ALAMEDA, Calif. - Randy Moss feels like a newlywed.
After comparing his rocky seven-year tenure with Minnesota to a long marriage, Moss hit the honeymoon phase with his new team Wednesday, joining the Oakland Raiders and getting the royal treatment.
“I’m in love right now,” Moss said, beaming in his new black No. 18 jersey, his hair in cornrows.
The star receiver arrived at team headquarters in a stretch limousine escorted by seven police officers on motorcycles, all but the lieutenant from the Alameda Police Department’s fleet. He’d have been there, but had a prior meeting.
Moss was greeted by fans and the franchise’s three Super Bowl trophies.
His four kids all received care packages from the team: Raiders T-shirts, hats and jackets.
The only thing missing was owner Al Davis himself.
“Since Day 1, the only thing that Mr. Al Davis and his organization have shown is straight Class A hospitality, and I can really appreciate that,” Moss said. “I’m overwhelmed by it, I really am.”
Moss was introduced by the Raiders once his trade from the Vikings was complete. The Raiders were working to restructure his base salary of more than $7 million for next season into a more cap-friendly signing bonus to be prorated over future years.
The Vikings receive linebacker Napoleon Harris, the No. 7 pick in April’s NFL draft and a late-round pick in the swap, which was done a week ago, but couldn’t be made official until Wednesday.
“I’ve still got love in Minnesota,” Moss said, “but with the Oakland Raiders, I get a new start and a chance to go to the Super Bowl.”
As part of that new start, Moss is changing his jersey number from 84 back to 18, the number he wore when he came into the league in 1998. The Vikings, meanwhile, were preparing to move on without their franchise man.
“Randy is a phenomenal player and meant a lot to the community and the Vikings organization,” said Vikings owner Red McCombs, who called a news conference for Thursday to discuss the deal. “But, we have decided to go in a different direction at this point. We wish Randy the best in the future.”
Moss said he was nervous when introduced, but he was already comfortable with Davis’ longtime catch phrases.
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