Friday, April 30, 2004

Bengals pick up Moore, give offensive line a boost



By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Bengals added important depth to the interior of their offensive line Thursday by agreeing to contract terms with former Redskins center Larry Moore.

Moore will sign his three-year contract when he arrives in Cincinnati to participate in conditioning workouts Monday.

He will get $200,000 to sign the contract, which includes playing-time incentives and could be worth up to $1.1 million a year.

"He's steady, calm and cool and gets the job done," said Jack Bechta, Moore's agent, who confirmed the contract. The Bengals will not discuss the deal until it is signed.

Moore, a six-year veteran who will turn 29 on June 1, started the first eight games at center for Washington in 2003 before suffering a sprained foot.

The Redskins released Moore last Friday. He was due to make $1.25 million in 2004. He has 72 starts in 79 NFL games with the Colts and Redskins. Moore has 40 NFL starts at center and 32 pro starts at guard.

He fills a major need by providing depth at center and guard. The Bengals drafted only one offensive lineman, tackle Stacy Andrews, with their 11 picks last weekend.

The Bengals re-signed free agent starting center Rich Braham and signed free agent guard Bobbie Williams from Philadelphia to replace the departed Mike Goff (San Diego) at right guard. Rookie Eric Steinbach is the starting left guard, but the Bengals' backups at all three positions lack NFL experience.

Three times Moore has started 16 games in a season, twice at center (Colts, 1999, and Redskins, 2002) and once at guard (Colts, 2000).

Lewis was Washington's defensive coordinator in 2002 and is familiar with Moore. Moore will be the ninth former Redskins player from 2002 on the Bengals' roster. He entered the league as a rookie free agent in 1997 with Seattle and was a two-year starter at Brigham Young.

Moore is 6 feet 2, 309 pounds.

E-mail mcurnutte@enquirer.com




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