The Tampa Bay Buccaneers filled another need in free agency with the signing for former Dallas Cowboys nickel cornerback Sterling Moore to a one-year deal worth a reported $1.525 million, according to SportsTalkFlorida.com’s Jenna Laine. The 25-year old Moore was an undrafted free agent out of SMU in 2011. After a brief period on the Raiders practice squad, he went on to play two seasons in New England (2011-2012), starting 14 games before signing with Dallas mid-way through the 2012 season off the Patriots’ practice squad.
Moore is coming off his best season in 2014 where he played in all 16 games with seven starts, totaling 46 tackles and 12 pass deflections, which led the Cowboys. He’s totaled 80 tackles, 20 passes defended and three interceptions, including one for a touchdown in his four-year career.
Tampa Bay is plenty familiar with the 5-foot-10, 202-pound Moore. Bucs general manager Jason Licht and director of player personnel Jon Robinson were in New England in 2011 when the Patriots acquired Moore, and current Tampa Bay safeties coach Mikal Smith coached Moore in 2013 when he was the nickel cornerbacks coach in Dallas.
The Bucs were unhappy with the play of nickel cornerbacks Leonard Johnson and Isaiah Frey last year as the nickel cornerback position only picked off one pass between the two (Johnson), which came in Week 17 against New Orleans, and gave up several touchdowns. Johnson was re-signed to a one-year contract this offseason, but Moore will likely enter training camp as the favorite to win the nickel cornerback job in 2015.
Before signing with Tampa Bay, which was his first free agent visit, Moore also visited Pittsburgh and San Francisco.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org