<
>

Why Damontre Moore's release is about more than headphones

Should history remember Damontre Moore at all, it's likely now to remember him as the guy who got kicked off the New York Giants for fighting with a teammate over free headphones. Moore has to live with that, and he knows it.

"I definitely could've handled it better by, obviously, just walking away," Moore said Saturday on 98.7 ESPN Radio in New York. "The crazy thing about it is, I don't really necessarily look at it as over a Beats by Dre headphone. I think it's a compilation, just a combination of things that built up over time. The way the situation fully just unfolded and evolved, I just felt like as a teammate and a brother, things should've been handled a certain way. But also, I should've handled things a certain way. Maybe talking it out a little more and walking away from it."

Maybe, but the fact is the Giants were at the end of their rope with Moore. They'd reached a point at which the headaches he caused with his immature attitude in practice and during games outweighed his production. The young, talented 2013 third-round pick had three sacks this year -- 20 percent of the team's woeful total -- but he was causing more problems than he was helping solve. And so, while the last straw may have been a locker room scuffle with teammate Cullen Jenkins over some free Beats, there is of course more to this story.

I went over some of the negative details Friday in the news story, but I think it's worth making a few tangential points here just to put a bow on it:

Moore's teammates aren't celebrating the fact that he's gone. Sure, they're professionals and they understand the reason the team had to get rid of Moore. But among those I spoke to Friday, I detected no ill will toward him. One player told me Moore was the absolute best on game day at encouraging teammates on both sides of the ball and getting/keeping the team up to play. Another claimed that Moore showed up at every single charity event his teammates ever asked him to attend, never asking for anything in return. The locker room was a quiet place Friday after the news hit, and my sense is that teammates hope things work out for Moore down the road.

He is still very young. I know, I know. I've been writing this about Moore for years. But that doesn't mean it's not true. Moore's 23rd birthday came two months before his release. He was 20 when the Giants drafted him. This is not presented here as an excuse but as a hopeful point for the future of the young man himself. Giants coaches and teammates tried everything they could to get Moore to take things seriously and understand the ways in which his clownish behavior was holding him back. Perhaps getting cut by the team that drafted him will be a more effective wake-up call than any that were tried in the building over the past three seasons.

One of the Giants' remaining opponents should pick him up, right? Why not take a flier on him if you're the Dolphins, Panthers, Vikings or Eagles? Even if he's not going to be able to help you with his knowledge of the Giants and what they plan to run against you, he's definitely flashed rare athletic ability and can rush the passer. Those games could be very important in Week 16 and 17 for Minnesota and Philadelphia. Seems like a no-brainer to me.