A worthy post, Odin! Worthy of the King of the Gods!
Cris Carter was a great player but I always suspected him being behind a lot of the tensions we saw during Denny's last season, when the sideline feuds regularly broke out. You can't say that the guy didn't have ego. Remember between 1998-2001, Carter would always say in interviews that he was pretty much teaching Moss everything the kid knew? Carter was also criticized (without being named) by Robert Smith, who got mad that "some people" wear God on their sleeve, " (paraphrase) as if they've been personally blessed by a Lord who cares about football." I also remember in interviews how heavy-handed he was about demanding to be recognized as the leader of the team. He also took a few lumps from linemen being interviewed (Steussie, the-center-whose-name-I-can't-remember-at-the-moment).
I think he had a really hard time coming to grips with the fact that the team was evolving beyond the "Cris Carter Show," and I think that even now he may secretly be hoping to see Moss removed from the team (which would coincidentally keep Carter as our team's all-time best receiver!). Who knows, maybe Carter is right about an impending trade, but I take him with a grain of salt.
As for the idea that Moss is a distraction to the team, I ask for proof of this. Even Matt Birk, who chewed out Randy after the Washington game, directly refuted the idea posed by media interviewers that Moss was a distraction. And if he was being a distraction at the very end of the Washington game, it sure didn't stop us from whomping the Pack the next week. If he was such a distraction with his celebration during the Packers game, why did our team maintain cohesion ad continue to hold the Packers from making a comeback? Seems like people (including some Vikings fans) who are saying Moss is a distraction or is holding us back are basing this on the flood of media reports on #84, and on what sports commentators (who, believe it or not, are not closer to the situation than anybody who watches and reads everything about the Vikes possible) are saying.
If you're going to say that Randy is a distraction, you have to be able to point out evidence in the form of a (HEALTHY) Moss acting up and specifically linkable losses. Don't say it just because media sensationalism has ground you down to the point where you surrender and recite the press's mantra without any relevant, logical evidence to back it up.