By Art Martone
Randy Moss admitted it might not have been appropriate for him to raise the issue of his contract after the Patriots' impressive Opening Day win over the Bengals Sunday, but said was something he "wanted to get off my chest" as he reiterated his desire to stay in New England.
"I think that the timing could have been bad," Moss told Hannah Storm Tuesday in an interview on ESPN's SportsCenter, "but it was actually my first time speaking to the media this year and I wanted to get off my chest instead of waiting until Week 12, Week 13, on down the road until it really could become a distraction to our team and what we're trying to accomplish. So it was just something I wanted to do. Maybe it was bad timing, but . . . I cleared my mind in order to feel good about myself.
"I think when it comes to the business side of football, I hope that my coaches and teammates didn't take it as disrespectful . . . and understood where I was coming from. But like I said, that was the first and last time you're going to hear me talking about my contract."
Moss confirmed that he spoke to coach Bill Belichick on Monday about his comments.
"He just told me I had to watch what I do and what I say," Moss said. "And I told him, point-blank, 'Yes, sir. I got you.' Simple as that."
One of Moss' main points Sunday was how much he wanted to remain with the Patriots, and he repeated that sentiment several times Tuesday.
"Hopefully, my teammates and coaches like me being a part of the New England Patriots team. Because I know I do," said Moss, who later added, "let me say this again: I do not want to leave New England. Because I love what they do here. I love Coach Belichick, I love the team, I love the coaching staff, and I love playing here on Sundays."
When asked why he felt the Patriots hadn't offered him a contract extension, he answered: "This is a business, Hannah, so I don't really know why there hasn't been any discussion. The only thing I'm doing is taking it in stride, day to day, and hopefully at the end of the season I'll give this organization a reason to keep me. If not, hopefully I'll give some other organization a reason to bring me in."
But he thinks he still has much to offer the Patriots, or any potential employer, in the seasons to come.
"I take my job seriously," he said. "I have a lot of pride in what I do. I think any coach or any owner would want a guy like me on their team. I mean, I take everything to heart. I take the wins in stride and . . . losing, I take that in stride, also. I love playing football. And all the extracurricular activity that comes with football, off the field, I really don't care too much about. But being on the football field, between those white lines, is something I love to do . . ."
Moss also said Tom Brady's new contract didn't spur him to make his comments Sunday.
"It's well-deserved. I'm a big fan of Tom Brady's," Moss said of Brady's new deal. "I got a lot of respect for Tom and what he brings to the team each day . . . He's worked hard to be where he is . . . But it didn't prompt me to come out and say what I did Sunday."
Art Martone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.