This is an awkward article to write for many reasons, but the primary one is that I love William Moore, and I don't really want to contemplate a grim future where he's not on the team.
But as critical as William Moore is in 2015—see my article yesterday on injured Falcons who need to return to full strength for this team to excel—we do have to ask some tough questions about his future. This is a team with a new head coach, after all, and while Moore remains one of the league's better safeties, he has battled injuries consistently since arriving in the league. There simply aren't any guarantees.
Taking a closer look at Moore's contract adds fuel to the uncertainty fire. In 2016, Moore's dead money hit is $3.3 million, but it's just $1.65 million in 2017 versus an $8.65 million cap hit. If he's starting, playing at a high level and dropping fire verses, that's a reasonable amount of money, but all it takes is an injury or two between now and then or the rise of Kemal Ishmael to cloud the picture. In my mind, there's little question about Moore's 2017 salary, because either he's getting a new contract or he won't be on the team. I'm hoping the former.
On performance alone, of course, Moore's still a playmaker who makes the defense better whenever he's on the field. He's so essential to this team in the here and now that it's hard to imagine him being cut for performance alone at any point, but of course, it's never just about that.
Ultimately, my hope is that Moore winds up finishing his career as an Atlanta Falcon, but a lot will depend on how he fares this season and Quinn's vision for the defense. If Moore acquits himself well in this defense—and I expect him to—chances are he'll play out 2015 and 2016 and the team will rip up his contract and offer him a new one before absorbing the $8 million-plus hit in 2017.
What are your expectations for Moore's Falcons future?