Sid Hartman: Fowler says Moss won't be dealt
Sid Hartman, Star Tribune
February 21, 2005 SIDH0221

Reggie Fowler was on a plane to New York from his Arizona home on Sunday morning. The man who is in line to buy the Vikings from Red McCombs was headed for a meeting with his partners in the prospective purchase, and also intended to meet with some NFL officials.

Fowler spoke about some of his plans for the team, and made it clear that his group would have no plans to trade Randy Moss, who has been the subject of trade talk since late in the season.

"I think we all have to have a set of standards," Fowler said. "I think Mr. Moss is, if not the finest, one of the finest receivers in the league today. And I think he's a winner. A lot of times when you want to win, you get excited.

"So I look forward to working with Randy, and I think he'll do all the things we need him to do. I don't know that you take some of the best players in the league and start trading them. We need those people to help us win, and I think Randy's one of those guys."

Fowler and McCombs had a news conference on Monday to announce the sale. There were questions about some items in Fowler's biography, and he returned to Minneapolis to meet with reporters Friday to explain them. On Sunday, a story in the Star Tribune examined his businesses and reported on a number of lawsuits and controversies surrounding the many companies Fowler owns.

"Most of it's not true," Fowler said. "I hope to prove that we are credible individuals and hope to get the people of Minneapolis excited about what could happen in the next 30 days or so."

For the first time, Fowler, who needs to be OK'd by the NFL before he can own the team, said he is confident that his group will be able to put together a plan to get a new stadium built for the Vikings.

"We'd like to think there are many options," he said. "One of them, of course, is public funding or state funding. Another option is going privately. We have to evaluate those different options. But at the end of the day, we're confident that we can get something done."

Fowler sang the praises of Vikings Director of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski and gave a strong indication that he will continue to do what he has been doing.

"Rob Brzezinski is well-respected in the league, and I look forward to working with Rob in the future," he said.

Fowler said he didn't think anybody can operate under a one-year contract and indicated that Mike Tice and his coaching staff would get more security than they now have.

"We want to build a winning franchise for a long period of time, and you need people to stay around and understand how you do and don't operate in order to do that," Fowler said. "So I would hope that all the people there would be given the long-term contracts that we're all looking for."

Fowler seemed confident the NFL owners will approve his bid for the franchise.

"I hope in the next 30, 45 days we can put this mystery to bed, so we can get on with the business," he said.