At This Point, Matt Moore is Still a Panther

Carolina fans want Moore in 2010

In his sort of “State of the Panthers” address on Tuesday afternoon, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney made a statement when he asserted that the starting quarterback job in Carolina is very much up for grabs.

A statement of the obvious? Or not?

I’d lean more towards the idea that it’s not a statement of the obvious. In fact, this should help the Panthers’ quarterback quandary.

As all Panthers fans know, head coach John Fox is very public about his veteran-loving dedication to his players. Mainly Jake Delhomme, though there are other names that can be sprinkled in the mix.

So essentially, with Hurney making such a statement publicly, Fox cannot fall into his predictable ways come mini camps, training camp, and preseason. At least not at the quarterback position.

Which brings me to the contract status of Matt Moore. He is a restricted free agent. Given that management probably wants to see how he fares against Delhomme while competing for the starting job.

Curiously, the Panthers have also chosen not to franchise or transition any unrestricted free agents this offseason.

Anyone who is to become an unrestricted free agent will do so, and the Panthers will either trade or keep any restricted free agents on their roster.

Going with the notion that the Panthers aren’t offered a tantalizing trade for Matt Moore, and that they don’t extend his contract, Carolina should have a good battle for the starting job between Jake Delhomme and Moore.

Delhomme, who seems to have lost confidence in his own ability, looks to be ousted from the starting position by Moore; unless Moore’s ability has waned since the Panthers’ season-ending finale against the Saints, which I seriously doubt.

Matt Moore showed a lot of promise in the last five games of the Panthers 2009 campaign, leading the team to a 4-1 record. Delhomme on the other hand, contributed to the team’s 4-7 start.

In the span that Moore was the starting quarterback, he threw only two interceptions, compared to Delhommes’ 18 thrown interceptions in eight games.

Moore finished with a 61.6 completion percentage and an overall QB rating of 98.5, whereas Delhomme finished with a 55.5 completion percentage ans a QB rating of 59.4. The difference being, Delhomme played in eight games compared to Moore’s five, so had Moore started in eight games instead of five, his rating and percentage probably would have dropped a little bit, but still would have led Delhomme’s.

In the meantime, as for Moore’s future status with the team, the Panthers don’t really have to do anything with him in terms of a contract extension, until next year or between now and the start of training camp. They get the final option to match any offer a team will make to Moore, and my bet would be that the Panthers will do just that.

Next Panthers Game View full schedule »
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: 2010 NFL Restricted Free Agents Carolina Panthers Jake Delhomme John Fox Marty Hurney Matt Moore NFL

  • http://[email protected] steve danner

    i will be disapointed if moore dont start

    • Eric Quackenbush

      I agree with you, Steve.

      I just hope he’s given a fair chance at the starting job this year. Seems to me that Hurney made that public statement to keep Fox from falling into his old ways at the QB position.

      Thanks for the read and comment!

  • panther fan in florida

    our two greatest needs this season are wide receiver, and qb…i don’t care how we do it (via draft, trade, or free agents) but we have to upgrade there…i’ve heard that the going rate for matt moore would be a 1st and 3rd round draft pick but i don’t know how accurate those numbers are…let’s just say it is true, wouldn’t it make more sense to trade a qb with a lot of “what if’s” surrounding his situation and upgrade our draft status rather than keep on “hoping” he can rescue the panthers from this world of mediocracy???

    • Eric Quackenbush

      It does make sense, although I have a hard time believing anyone would trade their first AND third-round pick–or a first-round pick–for a backup QB, PantherFan. But to entertain your question, who are the Panthers going to trade Moore to, to move into the first round of the draft? If they were to get that pick, who do they draft in the first round? Quarterback or receiver? I’m not feeling the hype surrounding this year’s quarterback draft class. On top of that, there aren’t a lot of teams in dire need of a QB right now.

      What free agent quarterback/s do you have in mind?

      In the end, I doubt seriously that the Panthers will execute a trade to get rid of Moore. Maybe Delhomme, but not Moore. He showed a LOT of promise during the five games he played, almost all against playoff teams. I say give the man a chance, after all he’s only started seven games in his career; the last five being exceptional.

      Thanks for the read and very good question.

  • Ron

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I just spit my drink out!! Moore worth a 1st AND a 3rd?? LMAO MAYBE a 3rd…MAYBE!!!! NOT both, and not even a 1st by itself!! That said, he’s the best QB on that roster, and deserves the chance to start.

    • Eric Quackenbush

      Thank you Ron, someone who isn’t smoking the peace pipe today.

  • panther fan in florida

    thanks for answering my question eric…i was also SHOCKED to hear a first rounder even mentioned in association with moore. heck, i’d think we did well if someone wanted to give us a second rounder for him, but if someone did, i think i’d take it and try to use it in a package for someone else…i just don’t think he’s the answer for us at qb, and i don’t think that just because he’s the best we have, that we have to be satisfied with that if in comparison to the league he’s not great…i guess i’m just tired of the “decent” qb’s that have been a regular thing in carolina and i’d really like to see a really good improvement in that area…i’d have to do a little more research to see who we could realistically obtain…do you think there are any sleepers out there this year, or is moore the sleeper of this year? and since you mentioned delhomme, is it realistic to think that someone would take him in a trade? i would love it, but what could we expect to get in return? what does his market value look like???

    p.s.-don’t knock the peace pipe…lol…if smith had been hitting it, he may not have been hitting his own teammate (lucas) in training camp 2 yrs ago haha

    • Eric Quackenbush

      Where did you hear this rumor? I am all over every bit of Panthers news I can find, and have YET to come across the rumor of a first and third pick for Moore.

      I’m not ready to say that Moore is not the quarterback for this team. Looking at his body of work in the last five games of the 2009 season, he showed improvement from his first game to the last one. I’m not saying that Moore will be great, but I’m not throwing in the towel on him just yet. I gave Delhomme his due last year, and he just couldn’t get out of his own head.

      Is there a trade market for Delhomme? That’s the bigger question. For a quarterback who threw 18 interceptions in eight games, I’d be very surprised if there is much of one, if any. Yes, Delhomme’s intangibles are great, but a team is going to want to see a better on-field performance record than take him solely for his leadership ability.

      I’m not too crazy about most of the RFA quarterbacks that the Panthers would actually have to trade for, unless any are outright released. Michael Vick is still a project. He needs to see more time in game action than he’s been a part of in Philadelphia. I would hate to see this team make a trade offer for Donovan McNabb, because of his age and the fact that he’s an erratic passer and has momentary lapse of memory remembering rules of overtime and such.

      I’ve heard Marc Bulger is a possible trade candidate too, but he’s another one nearing the end of his career.

      Last year I vyed for the Panthers to trade Peppers to New England for Matt Cassel, or to Denver for Jay Cutler. Alas, Pep didn’t sign his franchise tender until July 15th, so that never panned out.

      I don’t know if Moore could be a sleeper this year. He has the right personnel around him that he could put up some nice numbers, and we also have to see what Carolina does in the draft and free agency, regarding getting another receiver to complement Steve Smith.

      Carolina’s best bet for Delhomme would be if he retires.

      P.S. I’m not knocking the peace pipe, just whoever made the wild rumor of a first-and third-round pick for Matt Moore. And as for Smith, I’d rather he doesn’t. He can hit those teammates all he wants so long as it improves their performance, a-la Ken Lucas in 2008.

  • panther fan in florida

    i think it was on a jaguars rumor site that was talking about the jags, rams, and possibly vikings (depending on what favre does) being interested in giving a 1st for moore…i tried back tracking to where it was, but i too am all over the net regularly and can’t trace where i saw that…next time i’ll be sure to copy and paste the link, my baaaad

    dood, i was totally with you about last year getting cassel or cutler for peppers…i was even saying we should pick up old ass jeff garcia from philly when they cut him as an improvement over what we had on the roster, hoping he could be a type of testaverde band-aid for our qb problems…but fox wanted to stick with jake

    and i agree…carolina would be better off if delhomme would just retire…good point about the punch lighting a fire under lucas’ ass too, maybe smith should have it written into his contract that he can knock your ass out if you’re under producing lol lol

    thanks again for sharing your knowledge here…i really enjoy this site!!!

    • Eric Quackenbush

      A Jaguars rumor site, got to love that…I agree, the Jags should be in the hunt too, after that horrible performance by Garrard in the Pro Bowl! I know it’s a glorified expo game, but still…No pressure from the defense and the guy could barely complete a couple passes. Him and McNabb were terrible.

      Yeah as for last year’s quarterback movings, I started out with Cassel, then once he was dealt held out hope for Cutler (pending a Peppers signing), then wondered though kind of doubted whether the Panthers might bring in Garcia, but then getting Feeley was a fascinating move, necessitated by McCown’s injury.

      I like the sound of that clause in Smitty’s contract. Or, just do your job. That would work, too.

      Anytime, and I’m happy to respond to any future questions or comments. Thank you for being a regular part of our readership!

  • Bboggs

    Our biggest needs are WR & DL/DE. After thoughts o-line depth is always good, maybe a corner, or for that matter any defensive player. Then and only then should QB be addressed. If we pick a QB is a waste of a pick and money. think about it. We run the ball mostly, QB might though 20 times and that would be a game were losing and cant run. Last year we avg. 16 att for delhomme a game. Plus if we have stronger D then we dont need to throw cause we wont be losing.

    • Eric Quackenbush

      Which is why I’d rather hold onto Moore, and draft in that order, unless the need at receiver can be addressed during free agency.

      Thanks for the read and good comment, Boggs.