With the first round of the NFL Draft set to go off Thursday night in New York City, the St. Louis Rams made a little bit of news Monday afternoon, when the club announced it had signed local high school and college football hero T.J. Moe to a free agent contract.
Moe, a star player at Fort Zumwalt West High in nearby O’Fallon, Mo., and a three-year starter right down the road at the University of Missouri in Columbia, signed a similar deal with the New England Patriots last year, but missed the entire season after suffering a torn Achilles injury.
The Patriots released Moe back in March, but he continued his workout and rehab work hoping to get a chance with another team. And on Monday, that chance came from the hometown Rams, who had tried to sign Moe last summer, after no team picked him in the 2013 NFL Draft.
But Monday’s workout went well. Moe looked completely healed from his injury. So St. Louis offered him a one-year deal to join the Rams.
Moe, a 5-foot-11-inch, 200-pounder, who played quarterback in high school, then switched to receiver in college, was a team captain his senior year at Mizzou and finished his career with 188 catches for 2,101 yards and 11 touchdowns.
His best season was his sophomore year, when he played with current San Francisco 49ers backup Blaine Gabbert as his quarterback, and caught 92 passes for 1,045 yards and six touchdowns.
The Rams didn’t offer an official comment on the addition of Moe to the club, which is common. The club rarely issues any public statement on free agent signings.
But it is believed that Moe will compete for a backup receiver position and will also be expected to contribute on special teams.