Randy Moss Says He Regrets Not Leaving Minnesota Earlier

The NBA on TNT was full of nostalgia Thursday night for Minnesota sports fans who were reared in the 1990s. Kevin Garnett, now a contributor to TNT’s basketball coverage, hosts a series of short segments each week from his own studio named Area 21, often with a former or current athlete.

Thursday he was joined by former Minnesota Vikings legend and current ESPN analyst Randy Moss, who shared the Twin Cities spotlight with Garnett as they overlapped for seven years on their respective clubs.

Moss’s time in Minnesota was memorable, though not always smooth. He was traded after the 2004 season to the Oakland Raiders, then returned briefly in 2010 before being released by head coach Brad Childress.

Vikings fans still adore Moss, and they showed their love for the wide receiver during Week 4 of the 2016 season when Moss blew the pregame Gjallarhorn prior to a Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants.

But as Moss told Garnett Thursday night, his memories of Minnesota may not be as fond as locals would like to think.

“When I was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings, Coach [Denny] Green pulled the trigger,” Moss said. “We had a bond. It was more like a father-son bond. I felt like he wanted me there in Minnesota, but after he left, it felt like they did not want Denny’s players there in Minnesota anymore, so if I could go back in time and change things, I  probably would’ve left after the 15-1 season. That’s just crazy — it’s just how football is. It’s not the game, it’s the business.”

It’s a perplexing comment for a few reasons. For one, it’s hard to believe Moss wanted out following a historically good rookie season that nearly resulted in a Super Bowl. Second, it’s unlikely Moss would’ve had any real say in leaving a team that had him under contract for multiple seasons. Third, he spoke of his special bond with Coach Green, who wasn’t fired until the 2001 season.

Maybe Moss mixed up his years. Maybe Moss was alluding to the fact that his rookie season was so great, everything else paled in comparison. Whatever he meant, he doubled down on his remarks later in the segment.

“I was loyal to the Minnesota Vikings. I was loyal to Coach Green and that organization. For them to ship me out six years and not understanding the business, what I do know now, I probably would have got out of there my second year.”

On the bright side for Minnesota fans, there was still some fun reminiscing about the Minnesota days, including Garnett recalling a dinner with Moss and Kirby Puckett. What a trio.

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