On his first day as a Raider, wide receiver Randy Moss (below) arrived at team headquarters in Alameda, Calif. on March 2 in a stretch limousine with a police motorcycle escort. Wearing a No. 18 Raiders black jersey and his hair styled in cornrows, the former Minnesota Vikings star told reporters at a news conference: "I've still got love in Minnesota, but with the Oakland Raiders, I get a new start and a chance to go to the Super Bowl. I can't be happier, I'm in love."
Earlier in the day, the Raiders completed a trade with the Vikings for Moss, whose 9,142 receiving yards are the most by any player in his first seven NFL seasons. The teams agreed on the deal Feb. 23, but the trade couldn't be finalized until March 2 (the start of the NFL's 2005 fiscal year).
The Vikings receive linebacker Napoleon Harris, the No. 7 choice in April's NFL draft and a 2005 late-round pick in the deal.
"I just feel ready to be re-energized to make this thing happen," Moss said. "I'm ready to scream -- that's how excited I am."
Raiders coach Norv Turner said: "The coaches at Chicago, Green Bay and Detroit are so happy this trade was made and they won't see him two times a year. We're so happy to have him and we'll know how to use him."
Moss leaves the Vikings after seven spectacular yet combustible seasons. His 90 receiving touchdowns rank eight in league history. He set an NFL rookie record with 17 touchdown receptions in 1998 and equaled that total in 2003. The five-time Pro Bowler is tied for ninth on the NFL career list with 41 100-yard receiving games.
The Vikings reportedly decided to trade Moss (right) because of his boorish behavior. Most recently, he was fined $10,000 by the league for pretending to pull down his pants and moon Green Bay fans after scoring a touchdown during a 2004 playoff game. "Ain't noting but 10 grand. What's 10 grand to me," Moss told reporters at the time.
Other Moss transgressions included bumping a Minneapolis-area traffic control officer with his car in 2002, verbally abusing corporate sponsors on a team bus in 2001 and squirting a game official with a water bottle in 1999. In 2001, he responded to media criticism that he sometimes takes plays off by saying: "I play when I want to play."
Since 1999, Moss reportedly has been fined $115,000 by the NFL and Vikings.
"Hopefully, the people love me and will accept me, and I'm just here to make the best of another opportunity,'' Moss said at his introductory news conference with the Raiders.
Moss was hampered by a hamstring injury this past season, but still caught 49 passes for 767 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Moss and Jerry Porter, who signed a five-year contract extension Feb. 22, give the Raiders among the top receiving tandems in the league. Porter contributed 64 catches for 998 yards and nine touchdowns in 2004. With Kerry Collins throwing for 3,495 yards, Oakland ranked eighth in NFL pass offense last season.
"I don't see this team slipping with the addition of me. I just see them adding more firepower,'' Moss said.
The Raiders acquired Moss for a modest price: a starting linebacker coming off two inconsistent seasons and a first-round draft choice. It's unlikely the No. 7 pick in the upcoming draft would have as much impact as Moss should make in his first season in Oakland.
The former Viking reportedly has four years left on his eight-year,$75 million contract. He's scheduled to earn $7.5 million this coming season.
Harris, 26, started 36 of 48 games for the Raiders, but his performance seemed to regress after his rookie season in 2002. He contributed 61 total tackles and one interception in nine starts in 2004. The former Northwestern defensive end was selected by Oakland with the 23rd pick in the 2002 NFL draft.