More than 38 years after quarterback Fran Tarkenton returned to the Vikings after once being traded away, receiver Randy Moss has gone home, too.
With the chances of the deal hovering in the high 90th percentile only an hour ago, the deal has been completed, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The Vikings get Moss, and the Patriots get a third-round pick in the 2011 draft.
The looming deal was first reported by Jay Glazer of FOX, who also reports that the deal is done. Glazer reports that the Vikings hope to get Moss to Minnesota ASAP in order to commence preparations for the Monday night game against the Jets. Practices begin on Thursday.
We haven’t done the research, but we’re assuming that Moss is the first player in NFL history to appear in back-to-back Monday Night Football games. (Acutally, Albert Breer of NFL Network — we like the sound of that — says that Moss is the second guy to play in consecutive Monday night games.)
The parallels between Moss and Tarkenton are eerie. Tarkenton started his careers with the Vikings and spent six years with the team; Moss spent seven seasons in Minnesota. Both players were traded away. And both players eventually returned, via trade.
From time to time while talking with Paul Allen of KFAN in recent years, I’ve told him I had a weird feeling Moss eventually will play for the Vikings again. And at a time when the Vikings are trying desperately to muster public support for a new stadium, the return of the prodigal son could be enough to get the powers-that-be to serve up a fatted calf at midfield of a brand-new venue.
Before that happens, the move will have to sufficiently reverse the fortunes of a 1-2 team that has underachieved in 2010. With Adrian Peterson and Brett Favre and Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe and possibly at some point Sidney Rice and a defense that has allowed only 38 points in three games, Moss could be the missing piece to the puzzle.
Of course, they thought the same thing about Herschel Walker 21 years ago. The difference is that Herschel was never really all that good, and his arrival felt more like a carpetbagging than a homecoming.