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Falcons, S Moore agree to five-year deal

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ATLANTA (AP) - Strong safety William Moore agreed to re-sign with the Atlanta Falcons and will receive $14 million guaranteed in a new five-year contract.

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The maximum value of the deal is $32 million, Moore's agent, Andy Ross, said in an email to The Associated Press on Saturday night. Moore can earn $18 million in the first three years of the contract.

A second-round draft pick from Missouri in 2009, Moore was a Pro Bowl alternate last year. He finished the season with four interceptions and 105 tackles despite missing four games with a hamstring injury.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff recently has said that re-signing the team's top pending free agents is a priority. If a deal with Moore had not been reached, he would have hit the market as an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday.

Atlanta cleared salary cap space last week by releasing running back Michael Turner, defensive end John Abraham and cornerback Dunta Robinson.

The Falcons are trying to convince tight end Tony Gonzalez to put off retirement and return for a fifth season in Atlanta and 17th overall. Gonzalez made the Pro Bowl for the 13th time last season.

Other priorities are Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan, who is entering the last season of the contract he signed in 2008, and cornerback Brent Grimes, who had the franchise tag placed on him before free agency began last year.

Left tackle Sam Baker is another starter Atlanta could re-sign. Right guard Garrett Reynolds, who started seven games last year before having season-ending back surgery, agreed to a two-year contract on Saturday.

The Falcons likely will try to re-sign several reserves facing unrestricted free agency, a group that includes defensive tackle Vance Walker, cornerback Christopher Owens and fullback Mike Cox. It's not clear if starting center Todd McClure wants to return for a 15th season.

Moore, a second-round draft pick out of Missouri in 2009, has made 38 starts in four seasons with the Falcons. He was limited by a hamstring injury to 12 games last season. He set a career high with five interceptions in 2010.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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