TE Dave Moore played in his 12th season as a Buccaneer in 2005 and could break the team record in that category next fall
Dave Moore, the only active tight end in the NFL with at least 200 career games played, appeared in his 207th contest to end the 2005 season.
Apparently, that still was not enough.
Moore, an unrestricted free agent as of March 11, re-signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday. As such, he is in line to play his 13th season as a Buccaneer, which would be a new franchise record.
The 6-2, 250-pound Moore is already the longest-tenured player on Tampa Bay's current roster, having entered the NFL with the Miami Dolphins in 1992 and joined the Buccaneers later that year. He ranks high on several career lists for the franchise, including games played (second at 177), touchdown receptions (fourth at 24) and receptions (14th at 183). His rate of one touchdown for every 7.6 catches is the highest in team annals among players with at least 50 receptions.
A seventh-round draft pick by the Dolphins in 1992, Moore joined the Bucs in November of his rookie season after being waived by Miami. Though he had just 21 receptions over his first three-plus seasons with Tampa Bay, he repeatedly made the team through the versatility of his talents. Besides being a fine blocking tight end and a good cover men on special teams, Moore was – and is – a talented long-snapper. That alone made him a valuable asset on the roster and helped him stick around long enough to emerge as a viable threat in the passing attack.
Moore took over the starting tight end position in 1996 and over the next six seasons averaged 26 receptions, 260 yards and four touchdowns. Remarkably consistent, he had between 217 and 288 yards and between three and five touchdowns in each of those campaigns.
Moore's versatility is also helping him extend his career, as his primary role for the Buccaneers in 2005 was as a long-snapper on punts and placekicks. Moore appeared in all 16 games last year, starting one, and grabbed one reception for five yards. His reliable snapping helped punter Josh Bidwell earn a Pro Bowl bid and kicker Matt Bryant make 80% of his field goal tries. Moore also notched five tackles on special teams.
Moore spent the 2002-03 seasons in Buffalo before returning to Tampa in 2004. During his stint with the Bills he played in 29 games and caught 23 passes for 223 yards and four touchdowns. Over his entire career, Moore has totaled 206 career receptions for 2,019 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Between the Bucs, Bills and Dolphins (one game in '92), Moore has appeared in 207 career regular-season games, as mentioned above. Last year against Washington on November 13, he played his 200th game, joining Howard Cross, Rodney Holman, Trey Junkin, Pete Metzelaars, Shannon Sharpe, Jackie Smith and Ed West as the only tight ends in league history to reach that mark. Overall, Moore was the 207th player in the NFL's 86 years to reach 200 games played.
Of those 207 games, 177 have come with the Buccaneers, making him second only to Paul Gruber in that category. Moore would need only seven games played in 206 to pass Gruber, who had 183 games played and started over his 12 seasons as a Buccaneer.
Moore is the third unrestricted free agent re-signed by the Buccaneers over the past two days, as the franchise has worked hard to bring back as many contributors to last year's division-title winning team as possible. On Monday, the Bucs re-signed wide receiver Ike Hilliard and cornerback .
Overall, the Bucs have now re-signed six of the 11 players from their 2005 roster who became unrestricted free agents just 10 days ago. Bryant, fullback Mike Alstott and defensive tackle Chris Hovan all agreed to new deals with the Buccaneers before the open market period was even a day old. In addition, potential free agents cornerback Juran Bolden and quarterback Chris Simms re-signed with the Bucs before they could become free agents.
To follow all of the movements of the Bucs who became free agents on March 11, check out our 2006 Free Agency Tracker.