With the Pro Bowl having been played, no members of the Seattle Seahawks will play in an NFL game, meaningful or otherwise, until August, and with the Super Bowl set for Sunday, the offseason is truly right around the corner. For the Seahawks front office, that means figuring out how to handle each of their four restricted free agents. We’ve already looked at the Jacob Hollister situation, as well as taking a stab at how they will address Joey Hunt, and today we arrive at the situation of wide receiver David Moore.
For those who haven’t read either of the Hollister or Hunt pieces, or who managed to forget how Restricted Free Agency works in the NFL, I’ll rehash it here. First, for each RFA, the team will need to decide whether or not to extend a RFA tender. If they decide not to extend a tender, then the player becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent (to head off the question, non-tendered RFAs who become UFAs do not count towards comp pick calculations).
If the team decides to extend a tender offer to a RFA, there are three different levels of tender offer that can be extended: First Round tender, Second Round tender or Original Round tender. Each tender comes with a salary determined by formula and specified by the league. While the exact tender amounts for RFAs for the 2020 season have yet to be announced, OverTheCap.com has historically been very close on the tender amounts, and their current projections are as follows:
- First Round tender: $4.667M
- Second Round tender: $3.278M
- Original Round tender: $2.144M
The way the tenders work is that they are an offer for a one-year contract at the specified amount. If another team wishes to sign an RFA to a contract once free agency starts in March, they are required to give up a draft pick corresponding to the round of tender placed on the player. So, for example, if a player is given a second round tender and another team signs the player to an offer sheet, the new team must then send its second round pick to the player’s prior team. Now, in the middle of all of that, the player’s former team has the right of first refusal and can opt to match the contract given to the player in lieu of accepting the draft pick.
In the case of an Original Round tender, the draft pick the new team would be required to give up is the same as the draft pick originally used to select the player when they came out of college. In Moore’s situation, since he originally drafted in the seventh round, if an Original Round tender is used and another team signs him to an offer sheet, it would require his new team to send Seattle their seventh round pick, should the Hawks decide not to exercise their right of first refusal. To head off another question, this is the case even though the Seahawks waived Moore out of training camp in 2017 and he spent the first eleven weeks of that season on the practice squad.
Moore, of course, had an unexpectedly good 2018, followed by a 2019 that was a letdown for many fans. In spite of recording just 17 receptions for 301 yards this past season, Moore is still one of the most productive seventh round wide receivers through their first three seasons since the new CBA went into effect in 2011. Here is how Moore’s first three seasons stack up against all wide receivers taken in the seventh round under the current CBA.
First three seasons of production for seventh round receivers since 2011
Thus, through the first three seasons of his career, Moore’s been one of the better seventh round selections at receiver. That means the question becomes whether his future is more like that of Charles Johnson, who has spent two of the past three seasons on injured reserve and 2018 out of football, or more like Rishard Matthews, whose fourth through sixth seasons saw him catch 161 passes for 2,402 yards and 17 touchdowns.
My guess is that the Hawks will either use an original round tender on Moore, as even though he may have underperformed in 2019 relative to the expectations of most, receiver has become a premium position. That means that if Turner or Ursua develop to the point where the team is comfortable giving them Moore’s snaps, it’s possible Seattle could potentially trade Moore, whose production - albeit not significant - combined with his youth (turned 25 earlier this month) might be attractive enough to some team to warrant sending Seattle a Day 3 pick.
Now, interestingly, Moore’s numbers through his first three seasons are not all that different from another former Seahawks receiver who was a restricted free agent a few years back.
David Moore’s first three seasons compared to Jermaine Kearse’s first three seasons
The reason I bring up Jermaine Kearse is that because even with production that was not all that markedly different from Moore’s, the Hawks used a second round tender on Kearse to all but guarantee he would be back with the team in 2015. The difference, of course, is that Kearse was an undrafted free agent, while Moore was a seventh round pick, meaning that the team wouldn’t have been in line to receive any compensation had Kearse signed elsewhere. However, if history is at all accurate as a guide, a second round tender cannot be ruled out. (Author’s note: The Hawks also used a second round tender on Doug Baldwin when he was a RFA, but Baldwin obviously fell into a completely different category than either Moore or Kearse.)
How should the Seahawks handle Restricted Free Agent David Moore?
This poll is closed
First Round tender - $4.667M
Second Round tender - $3.278M
Original Round tender - $2.144M
Non-tender (becomes UFA)