has been the recommendation of head coach Mike Tice to keep Moss in Minnesota and quash the rumors of dealing him."

While less that 20 percent of rumors become a reality of some sort, normally where there is smoke fire soon follows. In the case of Moss, sentiment coming from the organization in regards to furthered discussions could raise a red flag as to the overall thought process behind comments on Moss.

Why would Tice have to recommend the organization retain the wide receiver? Other notes of discussion stating the team is not looking to deal the receiver make the scenario that Moss is on the block somewhat realistic.

"The Minnesota Vikings have never come out and said that Randy Moss is available, but what has transpired is people close to or associated with those within or close to the Vikings have let it be known he could become available," a league source said. "This is as much a public relations move as it is a method to gauge the interest in this exciting player."

Openly stating that Moss is available would be construed immediately as a negative move, one of yet another cost-cutting adventure by the more-than-frugal Vikings' organization. The star appeal of Moss, along with his dynamic and at times troubling personality, would generate discussion about the team, but would not put butts in the seats of the Metrodome.

For a Minnesota organization under the direction of making money at almost any cost under Red McCombs, the fans of the Vikings have every reason to be skeptical of any news and rumor regarding Moss.

"There has been an obvious commitment by the owner to run this organization on a budget far less than most teams in the league. What it does is make us dig deeper and worker harder, just due to the fact we don't have the resources in body and finances as our opposition," a team source said. "At the end of the day, if we are told to deal a player, we will look for a match and try to get something done. We haven't been told to do that."

And if the telephone rings wanting to discuss a player?

"We owe it to ourselves, the organization, and fans to listen. You never know when you may get an offer too good to refuse, especially if you have some holes to fill which would improve your team."

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