According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Detroit Lions are re-signing defensive back and core special teamer C.J. Moore on a one-year deal worth up to $2.4 million, with $800,000 guaranteed.
Our Jeremy Reisman profiled Moore’s importance to the Lions roster earlier this week, noting that not only was he a four-phase special teams contributor, but he also filled in at safety on defense, proving to be a reliable fourth option that can produce when called upon.
Moore had an underrated 2021 season. Not only did he hold down the all-important Personal Protector (PP) role guarding Jack Fox when he punts, but he also registered his first career interception and executed a successful fake punt, converting on a direct snap in Los Angeles.
Moore was a restricted free agent, but even though the minimum tender would cost $2.4 million, the Lions opted to re-sign him to a contract that could also reach up to that same amount.
So why would they go through the effort to re-sign over tender?
Chances are, like we saw with Josh Reynolds’ contract, there is likely language in the contract that makes the cap hit less in 2022 with incentives built in for Moore to achieve. We won’t know the particulars of the details until they are released in the coming days, but with Rapoport using the phrase “up to”, and based on the Lions’ history with contracts, it makes sense that the number would come in under the $2.4 million amount.
This would put Moore right around the anticipated amount for traditional special teams standouts. For example, Miles Killebrew just signed a two-year, $4 million contract with the Steelers, right in the same ballpark.
With free agency on the horizon, the Lions now have four safeties under contract, but so far, only one starter has been retained.
You can track all of the latest Detroit Lions free agency news with our 2022 tracker.