The Power of Moss

It didn't take long for the NFL to once again latch itself onto bad-boy Randy Moss and his new home in Oakland.

For as much as the NFL and its networks have bad-mouthed Randy Moss over the years, they do know a good thing when they see it.

To that end, Vikings fans won't have to get the NFL Ticket to see Moss' Raiders debut -- just turn on the first nationally televised regular-season game.

Monday the NFL announced its opening-weekend prime-time schedule. Included in it was the first Thursday night game featuring the Raiders and the champion Patriots. In its own press release, the NFL made a point to mention Moss' debut with the Raiders as its selling point.

The Raiders, once a staple on Monday nights, had been a rarity the last couple of years. But, bring in Moss and the Raiders again look ready for prime time. Go figure.

* No progress was made Monday in getting an extension to the collective bargaining agreement. While there is still plenty of time to get a deal done, at present the two sides are at a standstill.
* The league's security office is still in the process of investigating coach Mike Tice for his role in a ticket-scalping operation. The league is examining its policy and will likely make a decision on Tice's punishment in the next few weeks.
* After 2006, Monday Night Football may get moved from ABC to ESPN because ABC is losing money on the proposal. Because of cable fees that can be collected, ESPN could turn the deficit into a profit. Both networks are owned by Disney.
* Cory Withrow signed his one-year offer to return to the Vikings. The contract is for a veteran minimum of $540,000 with a $50,000 signing bonus.
* Despite all their spending this off-season, the Vikings are still $10 million under the 2005 salary cap.

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