Arthur Moats (born March 14, 1988) is a former American football linebacker for the Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Arizona Cardinals. He was drafted by the Bills in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Moats played college football at James Madison, where he was team captain.

Arthur Moats
refer to caption
Moats with the Buffalo Bills in 2011
No. 52, 55, 93
Position:Outside linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1988-03-14) March 14, 1988 (age 31)
Norfolk, Virginia
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:246 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Portsmouth (VA) Churchland
College:James Madison
NFL Draft:2010 / Round: 6 / Pick: 178
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:228
Forced fumbles:4
Fumble recoveries:4
Pass deflections:6
Player stats at

In 2010, as a member of the Bills, Moats delivered the hit on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre that ultimately led to the end of Favre's NFL record streak of consecutive starts the following week at 297.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Moats was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and was raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, where he attended Churchland High School and graduated in 2006. He graduated from James Madison University with a degree in political science. Moats is currently in his second year of earning his master's degree online, saying he values education greatly. His father is a former marine and current high school math teacher.[2]

College careerEdit

Moats finished his career at James Madison University with 208 tackles. He played in all of his team's games as a true freshman. He started only 5 games as a sophomore, but became a full-time starter for his junior and senior years. Moats won the 2009 Buck Buchanan Award as the top FCS defensive player.[3]

Professional careerEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 0 in
(1.83 m)
246 lb
(112 kg)
33 34 in
(0.86 m)
8 58 in
(0.22 m)
4.66 s 1.61 s 2.67 s 4.37 s 7.22 s 36.5 in
(0.93 m)
10 ft 2 in
(3.10 m)
24 reps
All values from NFL Combine[4][5]

Buffalo BillsEdit

Moats was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round, 178th overall, in the 2010 NFL Draft. He is the only Buck Buchanan Award winner to be drafted by the Bills. In the Bills 3-4 defensive scheme, he moved from defensive end to inside linebacker, which is an unusual position change considering most defensive ends move to outside linebacker in 3-4 defensive schemes. After several weeks of failing to generate a consistent pass rush, Bills head coach Chan Gailey decided to move Moats to his more natural position of outside linebacker to utilize his pass rushing skill set.

In a Week 13 contest of the 2010 season, Moats delivered a hit on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre that aggravated the quarterback's shoulder injury. It was Moats' hit that eventually led to Favre's consecutive starts streak ending at 297 when he did not play against the New York Giants the following week.[1]

Moats' personal catch phrase, 'Don't Cross The Moats', was created by WGR550's radio personality Joseph Zogaib. Since then, it has a become a popular trending topic on Twitter, and Moats himself even tattooed the phrase across his upper back.[6]

In December 2013, Moats was named the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year for 2013. Moats earned this honor through his work with the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and other local groups. Moats was also named the Bills Ed Block Courage Award recipient. He earned this honor by overcoming adversity from an injury and exemplifying courage both on and off the field.[7] He also conducts numerous school visits and takes part in the NFL Play 60 initiative.[8]

Pittsburgh SteelersEdit

On March 24, 2014, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Moats to a one-year, $795,000 contract with a signing bonus of $65,000.[9][10] He began his first season with the Pittsburgh Steelers as the backup right outside linebacker behind Jarvis Jones. In the season opener against the Cleveland Browns, he assisted in one tackle during his Steelers debut as they won 30-27. On September 21, 2014, Moats made two solo tackles and sacked Panthers quarterback Cam Newton as the Steelers routed the Carolina Panthers 37-19. The next game, he got his first start with the Steelers in place of an injured Jarvis Jones and made one solo tackle in a 24-27 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In Week 9, Moats collected three combined tackles, sacked Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, and forced a fumble as Pittsburgh defeated the Baltimore Ravens 43-23. The following week, he made a season-high four combined tackles in a 13-20 loss to the New York Jets. He finished the season with 23 combined tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles while appearing in all 16 regular season contests and starting ten.

On March 9, 2015, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Moats to a three-year, $7.50 million contract with a signing bonus of $1.90 million.[9][11] Moats began 2015 as the left outside linebacker ahead of rookie Bud Dupree. In the second game of the season, he made three combined tackles and was credited with half a sack after taking down San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick while helping his team rout the 49ers 43-18. On January 3, 2016, Moats racked up a season-high six solo tackles and sacked Cleveland Browns quarterback Austin Davis, helping the Steelers win 28-12. On January 9, 2016, he collected five combined tackles as the Steelers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 18-16 in an AFC Wild-card matchup. Moats finished the 2015 season with 35 combined tackles, four sacks, and two pass deflections and appeared in all 16 games and started 11.

Moats began the 2016 season as the backup left outside linebacker behind Bud Dupree. He started the season opener in place of an injured Dupree and made one tackle and a pass deflection in a 38-16 win over the Washington Redskins. The next game, Moats collected three combined tackles and sacked Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, helping the Steelers win 24-16. On November 20, 2016, Moats made two solo tackles and sacked Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown twice, as the Steelers defeated the Browns 24-9.

Throughout the first 12 games of the 2017 season, Moats played almost exclusively on special teams, with only 47 snaps on defense. Following injuries to Ryan Shazier and Tyler Matakevich on December 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Moats was moved to left inside linebacker, splitting time with Sean Spence and L. J. Fort for the Steelers' December 10 game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Arizona CardinalsEdit

On July 25, 2018, Moats signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals.[12] He was placed on injured reserve with a sprained MCL on September 1, 2018.[13] He was released on October 9, 2018.[14]

On June 10, 2019 Moats officially announced his retirement from the NFL via Instagram and Twitter.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Arthur Moats Officially Ends Brett Favre's Consecutive Games Played Streak".
  2. ^ "10 Questions With Arthur Moats". Archived from the original on November 17, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  3. ^ "Arthur Moats captures 2009 Buck Buchanan Award". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on April 4, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  4. ^ "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - Arthur Moats".
  5. ^ "Arthur Moats - James Madison, OLB : 2010 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile".
  6. ^ "Moats-tat2". Archived from the original on March 31, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  7. ^ "Moats selected as Bills Ed Block Courage Award recipient". Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  8. ^ "Buffalo Bills' Arthur Moats Named Team's Man of the Year".
  9. ^ a b " Arthur Moats contracts". Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  10. ^ Steelers sign Arthur Moats. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  11. ^ Steelers agree to terms with Arthur Moats Archived March 11, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  12. ^ Urban, Darren (July 26, 2018). "Cardinals Sign Arthur Moats, Jacquies Smith".
  13. ^ Urban, Darren (September 1, 2018). "Cardinals Make Cuts To Reach 53-Man Roster".
  14. ^ Williams, Charean (October 9, 2018). "Cardinals release Arthur Moats". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
  15. ^ Bouda, Nate (June 10, 2019). "Veteran LB Arthur Moats Retiring From NFL".

External linksEdit