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Saints 2011 Free Agents: Lance Moore

You know him, you love him; he is Lance Moore.

Assuming the old CBA, Moore enters the off-season as an Unrestricted Free Agent. As you may know, Moore is the guy usually lined up in the slot and catches whatever is thrown in his direction. He is usually dependable, a guy who can get it done and a phenomenal player who can make something out of nothing. Basically, what Reggie was supposed to be. Moore has even been compared to Wes Welker.

But should the Saints keep him? Payton and company run a system offense, able to turn any guy off the street who can catch into a superstar. If that's the case, why should the Saints pick up Moore's contract when they can get the same production from someone much cheaper? Do yourself a favor, and jump over that cliff so you can keep on reading.

Lance Moore has been with the Saints since 2006, and has had only two 'good' seasons: his 'breakout' season of 2008, in which he benefited from a Marques Colston injury, as well as this past season when he benefited from the lack of running game.

What do I believe qualifies Moore to come back another year besides being a fan favorite? Let's go ahead and take a look at some of his raw stats (Note: These are just stats, they are just regular stats. Nothing fancy. Don't put me on a do not read list yet Stu).

Year Team Rec Yds Yds/G Avg Lg TD 1st YAC Trgt
2006 New Orleans Saints 1 10 2.5 10.0 10 0 1 8 3
2007 New Orleans Saints 32 302 18.9 9.4 22 2 22 63 50
2008 New Orleans Saints 79 928 58.0 11.7 70 10 40 295 120
2009 New Orleans Saints 14 153 21.9 10.9 22 2 10 46 19
2010 New Orleans Saints 66 763 47.7 11.6 80 8 40 283 95
Totals: 192 2156 36.5 11.2 80 22 113 695 287


Is Lance Moore really Bob Snagit™?

Doing some quick math, Moore's career catch percentage is 66.90%. Meaning if you throw the ball to Moore, over his entire career, he catches the ball two out of three times. Compare that to Colston, who has caught 369/584 balls thrown at him, a catch percentage of 63.18%.

Let's find out their catch percentage for just 2010. Moore's catch percentage for 2010 is 69.47%. Colston's is 63.64%, which is just above his career average.

Summary - Do not doubt Grandmaster Wang's nick names

Moore had a great year catching the ball in 2010 and caught nearly everything thrown at him. That's indicative of his entire career as well. And the stats just reaffirm what the human eyes have seen.

Is Lance Moore a Wes Welker-like receiver?

Lance Moore has often been compared to Wes Welker, meaning he's a guy you can throw to underneath and he will make something out of nothing. But is that true? In order to check, the best stats to compare are YAC and first downs. So let's compare the two receivers just in 2010. Stats for Wes Welker can be found here.

Comparing the two receiver's yardage, Welker had 848 yards on the year with 433 of them being yards after the catch. Moore, on the other hand, had 763 yards with 283 of them being after the catch. Turning all that into percentages, Welker had a YAC percentage of 51.06%, meaning that a little more than half of Welker's yardage was him and not just long bombs from Tom Brady. Moore's YAC percentage, on the other hand, was 37.09%, meaning he was more of a 'normal' receiver but still maintained that ability to create something when given space.

How about the two receiver's first downs? Of Wes Welker's 86 receptions, 47 of them resulted in first downs. That's a first down percentage of 54.65%. Of Lance Moore's 66 receptions, 40 of them resulted in first downs or a first down percentage of 60.61%. Moore was able to get more first downs on his receptions than Welker. This implies that Sean Payton likes having Moore around the first down marker.

Summary - Moore is probably the definition of Wes Welker lite.

Moore can make yards after the catch, but he isn't as effective as Welker. He finds himself around the first down marker consistently, and is a dependable receiver. The Saints have probably seen the ceiling of Moore's potential, so he probably won't one day be Wes Welker. However, he still puts in a lot of heart and fight on every play.

Should the Saints re-sign Lance Moore to another contract?

The Saints must handle 27 free agents this off-season, each one wanting money to stay. Plus, there's always Brees needing an extension. What makes Lance Moore special, deserving of another year with the Saints?

First, Moore has shown he is a dependable receiver who can catch most of what is thrown to him and sometimes what's not thrown to him. He has proven that he can be both a 'traditional' receiver and a receiver that can create something in space. He can be compared to Wes Welker and is willing to get paid less than Welker.

In my opinion, I think Moore should be given another contract filled it with plenty of incentives. Incidentally, that would be the same contract I would want the Saints to give Reggie Bush. However, the Saints may not feel the same way and may try to pick up another receiver.

What do you think CSC? Should Moore be re-signed, or should the Saints save the cap for the new Brees/Nicks contracts?