NFL Rumors: Panthers WR with Philly Ties on Trading Block?

DJ Moore

Getty Carolina Panthers D.J. Moore has become a must-star fantasy wide receiver.

File this rumor away under the “makes complete sense” category. D.J. Moore could be coming back to his hometown.

Moore, the speedy receiver who went 24th overall in 2018, might be on the trading block in Carolina after the Panthers signed free-agent Robby Anderson to a two-year, $20 million deal. The immediate reaction following the move was that the Panthers would be listening to offers for either Curtis Samuel or D.J. Moore. Both players would be good fits for the Eagles, although Moore is the clear-cut favorite.

The Panthers’ No. 2 option hauled in a career-high 87 balls for 1,175 yards and four touchdowns in 2019. He has 142 catches for 1,963 yards and six touchdowns in two seasons for Carolina. More importantly, his contract is double the size of Samuel’s deal and both expire after the 2021 season. That could be the hiccup as interested trading partners would prefer to absorb the cheaper contract despite Moore being the quicker and younger of the two Panthers receivers.

Meanwhile, the Eagles have been crypt-keeper quiet when it comes to signing receivers in free agency. They were thought to be high on Breshad Perriman but there is still no deal on the table. The biggest targets on the market, guys like Anderson and Amari Cooper and Emmanuel Sanders have already signed elsewhere. It’s looking more and more likely like Philadelphia would take its chances in the draft.

D.J. Moore Possesses Philly Grit & Attitude

You can take the kid out of North Philadelphia … but you can’t take North Philadelphia out of the kid. D.J. Moore is a native son who played football at Imhotep Institute Charter. His high school coach Nick Lincoln attempted to explain what it means to be part of that “Philly fraternity” to the Charlotte-Observer in 2018.

“All of these guys out of Philly have something you can’t measure, you can’t time,” Lincoln told the newspaper. “I think it’s just the city in general, the grit of it. The attitude. They just bring it to the football field.”

Moore has been flashing that Philly swagger his entire life. The 22-year-old ran a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouring Combine and recorded the second-best vertical jump among receivers. For those reasons, Moore has been called one of the most dangerous playmakers in the league with the ball in his hands. Moore has averaged 13.8 yards per reception for his career, slightly better than teammate Curtis Samuel’s 11.4 yards-per-catch average.

He set the city’s public school record with 82 catches for 2,056 yards and 32 touchdowns in three seasons at Imhotep, including 35 balls for 1,012 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. From there, he went on to the University of Maryland and racked up 146 receptions for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns in three years before leaving school a year early to pursue his NFL dreams.

Those dreams are just starting to turn into reality. The Panthers have a new coach — Matt Rhule, a guy with Philly ties who might want to keep Moore around — and want to build an offense predicated on speed. Moore checks all the boxes but Carolina’s acquisition of Robby Anderson seems to indicate he may not be in their long-term plans. If he’s not, the Eagles would be wise to make a call and see. They already brought one explosive player (Will Parks) back home this offseason.

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