The Randy Moss era in Oakland is over. After two injury-plagued seasons, the five-time Pro Bowl receiver was traded by the Raiders to the New England Patriots on April 29 in exchange for a 2007 fourth-round draft choice.
Moss, 30, voiced his unhappiness during his two seasons in Oakland. New Raiders coach Lane Kiffin reportedly wanted to trade the nine-year veteran before the start of a mandatory minicamp May 3-6.
During the 2006 season, Moss (right) repeatedly criticized the Raiders on his weekly radio show. He admitted having a difficult time staying motivated in games and expressed a desire to play elsewhere.
In the weeks leading up to the 2007 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers also were among the teams reportedly interested in trading for Moss.
"What makes this a good deal for the Raiders is, we�re building a place and building a team with people who really want to be here." Kiffin told Bay Area media April 29. "There were a lot of signs that maybe (here�s) not where Randy wanted to be."
Oakland used the fourth-round pick (110 overall) it received for Moss to select Cincinnati cornerback John Bowie.
The Raiders reportedly absorbed a $4.04 million hit against their 2007 salary cap by trading Moss. Before being traded, Moss was scheduled to earn $9.7 million in base salary this coming season.
The Patriots reportedly agreed to the trade only after getting Moss to agree to restructure the contract that called for him to earn $21 million this season and next in base salary and insisting on a conduct clause that calls for a zero-tolerance policy regarding Moss� penchant for combustible behavior.
Moss reportedly received a one-year, $3 million contract (with incentives increasing the deal to $5 million) from the Patriots for this coming season.
"Money is not a factor when it comes to coming to an organization like the New England Patriots," Moss told reporters after he passed a physical in Massachusetts on April 29. "I know I have to get paid something, but to have the numbers that I was going to receive, I knew something had to be done with my contract, and I didn't have a problem with it.
"I�m just very, very happy to find some happiness and getting back to what I love to do � that�s play football and going out there and compete.".
With the Raiders, Moss totaled 102 catches for 1,558 yards and 11 touchdowns. Hampered by a hamstring injury during the 2006 season, he established career lows of 42 catches for 553 yards and three touchdowns.
In the 2005 season, his first in Oakland, Moss finished with 60 catches for 1,005 yards and eight touchdowns. His production was limited after he sustained pelvis, groin and rib injuries during the Raiders� fifth game.
Moss had 9,142 receiving yards and 90 touchdowns during his first seven NFL seasons, all with the Minnesota Vikings.
"There was a little bit of bad blood in Oakland," Moss told New England media April 29. "It was not one particular person. I think it was just not winning and that's what frustrated me the most is not being able to win."
The Raiders acquired Moss in a trade with the Vikings on March 2, 2005. Oakland gave up a first-round (No. 7 overall) pick and a seventh-round pick in the 2005 NFL draft and linebacker Napoleon Harris in exchange for Moss.
Barring further acquisitions, the Raiders will enter 2007 training camp with Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry, Doug Gabriel and newly acquired Mike Williams as their top receivers. Porter, who publicly has embraced Kiffin after clashing with former Oakland head coach Art Shell in 2006, and Curry are the expected starters at wideout.
Oakland sent a 2007 fourth-round pick to the Detroit Lions on April 28 in exchange for Williams and quarterback Josh McCown.
Williams has struggled in two NFL seasons (37 catches for 449 yards and two TDs) since being selected by the Lions with the 10th pick in the 2005 draft. Kiffin was an assistant coach at USC when Williams starred for the Trojans during the 2002 and 2003 seasons.