Buffalo Bills Sign TE Tony Moeaki
The Buffalo Bills announced Wednesday, in a one sentence press release, that they had released third string running back Tashard Choice. They later filled his open roster spot with often injured, former Kansas City Chiefs tight end, Tony Moeaki. Though “injury-prone,” when Moeaki has been healthy; he’s been productive. Moeaki had a breakout rookie season in 2010. He was the second leading receiver for a playoff bound Chiefs team, catching 47 passes for 556 yards and 3 touchdowns. He then lost his second year to a torn ACL in preseason, added 33 catches for 453 yards in 2012, and suffered a fractured shoulder before the start of the 2013 regular season.
Moeaki will be reunited with his former college teammate from Iowa and fellow tight end Scott Chandler, the Bills current starter at the position. Chandler is set to be an unrestricted free agent and though he is on pace for career numbers in receptions and yards, he is not an elite tight end and doesn’t offer much upside. Other than not being an elite athlete, the knock on Chandler is that despite his size (6’7” 272lbs) he is not a very stout blocker. Bills backup tight end Lee Smith, who offers next to nothing as a pass catcher, is often substituted as a blocker on run plays. Conversely, Moeaki was part of a group that helped Jamaal Charles rush for 1,467 yards in 2010 and 1,509 yard in 2012.
This is a very underrated signing for the Bills, much like claiming Scott Chandler off waivers was. Most fans have probably not given the Moeaki signing a second thought since Wednesday, but it’s a signing that could pay dividends just like Chandler has for the past three years. For Moeaki it’s a chance to reestablish his once promising career and for the Bills it’s a chance to provide their young quarterback, EJ Manuel, with another potential weapon. The deal was for two years, which is smart because it is unlikely Moeaki can make a major impact in 2013, having to learn a whole new offensive system on the fly etcetera. It seems evident that the Bills were looking to next year with this signing. If Moeaki can stay healthy, Bills fans should watch out for him in 2014.
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Brett Triplett @Brett_Triplett
- Buffalo Bills: What can Tony Moeaki add? (buffalowdown.com)
- Impact of Tony Moeaki Signing (ryandorfman.wordpress.com)