Understanding The Waiver Wire

Let me begin by saying that as far as I am concerned, last week there was no football.  That’s all I am going to say about both the Florida State Seminoles and the Pittsburgh Steelers losses.

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming:

With Randy Moss’ unceremonious exit from the Minnesota Vikings this week there has been a lot of discussion about how the NFL’s waiver wire works.  Fortunately for you, I am here to break it down.

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - OCTOBER 7: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss answers questions from the media during a press conference at Winter Park on October 7, 2010 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

Randy Moss has been plagued by controversy this year-- will joining the Titans offer a fresh start?

The waiver wire comes into play when a team releases a player who is under contract.  From that point each NFL team has the opportunity to pick the player up.  If it is before September 28th the teams are ordered from worst record to best record based on the previous season.  If it is after September 28 the first team allowed the opportunity to pick up a waiver player is the team with the worst record after the previous week of play.  This means that before the Tennessee Titans picked up Randy Moss, 22 of the NFL’s 32 teams passed.

Now that the Titans have claimed Moss they are required to pay him his previously agreed upon salary.  In this case that is $6.4 million dollars.  That means the Titans will pay Moss $711,111.11 for each of the remaining 9 games this season.  Wow.  Not too shabby.

Had none of the teams picked up Randy Moss he would have then become a free agent.  This would void his current contract. He could, however, begin negotiations for a new contract with any interested team.  This could have happened had none of the teams wanted to pay Moss the salary promised un his original contract.

Pfew… that is a lot of information!  And while it doesn’t explain the personal dynamics between Moss and Viking’s coach Brad Childress, it does explain how moss ended up in Tennessee.

Happy Football Watching!!!

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