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Moore keeps it in divisional family

8/12/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Arizona and San Francisco both run versions of the 3-4 defense, one reason the Cardinals decided to add former 49ers linebacker Brandon Moore today. I'm not yet sure which Arizona player will be released to accommodate Moore on the roster.

Moore's demise in San Francisco was swift and unexpected. He led the team in tackles two seasons ago, but quickly fell out of favor. Patrick Willis' sudden emergence as a Pro Bowl player turned Moore into an afterthought. The team drafted Larry Grant this year. Free agent Takeo Spikes, added Monday, made Moore officially expendable.

Moore has ties to Arizona. His brother, Rob, was a Cardinals receiver and currently works as part of the team's broadcast crew. Brandon Moore's former coach in San Francisco, Billy Davis, is with Cardinals after leaving the 49ers on bad terms. Moore didn't say anything inflammatory upon leaving the 49ers, but you can bet he'll be motivated to recapture his old form. He had 11.5 sacks for the 49ers over the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

The Cardinals have some choices to make at linebacker. Moore gives them a veteran player with starting experience. I'm going to list him with several others as on the bubble until this competition sorts itsealf out a little better.

Here's a quick glance at the Cardinals' linebackers (pending a roster move to make room for Moore). "Lock" status can change with injuries, but here's how it's looking:

Linebackers (11)
Average number kept since 2003: 7.0
Locks: Chike Okeafor, Bert Berry, Travis LaBoy, Karlos Dansby, Gerald Hayes, Clark Haggans
On the bubble: Monty Beisel, Brandon Moore, David Holloway, Chris Harrington, Matt Stewart, Ali Highsmith

Update: At the recommendation of AbqCardsFan in the comments section, I've moved Travis LaBoy onto this list. We had previously listed him with the defensive linemen, a peril of breaking down rosters for teams running 3-4 teams. In the future, I might create one listing for inside linebackers, one listing for pass rushers and another for defensive linemen.