With the preseason beginning to wind down and most people turning their attention to the regular season, it shouldn’t be forgotten that there are still a number of position battles taking place. For these fringe players, the last two preseason games are an audition to stand out and make the roster.
For tight end Evan Moore, it’s an almost unbelievable situation in which he finds himself. Despite signing a three-year deal for $8.5 million last year, he is listed as the fourth-string tight end behind Ben Watson, Jordan Cameron and Alex Smith.
It doesn’t help that Moore has been dealing with a tweaked hamstring since the end of July (three days before training camp opened). In a crowded group of tight ends, a nagging injury like that is exactly what pushes one to the end of the depth chart.
These last two preseason games will be where Moore has to prove why he was considered a building block for the future in the first place. He’ll survive the roster cut to 75, which happens on August 27, but his status for the final 53-man roster (due August 31) is very much up in the air.
Last season, Moore caught 34 passes for 324 yards and four touchdowns. Expectations were obviously higher, but the Browns’ offense was a total disaster. Moore is a very capable and talented tight end, and it would be wise for the Browns to hold onto him. As the NFL continues to become more tight end-friendly, Moore – as long as he stays healthy – can be productive.