Arthur Moats

Cardinals Release LB Arthur Moats From IR

The Cardinals have released linebacker Arthur Moats from injured reserve, according to Mike Florio of PFT (on Twitter). Moats is now free to sign with any club of his choosing, provided that he is healthy.

The Cards signed the 30-year-old defender in July after a four-season run with the Steelers. Unfortunately, he suffered a sprained MCL in Arizona’s third preseason game and was subsequently placed on IR. Because he was placed on IR before the start of the season, he was not eligible to return in 2018 for Arizona.

Moats has started 45 games over the last eight years in the NFL. The 2010 sixth-rounder appeared in 14 games for the Steelers last season, finishing with eight tackles. Between 2014 and 2016, Moats compiled at least 3.5 sacks per season, so the veteran may still have something left in the tank.

With Moats officially out of the picture, the Cardinals are a bit thin at linebacker. The team is currently rostering only three outside linebackers in Haason ReddickDeone Bucannon, and Dennis Gardeck, although they could give a look at backup middle linebackers Gerald Hodges and Joe Walker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Cut Brice Butler, Others

The Cardinals have moved their roster to 53 players by making the following transactions:

Cut:

Placed on injured reserve:

Waived from injured reserve:

Additionally, the Cardinals activated both tight end Jermaine Gresham and linebacker Marcus Golden off the physically unable to perform list.

Cardinals To Place LB Arthur Moats On IR

Arthur Moats will not be seeing any action for the Cardinals this season. The veteran linebacker will head to IR, according to Pro Football Talk (on Twitter).

Moats suffered a knee injury in Arizona’s third preseason game last weekend. Steve Wilks said this week the recently added linebacker suffered a sprained MCL, which is not an injury that usually requires an IR stay. Moats could conceivably join another team and see action this season, if he and the Cardinals are able to reach an injury settlement that would lead to his release from IR.

By virtue of being placed on IR now, Moats would not be able to return this season. Only players who are carried through to 53-man rosters this weekend can return from IR during the season.

The Cards signed the 30-year-old defender in July after a four-season run with the Steelers. He’s started 45 games in an eight-year career thus far. Arizona also signed outside linebacker Gerald Hodges this offseason and has 2017 first-rounder Haason Reddick as well. Ex-Broncos UDFA Vontarrius Dora has also had a strong preseason and may have made enough of a case to stick around after this weekend.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Cardinals, Keim, Moats, Raiders, Rodgers-Cromartie

Cardinals GM Steve Keim has returned from his suspension. In a rare move, the front office executive was suspended due to an arrest for DUI. He missed a crucial part of the team’s offseason but has stepped back in seemingly seamlessly despite not being allowed to have contact with the team during his suspension.

After his return, new details are emerging. Keim apparently had to spend seven days on house arrest after serving two days in jail, according to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN (Twitter link). The organization apparently welcomed him back with open arms as Weinfuss also tweets that team president Michael Bidwill texted Keim at 12:01 the minute after his suspension expired, saying “welcome back.”

Here’s more from the league’s Western divisions:

  • Cardinals coach Steve Wilks announced that defensive end Arthur Moats will miss 2-4 weeks with an MCL sprain, according to Mike Jurecki (Twitter link). The former Steeler signed a one-year deal with Arizona back in July.
  • The details are in on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s one-year deal with the Raiders. Rodgers-Cromartie will make $1.015MM this year, and will count for $630K against the cap according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN (Twitter link). It’s a big pay-cut for DRC, who was scheduled to make $6.5MM this year with the Giants.
  • Scott Bair of NBC Sports is out with his Raiders roster projection. Notably, Bair thinks both Connor Cook and E.J. Manuel will be cut, and that the Raiders will bring in someone from outside the team to be Derek Carr‘s backup.

Cardinals To Sign Arthur Moats

The Cardinals and linebacker Arthur Moats have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, a source tells Mike Florio of PFT (Twitter link). Moats met with Arizona on Wednesday morning and wound up with a contract by the afternoon. 

An eight-year NFL veteran, Moats spent four years with the Bills and the other four with the Steelers. The 30-year-old started 12 games and played 50% of the Steelers’ defensive snaps as recently as 2015, but his role was drastically reduced last year. Pittsburgh turned to younger defenders such as Bud Dupree, so Moats only saw action on 8.4% of the club’s snaps.

The Cardinals project to start Josh Bynes and Deone Bucannon at the inside linebacker spots with former University of Arizona tackling machine Scooby Wright among those in support. Moats could provide some additional veteran experience in that area, as well as special teams play.

Prior to his signing with the Cardinals, the Falcons were the only other known team to have expressed interest in Moats.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Meet With LB Arthur Moats

Linebacker Arthur Moats visited the Cardinals on Wednesday, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). Moats most recently played for the Steelers. 

[RELATED: Cardinals Host Mike Mitchell On Visit]

An eight-year NFL veteran, Moats has split his career equally between Buffalo and Pittsburgh. The 30-year-old started 12 games and played 50% of the Steelers’ defensive snaps as recently as 2015, but his role was drastically reduced last year. Pittsburgh turned to younger defenders such as Bud Dupree, so Moats only saw action on 8.4% of the club’s snaps.

The Cardinals are looking into mid-offseason upgrades and Moats isn’t the only ex-Steeler on their radar. The Cardinals also met with former Pittsburgh safety Mike Mitchell on Wednesday.

The Cardinals project to start Josh Bynes and Deone Bucannon at the inside linebacker spots with former University of Arizona tackling machine Scooby Wright among those in support. Moats could provide the team with some additional veteran experience in that area.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Interested In LB Arthur Moats

The Falcons have expressed interest in free agent linebacker Arthur Moats, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who adds the Steelers haven’t ruled out a reunion with Moats.

An eight-year NFL veteran, Moats has split his career equally between Buffalo and Pittsburgh. The 30-year-old started 12 games and played 50% of the Steelers’ defensive snaps as recently as 2015, but his role was drastically reduced in 2017. Pittsburgh turned to younger defenders such as Bud Dupree, so Moats only saw action on 8.4% of the club’s snaps.

Still, the Falcons are searching for rotational edge rushers, and Moats could fit that bill, as he was typically good for three-to-four sacks annually during his best seasons with the Steelers. Not only did Atlanta lose Adrian Clayborn to the Patriots in free agency, but it also released defensive end Derrick Shelby. Moats isn’t the only defender on the Falcons’ radar, as they also met with Pernell McPhee today, while the club also has interest in ex-Buccaneer Robert Ayers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Ryan Shazier’s Condition

Ryan Shazier was stable enough to return to Pittsburgh after spending multiple nights in Cincinnati, but the frightening injury the linebacker suffered required spinal surgery.

Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, the Steelers announced (on Twitter). Recovery timetables are difficult to pin down at this point.

The 25-year-old player will face a months-long recovery process, sources informed Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), adding he’s going to miss the rest of this season. In speaking to a spinal doctor, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes the best-case scenario for a Shazier recovery ranges from six weeks to three months.

This is a surgery on your spine,” said Brock Bowman, medical director at the Spinal Cord Injury Center at Shepherd Center in Atlanta (via Bouchette). “And if something is altered, even if there was no injury to the spinal cord, that may be enough to take you out of the 1 percent of the 1 percent of the 1 percent who play professional football.”

Bouchette notes it’s difficult to make a projection at this juncture because there aren’t enough details known.

I’m not worried about him playing for us again; I’m more worried about him,” Steelers DC Keith Butler said Thursday, via Bouchette. “The thing that we’re hopeful for and prayerful for is that he comes back and he’ll be OK. The football stuff is secondary. His life is a lot more important to me than football.”

As for Pittsburgh’s linebacker outlook, the team is moving veteran outside linebacker Arthur Moats inside in this emergency circumstance, the AP reports. The Bills shuttled Moats from outside to inside linebacker during his time in Buffalo, but since relocating to Pittsburgh, Moats has played exclusively on the edge. The 29-year-old Moats has worked as a backup this season but started 24 Steelers games from 2014-16. Pittsburgh also re-signed inside linebacker Sean Spence earlier this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Pack, Favre, Jags, Steelers

Defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois signed with the Packers in March, and he spoke about that decision Thursday, telling Stu Courney of PackersNews.com: “To get that phone call that the Green Bay Packers want you is rare. It’s rare that you see them go outside and pick guys up and if they do, it’s for a reason.” Jean-Francois is right that the Packers typically aren’t the most aggressive team in free agency. They aren’t averse to signing released players, however, because adding them doesn’t cost compensatory draft picks. That was the case with the 30-year-old Jean-Francois, whom the Redskins cut loose a week before he caught on with Green Bay for $3MM. His decision came down to the Packers and Seahawks, and it seems Aaron Rodgers‘ presence tipped the scales in the former’s favor. “Just seeing a quarterback like him year in and year out be so successful … he’s been so consistent getting to the playoffs,” commented Jean-Francois.

More from Green Bay and two other NFL cities:

  • After Branden Albert ended his holdout and reported to Jaguars minicamp earlier this month, vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin told the left tackle that he looked heavier than before, according to Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders. Moreover, the out-of-shape Albert failed to impress the team’s coaches on the field, per Cummings, who notes that he’s far from a lock to start. Albert, whom the Jaguars acquired via trade from the Dolphins over the winter, will have to beat out second-rounder Cam Robinson. For now, Robinson is the front-runner for the job, suggests Cummings. At right tackle, Jacksonville has Jermey Parnell – a 16-game starter last year who ranked 31st among Pro Football Focus’ 78 qualified tackles (Albert was 65th).
  • We may not have seen the last of Brett Favre in a notable NFL role. The Hall of Fame quarterback told ESPN Wisconsin’s Wilde & Tausch on Thursday that he’s interested in working as a coach or a general manager down the line (via Richard Ryman of PackersNews.com). “I would say I’d never say never,” Favre said. “I believe that would be a dream job, working as a coach there or in some form of administration.” Favre would prefer to serve in some capacity with the Packers, with whom he starred from 1992-2007.
  • One of Arthur Moats or Anthony Chickillo could be in jeopardy of losing his roster spot with the Steelers, writes Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. With those two, T.J. Watt, James Harrison, Bud Dupree and seventh-rounder Keion Adams, the Steelers will enter training camp with six outside linebackers and only four or five spots. Watt, Harrison and Dupree are shoo-ins to make the roster, and whether both Moats and Chickillo will join them will come down to if the Steelers decide to deploy a five-OLB rotation. Meanwhile, Adams will likely head to the practice squad. Moats and Chickillo were both somewhat prominent members of Pittsburgh’s defense last year. Moats played 396 snaps, started in five of 16 appearances and picked up 3.5 sacks, while Chickillo amassed 316 snaps and 2.5 sacks in 15 games (seven starts).

AFC FA Rumors: Harvin, Raiders, Adams

The Raiders‘ interest in wide receiver Percy Harvin will be contingent on meeting him and also finding out his price tag, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Even with Harvin’s connection to Bill Musgrave, the Raiders have to inspect the baggage before going any further with him. The latest free agent rumors..

  • Stephen Holder of the Indy Star (on Twitter) still anticipates the Colts re-signing safety Mike Adams, but no deal is done just yet. Adams, who turns 34 later this month, has said that he wants to retire with the Colts.
  • Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com (on Twitter) suggested that the Raiders are pursuing Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith. Bill Williamson of ESPN.com (via Twitter) believes that the Raiders are the favorites when it comes to him.
  • Linebacker Arthur Moats spoke with the Bengals and Cardinals and seemed set to go to the Falcons before deciding to re-sign with the Steelers, Ross Tucker of NBCSN tweets.
  • The Titans are still working to retain both defensive end Derrick Morgan and kicker Ryan Succop as the clock ticks towards the opening of free agency, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com tweets.
  • McCormick (on Twitter) isn’t sure that the Titans will land him, but he expects them to seriously pursue Jason Worilds.
  • Linebacker Andrew Gachkar has received interest from the Vikings, Panthers, and Raiders, and may end up visiting all three teams later this week, tweets Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports. Washington has also talked to Gachkar’s camp, but hasn’t made an offer yet, per Mike Jones of the Washington Post (Twitter link). The 26-year-old had his best season for the Chargers in 2014, playing nearly 400 defensive snaps.