Atlanta Falcons Re-Sign William Moore: Why He Was Crucial to Get Back

Scott Carasik@ScottCarasikContributor IIMarch 9, 2013

William Moore just re-signed with the Atlanta Falcons for five years. This was a crucial move as he's a true beast on and off the field for the Falcons. ESPN's Adam Schefter broke the news first:

Falcons have agreed to terms on a five-year contract with S William Moore.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2013

The Falcons bringing back Moore for another five years is a huge move for the team. He was a Pro Bowl player this past year for the first time. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter has been following up with Moore since the signing:

Just talked to @willymo_25 He said: “It’s a relief. That was my ultimate goal, to continue to be here in Atlanta."…

— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) March 9, 2013

His ability on the field will be welcomed back in Atlanta as well. The Falcons lucked out by getting him for the five years. I'm projecting the deal to be around $35 million over the 5 years, with a structure that includes $15 million in bonus and guaranteed money.

A $7 million signing bonus in the first year and a $6 million option bonus in the second year are likely additions to this deal. Here's what I would project the structure to look very similar to: 

Year  Salary Signing Bonus Option Bonus Total Cap Hit
2013 $1,100,000  $1,400,000 N/A
2014 $1,100,000 $1,400,000 $1,500,000 $4,000,000
2015 $6,100,000 $1,400,000 $1,500,000 $9,000,000
2016 $6,600,000 $1,400,000 $1,500,000 $9,500,000
2017 $7,100,000 $1,400,000 $1,500,000 $10,000,000

This deal makes a ton of sense for both Atlanta and Moore. He would get paid the $7 million that he would have received on the open market. However, these are just projections. There are no numbers that have gotten out at this time, and the deal could be more or it could be less.

This is just an example of how Thomas Dimitroff could structure the contract in a way that would leave a ton of cap space for other signings, and still keep the talented safety.


Moore's fit in Mike Nolan's scheme led to his first Pro Bowl

Before Mike Nolan took over as defensive coordinator, William Moore was a guy who showed a ton of talent and was even a fringe Pro Bowl talent during the 2010 season. But the scheme that Nolan brought in really showed off his best talents.

Nolan's scheme relies on having a pair of talented safeties. Specifically, it relies on a strong safety that can cover deep like a free safety, blitz like a linebacker and hit like a Mack truck. William Moore is like that.

The self-proclaimed "darker skin Polamalu" with a buzz cut has proven that he can be a scary good talent in the scheme. In just 12 games, he had 75 tackles, four interceptions, eight pass deflections, two forced fumbles, one fumble recover and a sack.

That's an insanely good season no matter what defensive position you play. But Moore had it in a brand new scheme. He also helped the Falcons allow just 30 touchdowns on defense all year and was a key cog in the defense that was No. 5 in the NFL in scoring allowed. 


Moore is a leader in the locker room who is loved by his teammates

Even more than his on-field play, William Moore was a leader in the Falcons locker room this past season. The defense all looked to him for energy and motivation throughout the tough games. He delivered when asked upon and took on the role of secondary leader with Thomas DeCoud.

It's telling when his teammates and former teammates are happy for him re-signing. Right after he signed with the team, former teammate and Falcon Brian Finneran was one of the first people to comment on the re-signing:

Willy Mo always ready to be a #Falcon. Congrats @willymo_25 much deserved

— Brian Finneran (@BFinn86) March 9, 2013

Peyton Thompson and Pat Schiller are practice-squad players from 2012 for Atlanta, and they both were happy for him:

I wake up to a missed called from @willymo_25 and twitter blowin up about him signin. Congrats big bra!

— Peyton thompson (@tattedNspatted) March 9, 2013

\o/ “@patschiller53: Willymo always ready!! Congrats @willymo_25

— C.A.R. (@CourtsBS) March 9, 2013

Unlike other teams where players will get jealous of the big-money players, Atlanta isn't like that and it shows with other players showing their love for Moore. Expect more of this throughout the coming weeks as the Falcons players love William "C4" Moore.


The Fans Love Him Just as Much as His Teammates

William Moore is always going to be loved by the Falcons fan base. Since being drafted in the second round of the 2009 draft, Falcons fans have always loved watching Moore on the field. He's one of the best players on a defense that had problems at safety for years.

The fan base was ecstatic with news that he was coming back. The re-signing even created reactions on twitter by Falcons fans that were all positive:

I was scared to death @willymo_25 was gonna end up playing for another team. So damn hyped he inked for 5 years!! We love you Willy Mo!!

— Emmanuel Perez (@NolozFalcons88) March 9, 2013

Bringing back Willy Mo is pretty exciting. Our biggest free agent stays in Atlanta five more years.

— Matt (@mFalcons5) March 9, 2013

Glad the Falcons have William Moore aka Willie Mo back in the fold. #WAR…

— Jordan229 (@joegreen23atl) March 9, 2013

Love the re-signing. Willy Mo is fully prepared to wreak havoc.

— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) March 9, 2013

Woke up mad about something but the William Moore news made me happy

— Nathan Butler Jr. (@ATLSportsNate) March 9, 2013

Reports say the Falcons are ramping up negotiations with William Moore. A day later he signs. So glad he's sticking around long-term.

— Alex Welch (@alex__welch) March 9, 2013

BEST NEWS TO WAKE UP TO EVER!!!! We love you @willymo_25! So glad you're a Falcon! #WAR

— Jenna Earwood (@JennaEarwood) March 9, 2013

When you have someone who is as loved as "The Missouri Hammer" aka "WillyMo" aka "C4", it will only make fans happy to re-sign him for years. Falcons fans are happy. Falcons players are happy. Most of all, the Falcons coaching staff is going to be ecstatic to have a Pro Bowl safety back.


All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium StatsESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac and Rotoworld.

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL Draft Website and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.


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