Randy Moss joined the Raiders on Wednesday, when Oakland completed a trade with the Minnesota Vikings for the star receiver.
Moss was introduced by his new team in an afternoon news conference. 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.
Fans showed up early at the team’s practice facility to see Moss, who arrived in a limousine escorted by seven police officers on motorcycles.
“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 to 18, the number he wore when he came into the league in 1998. 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 completed a week ago but couldn’t be made official until Wednesday.
Moss said he was nervous at the news conference, but he was already comfortable with Raiders’ catchphrases.
“Who wouldn’t want to be in the silver and black?” Moss asked. “I’m committed to excellence and I just want to win, baby.”
Derrick Mason agreed to a five-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens. Mason, 31, was second in the NFL with 96 receptions last season and was one of six Tennessee Titans released last month in a salary cap move.
Center Casey Rabach agreed to a five-year, $13.75-million contract with the Washington Redskins, according to an official within the league speaking on condition of anonymity. The deal includes a $2.5-million signing bonus for Rabach, who spent the last four seasons with the Ravens.
The team re-signed defensive tackle Joe Salave’a to a three-year deal, agreed to terms to re-sign long snapper Ethan Albright and formally announced the re-signing of left tackle Chris Samuels to a seven-year, $47-million contract with a team-record $15.75-million signing bonus.
The Cincinnati Bengals re-signed wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh to a four-year contract.... The Indianapolis Colts released veteran tight end Marcus Pollard, saving the team $2.65 million against the salary cap.... Oft-injured running back Correll Buckhalter agreed to a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles as the NFC champions opened free agency by bringing back one of their own.... The Detroit Lions re-signed safety Bracy Walker to a one-year contract.... Defensive tackle Gerard Warren was traded by the Cleveland Browns to the Denver Broncos for a fourth-round selection in this year’s draft.... Former New York Giant kicker Matt Bryant signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.... The St. Louis Rams signed linebacker Dexter Coakley to a five-year contract.
Australian Open champion Serena Williams overcame a rough first set to beat Elena Bovina, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, and reach the Dubai Women’s Open quarterfinals at Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Top-ranked Lindsay Davenport had an easier time, defeating Jie Zheng, 6-2, 7-5.
Davenport will next meet Conchita Martinez, who ousted Nathalie Dechy, 6-1, 6-2. Williams, seeded second, next plays Daniela Hantuchova, who beat Elena Likhovtseva, 7-5, 6-4.
Guard Betty Lennox, most valuable player of last year’s WNBA finals, re-signed with the Seattle Storm.
Nearly five weeks of testimony concluded in fired football coach Rick Neuheisel’s case against the University of Washington and the NCAA, and a judge scheduled closing arguments for Monday at Kent, Wash. Neuheisel alleges the university wrongfully terminated his contract.
Argentine soccer coach Daniel Passarella arrived in Brazil to finalize contract negotiations with three-time national champion Corinthians. Passarella, who once coached Argentina’s national team, was without a club since leaving Mexico’s Monterrey in January 2004.
Deeja Youngquist, who finished eighth in the U.S. Olympic marathon trials, was suspended for two years for a doping violation. The 27-year-old from Albuquerque tested positive for the banned endurance enhancer EPO.
Jan Gangelhoff, the former University of Minnesota office manager who blew the whistle on academic fraud in the men’s basketball program, died at 56.
Gangelhoff died Monday in Danbury, Wis. Her attorney, James Lord, told the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press that Gangelhoff died of cancer.
Gangelhoff reported in 1999 that she had done academic course work for 18 Gopher basketball players. The revelation eventually led to coach Clem Haskins and several top officials leaving the university.