EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Just four weeks ago, Randy Moss gushed about returning to Minnesota. He felt fortunate to return to his first team and was looking forward to seeing those purple No. 84 jerseys again.

So much for the happy reunion. After three disappointing losses in four games, the Vikings decided to dump the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver following a loss to New England that had Moss wistful about his Patriots days during a bizarre postgame rant. It was another shocker in a tumultuous season for a team that began the year with Super Bowl aspirations.

Vikings players confirmed Monday that Coach Brad Childress informed them during a team meeting that Moss had been let go, a few minutes after the NFL Network first reported Minnesota (2-5) had waived him less than a month after acquiring him from New England for a third-round draft pick.

Childress and team officials didn’t respond to messages seeking confirmation of the decision. Moss’ locker at Winter Park remained full of his practice gear when it was open to reporters in the afternoon. His agent, Joel Segal, said he’s been in contact with the Vikings, even though the move was not made official Monday with the league.

“Merely a technical thing,” Segal said in an e-mail.

About an hour before the news came out, Childress took 12 consecutive questions during his regular news conference about Moss, his effort, and his mind-set in response to a rant by Moss following Sunday night’s 28-18 loss to the Patriots.

Moss, who was fined $25,000 last week for failing to cooperate with the media and make himself regularly available for interviews, stepped to the podium after the game but announced he wouldn’t take any questions. He repeatedly expressed admiration for Coach Bill Belichick and his former team and criticized the Vikings for not taking his game-planning advice.

Moss had only one catch for 8 yards against the Patriots. In four games for the Vikings, he had 13 receptions for 174 yards and two touchdowns.

Childress didn’t mention the move when he talked to reporters Monday and said Moss was staying back in the Boston area for a few days to spend time with family. Asked whether he regretted acquiring Moss, the coach said “not at present.”

Moss, who was traded from Minnesota to Oakland in 2005 after finding his share of trouble and frustrating the organization with his attitude, expressed eagerness to connect with Brett Favre when he arrived and talked about how much he still loved Vikings fans some 51/2 years after his departure.

While his presence opened the field for receiver Percy Harvin, who has blossomed into one of the league’s most dangerous offensive players, Moss never materialized into the deep threat the Vikings sought when they traded for him Oct. 7. His longest catch was a 37-yarder, and he was only targeted twice against the Patriots.

“I’m definitely down that we lost this game. I didn’t expect we’d lose this game,” Moss said. “I don’t know how many more times I’ll be in New England again. But I leave Coach Belichick and those guys with a salute: ‘I love you guys. I miss you. I’m out.’ “

Childress said Monday he didn’t see Moss’ remarks as “incendiary.”

Linebacker Ben Leber was one of a handful of players who appeared in the locker room and expressed surprise at the move. But he didn’t sound happy about Moss’ postgame remarks, either.