CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 19: Evan Moore #89 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 19, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
The Seahawks have released veteran tight end Kellen Winslow and signed free agent tight end Evan Moore, recently released by Cleveland. Evidently, the Seahawks see Moore as a better value, as Winslow was due $3.3 million this year - a number that was set to escalate steeply next year - and the former Brown is a younger and possibly more athletic option. Winslow, according to Danny O'Neil, apparently declined a pay cut, and O'Neil also reports that it's believed the Seahawks and Winslow's camp had been discussing a potential pay cut since acquiring the veteran from the Buccaneers. The details about the trade are still a little murky, and it's unclear if the Seahawks have to still give up a draft pick in this trade; at one point it was believed that the compensation was dependent on Winslow making the roster. The exact language of the trade is still unknown, to me anyway.
At 6'6, 247, Moore is a 'joker' tight end that spends a lot of his time split out into the slot or on the wing, and I've seen several people calling him, basically, a glorified big receiver.
I admit I haven't followed the former Stanford UDFA's career closely, but I get the impression he compares somewhat to John Carlson; more known as a receiver, with not much worth in the blocking department, but a solid and reliable red zone threat. Moore is efficient too, and as PFF points out, is 10th among tight ends in yards per route run over the last three years (804 yards receiving in 453 routes run). Last season, he caught 34 passes for 324 yards and four touchdowns, and keep in mind this was with an anemic Browns' offense that finished 25th in the NFL by DVOA. By comparison, Zach Miller had 25 catches for 233 yards and no touchdowns last year.
This move makes sense on several levels - Winslow was on a de facto one-year deal because the Seahawks weren't going to pick up his tab next year when his salary moved to $4.5 million. His knee has and always will be an issue that the Seahawks would have had to deal with, and a strict practice moderation would have been in effect. I realize that the coaching staff was willing to work around this, but it certainly wasn't ideal.
For Moore, he was originally picked up by John Schneider's Packers as a UDFA out of Stanford, and after spending several seasons in Cleveland, is familiar with the West Coast Offense, which gives him a big leg up on acclimating to the Seahawks' offense. Once again, this team gets younger and faster.