Denarius Moore Signs With Bengals, Reunites With Hue Jackson


Denarius Moore’s career with the Oakland Raiders ended far less spectacularly than it began, a once bright prospect for the franchise flaming out as one of the team’s most criticized players during the 3-13 2014 season. A liability whenever he was on the field, Moore eventually was relegated to bench duties after failing to make any positive impacts at wide receiver and showing that he was even worse at punt returner where he had several howlers on special teams by being just too shaky with the football to trust in the reduced role that he had last season.

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In fact, Moore’s defining moment of his final season with the Raiders was one that cost the team what could have been an epic early season upset of the New England Patriots on the road. Bobbling a bubble screen pass from Derek Carr directly into the hands of defensive tackle Vince Wilfork to ice a Raiders comeback (after the team had a game tying touchdown negated by a dubious holding call) and push the team to a record of 0-3. It was one of several miscues from Moore throughout the season, a year that was in many ways one of the worst by a Raiders receiver of all-time.

So when it became clear the Raiders would be letting Denarius Moore walk at the start of the offseason, many wondered which team would give a player who had 12 catches last season a chance at a new start. After all Moore still has NFL speed and the potential to turn things around, even if he exited Oakland amidst the worst season of his career, something that guaranteed at least one team would give him a look on their roster with a contract at the end of free agency.

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It turned out that Moore’s former head coach during his breakout years with the Raiders would be the one to give him his second chance in the NFL as offensive coordinator Hue Jackson along with the Cincinnati Bengals will be the team to kick the tires on the once promising wideout in 2015. Multiple sources confirming on Monday that Moore will be joining the Bengals for the upcoming season as the team hopes that Jackson can revive the receiver’s talents that he once harnessed effectively in Oakland.

With Jackson, Moore blossomed into a young player who was thought to be a future cornerstone of the Raiders offense. Exploding onto the scene as a breakout draft pick on the 8-8 Raiders team that just missed out on the playoffs before having his best season in 2012 when Dennis Allen took over from Jackson by posting a 741 yard, seven touchdown year that made Denarius one of the bright spots on a roster that went 4-12 following Hue’s firing.

Now in Cincy, the Bengals have a player in Moore who has big play ability, but a lack of confidence and a recent body of work that indicates that he can still be a player who once was the future at the receiver position in Oakland. Having Hue as an offensive coordinator may help, but fans in Oakland will tell those who follow the Bengals that there is a good chance that Moore will never reach the early successes in his career again. If it happens the pairing of Hue and Moore will be a good low risk, high reward move on a one year contract, but at the end of the day it shouldn’t be expected that the Bengals will be seeing anything more than a few catches from the former Raider in 2015 after his final year in Oakland has many believing that the receiver has already seen a sudden downturn in a once promising career.