Moss frustrated over lack of contract offer from Patriots
FOXBOROUGH — Randy Moss has not addressed the media since Patriots training camp began July 29, despite numerous attempts to get the often-colorful receiver to answer a question or two.
Although it had been promised the 33-year-old would break his silence Sunday after New England’s season-opener against Cincinnati, Moss decided to talk yesterday. He chatted with William Bendetson of cbssports.com and had quite a bit to say. Namely, that he’s not happy the Patriots haven’t made him a contract offer.
“When you have done so much and put so much work in, it kind of feels like I am not wanted,’’ Moss said. “I am taking that in stride and playing my final year out and whatever the future holds is what it holds, but it is kind of a bad feeling — feeling not wanted. It is not like my production has gone down. I am speaking from an individual standpoint. I don’t know about Tom [Brady’s] or whoever else’s contract.
“I am a little older and understand the nature of the business — the older you get the more your skills supposedly diminish, but I think I am getting wiser in how to use my physical skills. That’s the frustrating part when you put so much heart and desire into things and feel like you are not wanted.’’
Moss signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Patriots after his record-setting 2007 season. The deal included $15 million guaranteed — $12 million in the form of a signing bonus.
He is scheduled to make a base salary of $6.4 million this year, tops on the team.
This is not the first time the mercurial Moss said this might be his last season in New England, saying as much at former teammate Heath Evans’s charity softball event in February.
“I understand the beast, the nature of it. I think that just with what I think and what I know I don’t think they’re going to re-sign me back,’’ Moss said at the time. “So, after this season if there is not a lockout I’ll be looking for a new team. I got a lot of respect for the Patriots and what they did for me and my family. So, the only thing I can do is just play this year out and see what my future holds after that.’’
Moss, who is known for trusting few people outside of a small circle in his native West Virginia, made the somewhat surprising move of severing ties with agent Tim DiPiero, an attorney who had represented him since his high school days, in the spring. He eventually signed with Joel Segal, who also represents big-name players Michael Vick of the Eagles, Chris Johnson of the Titans, and Reggie Bush of the Saints. Segal could not be reached for comment last night.
Moss, a 13-year veteran, also expressed a desire to earn more through endorsement deals and other opportunities.
In February, Moss’s contention that the Patriots “don’t really pay’’ their players drew a response from owner Robert Kraft, who pointed out that Moss made $20 million over the first two years of his deal.
Moss has looked as fast as ever at practice, with his talents on full display, leading to the assumption that he will play all-out in an effort to land another lucrative contract. If he plays on a level comparable to his first three years in New England — he averaged 83 receptions, 1,255 yards, and nearly 16 touchdowns — it will be to the team’s benefit.
But he may show his displeasure in his off-the-field demeanor. Last week, at the team’s Kickoff Gala, one of the few events players are required to attend, Moss left the table he was supposed to be sitting, with fans who had ponied up thousands of dollars for the chance to mingle with players and instead was by himself, headphones on and head bobbing.