The Atlanta Falcons will be faced with several tough decisions in the coming weeks as the NFL's free agency period looms on the horizon. One decision pertaining to William Moore appears to already be eliminating options.
As Ian Rapoport noted on Tuesday evening, the Falcons are not expected to use their franchise tag for any player on the roster this offseason, including their Pro Bowl strong safety. While Rapoport says Moore is a priority to re-sign, deciding not to use a tag on him could result in a bidding war for Atlanta.
Using the franchise tag on Moore would cost the Falcons approximately $6.8 million, which isn't an absurd amount considering how pricey some of the other positions cost. Troy Polamalu currently has the highest base salary for safeties, making $7.5 million.
Recent reports have indicated Moore's interest in testing the free agent market. He will turn 28 in May, and after being named to his first Pro Bowl in 2012, you can expect several teams to come after him with serious offers. If the Falcons don't sign him to a multi-year deal, they may be forced to match a steep offer sheet, or let Moore walk, perish the thought.
Franchise tags must be used by March 4. Free agency begins on March 12.
Pro Football Focus rated Moore as their No. 18 safety last season. He was pegged for allowing 446 yards in just 12 games. Plus, he's missed four games in each of the last two years.
Despite his inconsistency and injury issues at times, we've seen how important Moore can be. He is solid against the run, makes momentum-changing plays when needed and is hitting his prime right now. Let's hope the Falcons can reach an agreeable deal sometime soon if they truly aren't using a franchise tag on C4.