Off the depth chart

Moffitt's disillusionment was gradual. Growing up in Guilford, Conn., he had his father tie his cleats because he was too fat to reach the laces. Big boys often feel an obligation to play football, but Moffitt says he loved it, motivated early by a desire to play in the Big Ten. He played four years at Wisconsin and graduated with a degree in sociology. Never one to ignore the quirks of the game, he was amused by the rituals at the NFL combine. But as he stood on the scale in his underwear and looked up at the NFL coaches and executives assessing body types, he thought: This is creepy. I feel like they should throw in a couple of women, maybe, because now it's like 40 dudes staring down at you like they're picking out meat.

Although he played less than three seasons, Moffitt was put through the grinder. Seattle drafted him in the third round in 2011, and he started nine games as a rookie. He started six more in 2012 before tearing ligaments in his right knee. The Seahawks tried to trade him to Cleveland this summer after the coaches decreed him the loser in a competition for a starting job. In Cleveland he was told he failed his physical because of his surgically repaired knee, a decision he believes was made after his agent refused to renegotiate his contract. The Browns have denied this.

Almost immediately, the Seahawks traded him to Denver. "Going to Denver impacted my decision, even though it's a great organization with good people," Moffitt says. "If I were still with Seattle, I'd probably still be playing." He liked the city and his teammates and Pete Carroll and the fact that he lived close enough to walk to the facility. "But the moment was going to come anyway. It was a matter of time."

As the game drones on in the background, Moffitt bounces from one topic to another like a radio on scan. His free spirit makes it unsurprising that Moffitt has had moments of impulsivity and poor judgment. He was suspended for four games while with the Seahawks after testing positive for Adderall. He had three incidents at a mall in nearby Bellevue. The first involved public urination, and he then was arrested twice for trespassing when he failed to honor a one-year ban. "Yeah, I peed in an alley," he says. "When I went back, I had no idea I was going to be arrested. I mean, banned from the whole mall? There are a bunch of restaurants there I like."

Early in the fourth quarter, Wes Welker takes a hit from the Chiefs' Eric Berry and staggers off the field. A series of replays had shown the Broncos receiver taking big hits, including a decleater by Brandon Flowers. Welker pops off the ground like a Super Ball. "I've never seen anyone bounce like him," Moffitt says. Welker undergoes a sideline medical assessment after the Berry hit, retaking the field after less than two minutes elapsed from the clock. After the game, it's revealed that Welker suffered a concussion.

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