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William Moore's Moment of Truth is Here

The veteran safety's contract runs through 2017, but he's not guaranteed to be an Atlanta Falcon in 2016 and 2017.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

A couple of weeks ago, I spent the course of an article talking about Robenson Therezie, a safety the Falcons clearly like very much. Therezie hasn't done anything overly impressive since then, but his future value remains high, particularly because we don't know what's going to happen with William Moore.

Willy Mo is a terrific teammate, hard hitter, and playmaking safety, and has been since he was drafted in 2009. He's also played 16 games just twice in his career, and his 2015 campaign has been the very definition of uneven. He has two interceptions and a forced fumble and is always around the ball, but he's also committed his share of coverage miscues and has missed several tackles. Moore addressed that in a recent conversation with Vaughn McClure, vowing to improve, and I don't doubt for a second that Willy Mo will work his ass off to get there.

For all that, though, the mistakes have a real impact on how this team will view Moore, who has two years left on the five year contract he signed with Atlanta back in 2013.

This is relevant for a few reasons. Number one, this is a new coaching staff installing new players, and in Therezie, Ricardo Allen, and Kemal Ishmael, the Falcons have three young safeties with some upside even if they don't explore the draft or free agency for upgrades. Second of all, cutting Moore next year lops off the last two years of his contract, saving the Falcons about $3.3 million in 2016 and $7 million in 2017. The team will happily eat his $6.6 million cap hit in 2016 and $8.65 million cap hit in 2017 if he's going to play at a high level those two years, but they'll need to be convinced of that by his play this year. So far, as I mentioned above, that's been a mixed bag.

Ideally, Moore will iron out the deficiencies in his game and at least play out his contract in Atlanta, winning Super Bowl MVP as he picks off three passes and then delivers a postgame freestyle. I'm not unbiased here, because I've always loved Moore's ability and his presence here. In reality, however, his future with the team remains a little clouded, and he needs to start playing extremely well to ensure he'll be around the next two seasons.