You may have missed it in the Den this morning, but the Bears have informed nickel back DJ Moore that he is not in the team's future defensive plans, despite an interest in switching positions to get himself more time:
The former fourth round pick from Vanderbilt recently expressed a desire to play safety if it would help him become a full-time player. Moore's playmaking skills should attract some interest on the free-agent market.
Moore was the fourth round pick for the Bears in 2009. In forty-two games for Chicago, he amassed 118 combined tackles, one sack, 1 forced fumble, and 10 interceptions. He also managed to find the end zone in both 2010 and 2011.
Despite some solid play in the secondary, Moore had unfortunately seemed to find a permanent home in the Lovie Smith doghouse. With the signing and effective play by Kelvin Hayden on a one-year deal in 2012, the writing seemed to be on the wall for Moore as he is set to become a free agent next week.
It is telling, though, that the Bears will let Moore go now as Hayden has been reported as wanting to shop his services in free agency. Per Jeff Dickerson at ESPN:
Defensive back Kelvin Hayden is on the Chicago Bears' wish list of unrestricted free agents the organization wants to re-sign, but the eight-year NFL veteran is expected to explore other options in free agency before coming to any final decision, according to a league source.
Maybe that doghouse wasn't just a Smith-manufactured one. Losing both of the solid nickel backs on their roster could be a blow to a defense that is supposedly going to stay largely the same. Perhaps there is a new look coming. With this turnover, keep in mind that cornerback could also become a draft issue for those later Bears picks. There will be decisions to be made on back-up corner Zachary Bowman, as well.