Pro Football Talk reports that the Atlanta Falcons are signing free-agent wide receiver Lance Moore. He turns 33 at the end of the month and played for the Detroit Lions last season.
While serving as the Lion’s third wide receiver behind Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate last season, Moore caught 29 passes for 337 yards and four touchdowns, while earning the distinction as one of the league’s least efficient wideouts according to Pro Football Focus metrics.
Prior to that he played one season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he caught 14 passes for 198 yards and two scores. After the disappointing year where Moore served as that team’s fourth wideout, he asked for his release and was granted it.
Before landing in Pittsburgh, Moore spent eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints, where he was often a thorn in the side of the Falcons. Moore’s two best career games from a yardage standpoint came against the Falcons in 2010 and 2012 when he recorded 149 and 123 receiving yards, respectively. Moore’s most productive season was one of his last in New Orleans, ranking second behind Marques Colston in 2012 with 1,041 yards while catching 65 passes. Moore also led the Saints with 928 receiving yards in 2008.
Originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie out of Toledo in 2005, Moore landed on the Saints’ practice squad that same year. He eventually worked his way into the lineup by 2007 before his breakout 2008 campaign.
Moore does have some experience as a punt returner, last serving primarily in that capacity for the Saints as a replacement for an injured Reggie Bush in 2010. That year he averaged 10.2 yards on 11 punt returns. Prior to that, 2007 marked his only other year in which he was a regular returner, averaging 9.3 yards on 20 punt returns. For his career, Moore has returned 49 punts for an average of 7.9 yards. But it’s unlikely that the Falcons see him as a serious contender at that spot.
Instead Moore will likely push for playing time as the team’s fourth wide receiver, where Aldrick Robinson is the front-runner to earn that role behind Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Justin Hardy. Moore is the third wide receiver the Falcons have signed in the past two weeks, previously adding street free agents Corey Washington and Chris King to the mix last week.
UPDATE: The Falcons announced the move along with two other roster moves: cutting King and signing linebacker Dominique Tovell.
Tovell, an undrafted rookie out of Univiersity of Louisiana at Lafayette, was originally signed by the New Orleans Saints in May before being cut in June. He also spent three days with the Detroit Lions before being waived on August 1.
Tovell was a two-time All-Sun Belt conference honoree, leading the Ragin’ Cajuns in tackles with 79 this past year. He also added 14.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks while playing strong-side linebacker for them.
He recorded a 4.56-second 40 time, 6.91-second three-cone drill and 37.5-inch vertical jump at his pro day last spring, all of which would have ranked among the top 3 at linebacker at the Scouting Combine last February.
Tovell was a Falcon fan growing up in his native Columbia, Mississippi.