Denarius Moore May Have Another Shot
August 15, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore (17) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Lions 27-26. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Within the past few days, the Cincinnati Bengals have released a few players, a notable name within the group being former Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore. Moore was brought to Cincinnati on a one-year deal after playing four seasons in Oakland. Moore had a couple of nice seasons in Oakland, including his rookie year, in which he caught 33 passes for 618 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 18.7 yards per catch under the tutelage of former Raiders head coach and current Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.
When Cincinnati eventually signed Moore, most of Bengal Nation was pretty happy with it, mainly because of all the injuries the receiving corps had suffered in the previous season. At the time of the signing, it felt like a foregone conclusion that Moore would be in Cincinnati this season–especially since he was reunited with his former head coach. James Wright‘s season-ending injury coupled with Moore’s reunion with Hue Jackson had Bengals fans optimistic that he could potentially jump Brandon Tate or Greg Little in the back end of the receiving corps. However, after a disappointing preseason, the Bengals decided to cut him loose.
Even though it didn’t work out in Cincinnati, however, Moore’s career may not be over just yet. This preseason, several NFL receiving corps have been hit hard by the injury bug. The Carolina Panthers’ Kelvin Benjamin and Green Bay Packers’ Jordy Nelson both suffered devastating season-ending injuries; with these two elite receivers out, the Panthers and Packers could be looking like a receiver like Moore who has been at least somewhat successful in the league. The extensive list of starting wide receivers recovering from injuries includes Victor Cruz, Michael Floyd, Breshad Perriman, Sammy Watkins and T.Y. Hilton. And don’t forget Bears’ rookie, Kevin White, who had a shin surgery just a few days ago. Teams all over the league should be looking for receivers, so Moore could find himself on a roster quicker than he would’ve thought.
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One possible and realistic option for Moore is the Carolina Panthers. As previously mentioned, the Panthers’ best receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, went down with a torn ACL. In Benjamin’s rookie season he had 73 catches, 1,008 yards and 9 touchdowns; despite this, the Panthers still seemed like they needed more weapons for Cam Newton. With Benjamin out for the season, Carolina will likely look for a player to step in and replace him; Moore could step in and play a role in the Panthers’ offense if Carolina is interested.
As of now, the Panthers’ receiving corps looks like one of the league’s worst, fielding Corey Brown and Tedd Ginn Jr. as its starting wideouts. Jarrett Boykin, Jerricho Cotchery, Kevin Norwood and rookie Devin Funchess make up the rest of the receiving corps, but Moore has more potential than all of the aforementioned players outside of Funchess.
Moore was once an established deep threat who could take the top off of opposing defenses; his presence could definitely soften the blow of Benjamin’s absence. He’s arguably one of the top wideouts on the market, and despite Tedd Ginn Jr. and Kevin Norwood also being deep threats, Moore has had the best career of the three players as a receiver, with six more touchdowns than the other two receivers combined. Carolina should take a long, hard look at Moore, because he could be one of the best receivers on its roster if signed.
Given all of the injuries to wide receivers around the league, Carolina is not the only place where Moore could potentially get a shot. Another team that could potentially use his services is the New York Giants. The Giants already have a strong receiving corps, with Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz, Reuben Randle and James Jones, but there’s no such thing as having too much wide receiver depth. Plus, with Cruz coming off of two injuries, New York could certainly use another player who can stretch the field.
Victor Cruz used to be one of the best slot receivers in the league, but injuries have slowed him down significantly. Even if he is able to consistently suit up for the Giants, Cruz will be a shadow of who he once was. Denarius Moore, however, is durable and could play a similar role. He would be a great compliment to New York’s receiving corps and could step in if Cruz is unable to return to action.
Green Bay, however, could be the best landing spot for the former Bengal. Jordy Nelson’s injury opened up another spot in the Packers’ stacked receiving corps, and Moore could be the perfect player to fill that spot. No one will replace Nelson’s productivity, even with the best quarterback in the league. Randall Cobb–who is dealing with a minor injury–and Davante Adams are both great receivers, but the Packers will need a third receiver to step up. Moore could be that guy for the Pack; he’s quick, he can take the top off of a defense and he has shown that he can be productive in this league once before.
All in all, there are some real opportunities out there for Denarius Moore.