clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Randy Moss accidentally cussed out Bill Belichick one time

The wide receiver left the Oakland Raiders for New England in April 2007.

Baltimore Ravens  v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

On Monday we saw the Patriots ship one of their best players from 2015 away to the Cleveland Browns for a third-round pick, just one day before the NFL trade deadline.

Bill Belichick and Co. are no strangers to controversial trades. After sending Jamie Collins to Cleveland, they are the most active of all NFL teams, having made 21 trades involving a player since 2014.

Randy Moss, the former Patriot-turned-ESPN analyst, has been on both sides of a Belichick blockbuster. He was picked up by New England in the 2007 NFL Draft and controversially traded to the Vikings in Oct. 2010 for (you guessed it) a third-round pick.

Today he recounted the trade that saw him swap Oakland for Foxborough. The whole thing is worth a read, but here are a few of the best bits from the interview:

On the first time Moss got on the phone with Belichick:

“I got a phone call and it was Bill Belichick. I thought it was a friend or somebody playing with my phone. I actually cussed him out. When he kept saying it was Bill Belichick, I knew he was serious. I started being apologetic because I had cussed the man. Then he told me the Raiders were thinking about trading me. I had to be in Foxborough by 10 p.m. Eastern, or the trade would void. So, I just did everything that I could possibly do to get up there by 10 p.m.”

Who knows how Belichick, a.k.a. Emperor Palpatine, felt about one of his new players cussing him out, but it turns out they got along eventually. In his three and a half years with the Patriots, Moss had 3,904 yards and 50(!) touchdowns. Additionally, he spoke about how crucial his move to New England was for his career as a whole, especially after a couple of unproductive seasons in Oakland.

One thing it let me do was refocus. I understood where I was in my career and that I still wanted to play. It was about me redefining myself as an individual, working hard, getting refocused. That gave me the ability to critique myself — the good and the bad. I think that's why good things were able to happen. We held each other accountable, no matter what.

Following his return to Minnesota, Moss bounced around a couple teams before retiring in 2012 after his one-year contract with the 49ers expired. His numbers were never the same. The confidence Belichick instilled in Moss gave him the self-assurance to reinvigorate his career.

“Bill basically said he thought I was still effective, that I could be the deep threat like when I came into the league,” Moss said. “He still had faith. He still believed I could go out there and do what I normally do.”

While Moss’ relationship with Belichick played an important part on the back end of things, fans remember his explosive partnership with Tom Brady more vividly.

Brady and Moss both set new single-season records in 2007. Brady threw for a record 50 touchdown passes, while Moss caught 23.

“We clicked right away,” Moss said. “The magic and the numbers, and the records we broke, that was hard work.”

However, it wasn’t all fun and games for the Marshall product. Moss’ only regret during his time in New England came during Super Bowl XLII, when the Patriots came within one win of a perfect season.

“Having an undefeated season, doing so many great things, then, when the game counted for us to really bring it home, we couldn't bring it home,” Moss said.

Read the rest of the interview here.