McCOMBS says negotiations with Moss have `died down'

Thursday, May 24th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Vikings owner Red McCombs said he is no longer optimistic receiver Randy Moss and the team will agree on a new contract before the 2001 season.

McCombs told the Saint Paul Pioneer Press on Wednesday that contract talks with Moss' agent, Dante DiTrapano, have ``died down.''

``I doubt a deal will get done before the season starts,'' McCombs said. ``If it doesn't get done before then, we're going to wait until the end of the season to get a deal done.''

Neither Moss nor DiTrapano could be immediately reached for comment.

DiTrapano said recently that Moss wants to become the highest-paid player in the NFL. Moss, who has 43 touchdowns and 4,163 yards in his first three seasons, is set to make a base salary of $3.5 million in 2001, the final season of a four-year contract.

Moss is scheduled to play basketball Thursday for the Pennsylvania ValleyDawgs in a United States Basketball League game against the Long Island Surf. The game is in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

It was not known whether Moss bought insurance in case of injury.