The Oakland Raiders cut ties with Randy Moss after two unproductive seasons, sending the former Pro Bowl receiver to the New England Patriots yesterday for a fourth-round draft pick.
Moss was disgruntled for most of his two seasons in Oakland, and said frequently last season he thought he'd be better off with another team. The 30-year-old wanted to be dealt either to New England or Green Bay and got his wish.
Moss said he was thrilled to be with the Patriots, who won three of the last six Super Bowls, and re-negotiated a contract that had 2 years left.
"I'm still overwhelmed and, at the same time, kind of star-struck that I'm part of this New England Patriots organization," he said during a conference call.
Raiders coach Lane Kiffin wanted to deal Moss before next weekend's mandatory minicamp. Moss had not participated in any of the team's offseason workouts and the Raiders were unsure if he'd attend the minicamp.
"We felt this was the best scenario for both the Raiders and Randy," Kiffin said. "We wish him nothing but the best."
With the Patriots, Moss will be teamed with three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady, who now has plenty of talented receivers to throw to. New England already has added three other wide receivers this offseason: Wes Welker in a trade with Miami, and ex-Eagle Donte' Stallworth and Kelley Washington as free agents.
The deal leaves the Raiders with Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry, Doug Gabriel and newly acquired Mike Williams as their top receivers. Oakland traded a fourth-round pick to Detroit Saturday for Williams and quarterback Josh McCown of Detroit.
The move for Moss came a day after the Patriots drafted Miami safety Brandon Meriweather, a player in whom the Eagles were said to have interest. He was chosen 24th overall, two spots ahead of where the Eagles were to have selected before trading down.
In addition to his ability, Meriweather made news last season for an incident in which the Miami star kicked several Florida International players during a game Oct. 14.
"He ran over there and made a bad decision. I don't think that's who he is," Belichick said after taking Meriweather with the 24th pick on Saturday. "I spent time with him [and] a lot of people in that program and I think football's important to him.
"All of us have made mistakes."
Meriweather, known for his versatility, became more widely known - through repeated television replays - for the kicking incident, which came in apparent retaliation after opposing players hit one of his teammates. He was suspended for one game and issued a letter of apology.
"I made a bad decision, one I shouldn't have made," Meriweather said Saturday. "That won't ever happen again."
About 3 months before the fight, on July 21, Meriweather shot at an assailant who had shot Miami backup safety Willie Cooper outside the house Cooper shared with Meriweather and another teammate, police said. They said he used the gun legally.
"Me and coach Belichick, we sat down and talked about it," Meriweather said. "I just said it was a dumb decision by me."
* San Francisco acquired veteran receiver Darrell Jackson from Seattle, landing a potential No. 1 pass catcher from a division rival for a fourth-round draft choice.
Jackson, a 7-year pro who spent his entire career with the Seahawks, gradually fell out of favor with Seattle general manager Tim Ruskell in recent months amid injuries and attitude concerns.
* Dallas owner Jerry Jones said he will pay wide receiver Terrell Owens his $3 million roster bonus, due June 1. *