FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons safety William Moore, who’s in the final year of a four-year, $3.4 million contract, is turning in a big season.
He’s the Falcons top tackler with 105. He has recorded eight pass breakups, four interceptions and one sack. But Moore, who will get some Pro Bowl consideration, is not worrying about his contract situation.
“Me, personally, the best thing that I’ve got going for myself is that I play because I love the game,” Moore said. “I’m not just saying that because it’s the right thing to say, but I really love the game. I don’t focus on contracts or how much money is being paid. That’s all a bonus because just playing right now is all that I ask for.”
Last season, the Falcons re-signed free safety Thomas DeCoud to a five-year $17.5 million contract. Baltimore safety Ed Reed has the highest base salary — $7.2 million — at the position in 2012.
Moore figures there is plenty of time to take care of business.
“Of course, I do have son to feed, but my name means more than anything,” Moore said. “I want to be a great football player more than anything.”
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Moore, who was selected from Missouri in the second round of the 2009 draft. Hamstring, groin and knee injuries led to a slow start to his career.
After moving into the starting lineup in 2010, he was slowed last season by quadriceps and groin injuries that caused him to miss four games.
Moore’s marauding style of play appears to be a good fit for defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s scheme. He’s coming off perhaps his best NFL game where he had 11 tackles and two interceptions in the 23-13 victory over the Saints on Nov. 29.
“You definitely want to pat yourself on the back for the hard work that you put in, not only during the season, but at the same time during the offseason,” Moore said. “I feel like I went to work this offseason, especially with a new (defensive) coordinator coming in.
“I hit the books first. The new defense allows for the safeties to roam and I knew that. I knew I had to learn the defense to perfect it and to use it to my ability.”
In addition to Moore this offseason, the Falcons must also address left tackle Sam Baker and decide on a possible extension for quarterback Matt Ryan.
Baker is in the last year of his contract. Ryan’s contract runs through 2013, but he’s a primary candidate for an extension.
Moore just plans to keep playing.
“Most of all, I want to keep growing as a player,” Moore said. “I feel like I know how good I can be if I keep working hard. At the same time, I can help the team.”
And he isn’t sure what to make of the Pro Bowl talk.
“I don’t know what answer to give to that, but I know how hard I work,” Moore said. “I know how hard I’m going to work to be a better player. I feel like I can get better.”
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