|Wednesday, August 13
Moss plan doesn't pan out for receiver
By Len Pasquarelli
Originally signed to take some of the pressure off Randy Moss last year, wide receiver Derrick Alexander was released by the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday after a season of injury and ineffectiveness.
Alexander, 31, never became the complementary threat Vikings officials believed he would be when they signed him to a three-year, $5.1 million contract last spring, shortly after he was released by the Kansas City Chiefs for salary-cap reasons.
The nine-year veteran lost the starting job to D'Wayne Bates and then suffered a knee injury that subsequently ended his season after only eight appearances and five starts. In his lone year with the Vikings, Alexander had only 14 receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown. The catches and receiving yards were both career lows.
There had been some injury problems in the past, but Alexander still managed a career average of better than 16 yards per catch and, with Minnesota seeking to augment Moss in its passing game following the departure of Cris Carter, the fit seemed a good one at the time.
A former University of Michigan star, Alexander began his career with the Cleveland Browns in 1994 and moved with the franchise to Baltimore. He signed with the Chiefs in 1998.
For his career, Alexander has 417 catches for 6,971 yards and 40 touchdowns. During the five-year span of 1996-2000, he had 54 or more receptions every season. Three times he passed the 1,000-yard mark and his best season came in 2000 in Kansas City, when he had 78 catches for 1,391 yards and 10 touchdowns.
In March, the Vikings negotiated a paycut with Alexander that reduced his scheduled base salary from $1.4 million to $655,000, the minimum for a player of his tenure. Of that, $300,000 is guaranteed, so Alexander will be paid that amount despite being released.
There is no carryover on Alexander's contract because there were no prorated signing bonus segments. He will count $305,600 against the team's cap for this season.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.