Multiple sources said Moore was released because he repeatedly violated team rules and had behavior and maturity issues that have not improved during his three years in the NFL.
Sources say the final straw was a recent fight between Moore and defensive linemate Cullen Jenkins. One source confirmed an NFL Network report that the two fought over the distribution of free Beats headphones in the locker room. But that source and others also said Moore had been fined several times by the team this year for rules violations and behavior problems and that the decision to waive him was based on the accumulation of issues, not just one fight.
Coaches and administrators have spoken to Moore on several occasions, this year and in years past, about his behavior in practice. Sources say Moore routinely clowned around on the practice field in front of everyone from teammates to Giants owner John Mara and responded poorly to efforts by teammates and coaches to get him to take practice more seriously. Moore was also penalized several times this year during games for roughing the passer, and his lack of on-field discipline earned him a full-game benching in a Week 7 over the Dallas Cowboys.
Sources also said Moore feuded openly with some team officials, including general manager Jerry Reese, when confronted about his behavior. Reese is fiercely loyal to his draft picks, so for him to cut a former third-rounder during the third year of his rookie deal would likely require extreme circumstances.
Appearing Saturday on The Dave Rothenberg Show with Steve Weatherford on ESPN 98.7 FM, Moore declined to go into detail on the situation with Jenkins, calling it "something that boiled over time," but did accept responsibility for his actions.
"I've been a firm believer in what my daddy always used to teach me: You make your bed, you've got to lay in it," Moore said. "By no means in any way was I a saint. I had a lot of learning curves, maturity factors. I've grown over time. And I've felt like things just ran its course. It happens in this game."
Moore was 20 when the Giants drafted him in 2013, and he just turned 23 in September. He was viewed as an outstanding raw talent coming out of Texas A&M, but he dropped into the third round due to concerns about maturity and behavior. The Giants believed he represented strong value once he fell to the third round, pointing to the 21 sacks he had over his final two college seasons, and believed his raw talent as a pass rusher could be developed.
But over the course of Moore's three seasons in the league so far, his playing time has been limited by his inability to earn the trust of the coaching staff. When there were calls for him to play more last year, coaches would say they couldn't trust him to handle his assignments in games because he wasn't showing an ability to do so in practices. Undrafted Kerry Wynn passed him on the depth chart this offseason, and even as the Giants have languished near the bottom of the league in sacks, he was unable to earn more playing time.
The Giants could be thin at defensive end Monday night in Miami, as Robert Ayers was added to the injury report Friday with a neck injury. They did not immediately announce a corresponding move to fill Moore's roster spot, but Brad Bars is the defensive end on the practice squad and George Selvie, who's on the 53-man roster, has been inactive for the past two games, so there are in-house options to replace Moore in the short term.