Steelers set sights on Lance Moore to fill vacated slot receiver role

Stacy Revere

The ex-Saints receiver is in Pittsburgh Tuesday, and the team has to ask itself collectively, which Lance Moore will the NFL see in 2014?

Who's the real Lance Moore?

Is he the tight-route, solid-hands possession receiver who racked up 1,041 yards with New Orleans in 2012, or is he the injury-riddled, often-overlooked last option receiver on the same team from last year when his production dropped off by 60 percent?

The Steelers are weighing that question as we roll through the day here.

Jerricho Cotchery is likely waking up with steak and eggs in Charlotte after a night out with Ron Rivera and the Panthers' brass. His departure seems imminent, leaving a gaping hole in the Steelers' receiving corps. This is a group that's already lost Emmanuel Sanders in free agency, and has precious little experience behind Antonio Brown.

Moore is experienced, there's no doubt about that. Maybe a little too overcooked, especially when compared to the raw options on the Steelers' plate. Hopes are high for second-year split end Markus Wheaton, a hard-working blazer who's rookie year was mired with practice rule conflicts and broken fingers. There's still the draft, in which the Steelers are likely to find great talent anywhere in the first three rounds, and have the opportunity to plunger a player into a place on the field, ready or not.

Or, they can give the veteran from Toledo a shot to resurrect his career. He's in Pittsburgh Tuesday, and judging by any other moves the Steelers may have in place, could be the best option remaining.

The Steelers found Cotchery in a similar manner, and as fans bemoan the possible loss of him - for the very reasons those fans have come to love Cotchery, he's a valuable member of a team - Moore is unlikely to step on the field amid great anticipation.

Not that it matters what the fans think. In the end, they'll root for a winner. If Moore helps them regain that status, they'll be all for it.

If he doesn't work out, and it turns out they signed him with Cotchery still on the market, the front office will hear about it. Among many complaints, it's money spent on the non-tall receiver, conflicting with the desires of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

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