We are knee deep with our player by player look at the Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Free Agents as we get ever closer to the beginning of the 2012 free agency period. We are well into our analysis of the Steelers unrestricted free agents and now move forward with that group by taking a look at running back Mewelde Moore. Check the links at the bottom of the post to see the other Steelers free agents that we have already covered, both restricted and unrestricted.
Player: Mewelde Moore
Position: Running back
Experience: 8 Years
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
2011 Salary Cap Hit: $575,000.00
2011 Season Breakdown: A quick glance at the 2011 stats of Moore shows that he was productive in his very limited roll last season. Moore had 22 carries for 157 yards rushing and 11 catches for 104 yards receiving. That equates to 7.91 yards per touch. Not too shabby. Moore once again remained more than adequate in his blitz recognition and his pass protection and was responsible for allowing just 1 sack. He saw just less 140 offensive snaps in 2011 as he missed 4 regular season games in total due to an ankle and a knee injury. He also missed the AFC Wild Card game against the Denver Broncos due that that same knee injury he suffered against the San Francisco 49ers in week 15.
Moore also saw a lot of time once again on the Steelers special teams units and was credited with one tackle. He also returned 1 kickoff for 10 yards last season. In short, Moore is considered a jack of all trades.
Moore just finished his 4th year as a Steeler and returned last season on a qualifying contract after not getting much attention in the shortened free agency period as an unrestricted free agent. In training cam there were thoughts that he could be beat out of his roster spot by rookie running back Baron Batch, who was having a fantastic camp. Once Batch went down with his knee injury just prior to the first preseason game, it virtually locked up a spot on the 53 man roster for Moore.
Free Agency Outlook: Like the rest of the Steelers unrestricted free agents, Moore will once again be allowed to test the free agent waters. He figures not to get much interest, but it should be noted that head coach Mike Tomlin has a soft spot for him, as Moore followed him over from the Minnesota Vikings back in 2008. The Steelers have salary cap issues that that are still finishing up solving and the draft will come after that. With Rashard Mendenhall likely to open up the regular season on the PUP list, it might open up a slight crack for Moore to return for a chance to push Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, John Clay and a healthy Batch in training camp. Combined those four young running backs have just 2 career starts and they both of course belong to Redman. Dwyer and Clay have combined to play just 69 offensive snaps and Batch has not played an NFL down yet. As we sit here now in late February, I could see a small possibility that Moore could get signed back right before camp to a one-year qualifying contract. That price tag to the Steelers would be $810,000 with an additional minimum signing bonus allowed on a qualifying contract. Moore however would only cost $540,000 plus the signing bonus against the cap on that type of contract. The Steelers really have nothing to lose by doing that and could use a veteran like Moore to at least push the younger backs through camp. Whether or not he makes the 53 man roster is up to him and the progress made by the other young running backs.
Other 2012 Steelers Free Agent Player Analysis
Mike Wallace - Restricted Free Agent
Keenan Lewis - Restricted Free Agent
Doug Legursky - Restricted Free Agent
Ramon Foster - Restricted Free Agent
David Johnson - Restricted Free Agent
Ryan Mundy - Restricted Free Agent
Jamon Meredith - Restricted Free Agent
Jerricho Cotchery - Unestricted Free Agent
Max Starks - Unestricted Free Agent
Byron Leftwich - Unestricted Free Agent
Charlie Batch - Unestricted Free Agent
Dennis Dixon - Unestricted Free Agent
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