The New Orleans Saints announced today that wide receiver Lance Moore has signed a contract with the club that will allow him to retire as a member of the organization. The announcement was made by Saints' Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
"On behalf of the entire New Orleans Saints organization, I would like to congratulate and thank Lance for his many contributions to our team for nine seasons," said Loomis. "It was an honor and pleasure to see Lance grow and evolve from competing for a roster spot and spending time on our practice squad to developing into one of our most valuable and clutch players on offense, as well as a valuable leader off the field and an asset to our community as a whole. It is fitting that a player of Lance's caliber ends his storybook career where he made his greatest impact as a member of the New Orleans Saints."
One of the most prolific offensive players in franchise history, Moore was originally signed to the New Orleans practice squad early in the 2005 season after originally signing as an undrafted free agent with the Cleveland Browns earlier that year. In nine seasons with the Saints from 2005-13, he appeared in 101 games and recorded 346 receptions for 4,281 yards (12.4 avg.) with 38 touchdown grabs and adding one rushing touchdown. The Westerville, Ohio native closes out his Saints career ranked fifth in club record books in receptions, seventh in receiving yardage, fourth in touchdown receptions, eighth in total touchdowns (39) and ninth in 100-yard receiving games. No Saint who went undrafted recorded as many receptions, receiving yards or touchdowns as Moore. He also appeared in six career postseason contests for New Orleans and added 13 receptions for 132 yards with one touchdown, as well as a key two-point conversion reception late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIV to put New Orleans ahead of the Indianapolis Colts, 24-17.
"I'm really happy that I was able to close the chapter of my playing career as a member of the New Orleans Saints," said Moore. "It was an honor for me to be a member of the Saints and I'll always remember the special bond that our players had with each other as teammates, as well as with what I think is the best fan base in the NFL, which helped us reach new heights. I am also very appreciative of my coaches, both in New Orleans and throughout my playing career and my family, who helped me grow as both a person and as a player."
Following his time with the Saints, Moore, 33, spent the last two seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Detroit Lions, respectively. In addition to being a stalwart on the field for New Orleans, Moore was a valuable member of the New Orleans community off the field. In 2012, he was named the team's nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, recognizing his extensive community service, in visiting schools to stress education, working to raise money to have homes for those in need built after Hurricane Katrina and participating in numerous food and toy distributions during the holiday seasons.
"During my time coaching him, Lance Moore was emblematic of what it meant to be a New Orleans Saint," said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. "Lance is the blueprint of what we look for in a member of this football team and organization, despite being undrafted out of Toledo and starting out as a member of the practice squad, he was an integral part of our success as a member of the team. He continued to develop and improve through a lot of hard work and perseverance on the practice field, in the meeting room and in the weight room. Lance kept getting better year after year and the combination of his dependability, reliability and his innate ability to get open and catch the ball made him an extremely valuable component in the productivity and overall success of our offense and organization."
Photos of WR Lance Moore with the New Orleans Saints. Photos by Michael C. Hebert