Known as "The Freak", Randy Moss was regarded as the second coming of Jerry Rice, Lynn Swann and Paul Warfield all wrapped up into one. Controversy has also followed the receiver throughout his career.
After originally signing a letter of intent to play football with Notre Dame in 1995, Moss took part in a racially-charged fight at his high school that left one person hospitalized. Notre Dame subsequently denied his enrollment application. Deciding not to play in South Bend, Moss took his talents to Florida State, but got into trouble there as well. While serving his 30-day jail sentence in a work-release program, Moss tested positive for smoking marijuana, thus violating his probation, and was dismissed from Florida State. Ultimately, Moss transferred to Marshall University, which was close to his home.
Thanks to Keith Allison from Flikr.com for this great picture of Randy Moss at FedExField.
Due to these off the field problems, many NFL teams were wary of drafting him, even though he was projected as a high first-round pick. Similar to the Jerry Rice draft, the Dallas Cowboys looked to be a perfect fit for him, especially since Moss was a Cowboys fan. However, his history plus the off the field problems that Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin was going through, made Owner Jerry Jones pass on what was going top be one of the greatest receivers in the NFL.
Finally, Minnesota took a chance and they were not disappointed. Moss was one of the offensive weapons the Vikings used to go 15-1 and garner a birth in the NFC Championship game. The Vikings became the number one-ranked offense, scoring a then-NFL record 556 points. Moss' first NFL game would also be his first multi-touchdown game as he recorded 4 receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
The Vikings steamrolled every opponent until losing to Atlanta in the NFC Championship game, 30-27 in overtime. However, Moss was named a Pro Bowl starter and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for his rookie-record 17 touchdown receptions and the third highest receiving yardage (1,313) total.
Thanks to Brian J. McDermott from Flikr.com for this great picture of Randy Moss (#81).
Moss played the first seven years of his career in Minnesota before a trade in 2005 brought him to the Oakland Raiders. On April 29, 2007, Moss was traded to the New England Patriots for a fourth-round draft pick. It looked like Moss would finally get his first Super Bowl ring as his TD catch with minutes remaining gave the undefeated New England Patriots a 14-10 lead over the Giants. However, Eli Manning led his team down the field to score the winning TD.
On October 6, 2010, Moss returned to the Vikings in a trade from the Patriots. Moss holds the NFL single season touchdown reception record (23, set in 2007), and the NFL single-season touchdown reception record for a rookie (17, in 1998).
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