Moss apologizes .. sort of

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., Sept. 26 (UPI) -- While claiming the incident that resulted in his arrest was blown out of proportion, Minnesota Vikings receiver Randy Moss apologized to his teammates, family and friends on Thursday.

Moss was charged with two misdemeanors and released from jail on Wednesday, one day after he allegedly bumped a female traffic officer with his car. But he stopped short of apologizing to the officer, Amy Zaccardi, during a rambling discourse at a news conference Thursday morning.


"I'm sorry for what I caused and what I brought to those who really care about me," said a contrite Moss.

He appeared nervous and uneasy during the news conference, often looking down and avoiding eye contact with those present. He asked the media to let the legal process run its course before judging him.


"These last couple of days have been really troublesome," Moss said. "I don't know who's with me and who's against me."

At first it was believed that Moss would face a felony count of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, but instead, he was charged with careless driving and failure to obey a traffic officer.

According to an arrest report from the Minneapolis Police Department, Moss allegedly tried to make a left turn from the wrong lane from Sixth Street onto Marquette Avenue in the city's downtown area. The 27-year-old officer stepped in front of Moss' 2002 Lexus sedan and ordered him to stop.

The arrest report said Moss continued to drive forward, pushing Zaccardi a half-block down Marquette Avenue until she was forced down. The traffic officer called for police, who came to the scene and arrested Moss and also impounded his car.

"I don't know if trouble is out to find me, but I'm not out there to find trouble," Moss claimed.

NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has the right to suspend and fine Moss under the league's personal conduct policy in the collective bargaining agreement.

Moss apologized to his teammates on Wednesday when he arrived at the Vikings practice facility in Eden Prairie, and expects to play Sunday night when the Vikings visit Seattle to play the Seahawks.


This is the latest incident involving Moss, who scared off college football powers Notre Dame and Florida State with his problems with the law during high school and has been fined by the NFL for squirting water on a referee in 1999 and fined by the Vikings for verbally abusing corporate sponsors on the team bus in 2001.

Last year, the Vikings gave Moss a six-year, $75 million contract extension that included an $18 million signing bonus, a record at the time. Late in the season, Moss raised questions about his commitment to football and rankled fans by saying, "I play when I want to play."

Moss has had several run-ins with teammates, most notably the now-retired Cris Carter, who once was considered his mentor.

As recently as Sunday, Moss was seen arguing on the sidelines with quarterback Daunte Culpepper during a 21-14 home-field loss to Carolina that dropped Minnesota to 0-3.

Moss, an extraordinary talent, set an NFL record with 5,396 receiving yards through his first four seasons. He is the only receiver in league history to amass 1,000 yards in each of his first four years.

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