Randy Moss said Tuesday his comments about his contract concerns “came out wrong,” but he doesn’t regret making them and wants to retire with the New England Patriots.
Moss had spoken out after Sunday’s season opener, then went home worrying about how coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft would view his remarks.
“I do care what they think and I just didn’t want it to come off in a crazy, crazy manner,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It was just how I felt, man. It’s just something I just needed to get off my chest.”
He learned Belichick’s reaction when they met on Monday. He said the coach was supportive.
“I don’t want to get into detail about what we talked about, but it was just more watching what I say and watching what I do,” Moss said. “I just said, ‘Coach, it’s unlike me,’ and I apologized, in a way, because it’s unlike me, but, hopefully, he sees where I’m coming from. ”
He said he has children, a mother, a brother and a sister to support.
“They’re looking for me for financial stability,” Moss said. “Is that fair? No. But that’s life and I accepted that and that’s where I’m coming from. Hopefully, people will understand where I’m coming from. It’s not that I’m asking for $30 (million), $40 million a year. I’m just asking for another contract.”
He didn’t say whether he had spoken with Kraft.
On Sunday, Moss said there have been no talks regarding a contract for next year.
The Patriots obtained the wide receiver from Oakland during the April 2007 draft for a fourth-round pick that year. His Raiders contract included base salaries of $9.75 million in 2007 and $11.25 million in 2008. He and the Patriots agreed to replace that with a one-year deal with a base salary of $3 million.
He’s making $6.4 million in 2010, the last year of a three-year, $27 million contract.
On Sunday, Moss spoke for 16 minutes soon after the 38-24 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, nearly all of it about his contract situation. He said he wasn’t mad but was hurt and didn’t expect to return next year.
On Tuesday, he said, “I would love to” retire as a Patriot. “The rapport that I have here with this organization, the coaching staff and the fan base, it’s a lot of positives out there when dealing with me. I don’t really want to try to make it an individual thing, but I guess it has been over the last couple of days.”
He also said Sunday that he didn’t feel appreciated, then added, “I’m not saying that I’m not appreciated here.”
He clarified his remarks on Tuesday.
“I just wanted to know or feel that I’m appreciated. I didn’t really try to do anything crazy or say anything crazy, but it just came out wrong,” Moss said. “I don’t have any regrets for saying that because that’s me, man. I have a family. I’m a man. I’m a business man.”
He said he didn’t second-guess himself for the timing of his comments or sense that it detracted from the victory.
Moss spoke after participating in Boston in a promotion for Capital One bank. He smile, bantered with spectators, posed for pictures and signed autographs.
Then he reiterated that some people don’t want to see him do well, but said he wasn’t singling anyone out.
“It’s life,” Moss said. “That’s the thing that gets me about our country and how we go about our day-to-day (activities). If a person, male or female, speaks the truth, we don’t like the truth. The truth hurts. But the truth that I let out the other day wasn’t like I was pointing fingers or being real nasty about the situation. It was talking about me and my family.”
In 2007, he set an NFL record with 23 touchdown receptions and a team mark with 1,493 yards receiving. He also was chosen for his seventh Pro Bowl.
The 13-year veteran left his previous teams, Minnesota and Oakland, on less than amiable terms. With Minnesota, where he spent his first seven seasons, he was criticized by teammates for leaving the field with 2 seconds left in a regular-season loss to Washington. He bumped a traffic control officer with his car in 2002, verbally abused corporate sponsors on a team bus in 2001 and squirted an official with a water bottle in 1999.
In two years with Oakland, his motivation was questioned and he asked to be traded.
With New England, he’s been praised by Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady and other teammates.
“For the New England Patriots, Mr. Kraft and Bill Belichick, giving me the opportunity to be part of something special from ’07 to right now is something I’ll take to my grave,” Moss said. “But if there’s something that I could ask them for, I would ask them to keep me here.”
He has no assurance that they’ll do that.
“I don’t even know what my fate is, and for me to be 33 years old, it’s like I’m held at bay, and that’s definitely an uncomfortable thing,” he said. “If this is my last year here, I want to leave as good as I came in here in ’07. I know that’s really hard to duplicate, but I don’t want the fans, the organization, coaches or my teammates to have a sour taste in their mouths about Randy Moss.
“If I do leave here, I want everything to be positive – that I was a good guy, I was well coached, well mannered, a good man in the locker room, a good teammate to be around.”