Panthers’ DJ Moore still contemplating jersey change, and offers thoughts on Sam Darnold

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DJ Moore has seen his fair share of quarterback turnover during his three years in the NFL.

During his rookie year, he mostly played with Cam Newton. In 2019, it was a combination of Newton, Kyle Allen and Will Grier. Last year, of course, Teddy Bridgewater was largely the one throwing the football.

His focus was elsewhere Wednesday afternoon as he took some time to host a Mother’s Day Celebration event with his foundation Moore2Life at Academy Sports.

Around 20 at-risk youth from the greater Charlotte community received a $150 gift certificate to buy gifts for their mothers. Moore’s own mother, Cookie Ridley, was in attendance, and the wide receiver and his family helped the kids pick out gifts. The wide receiver also took a few spins around the store on bicycles he later bought for two children.

Outside of foundation events, Moore has had a busy offseason, including having his fifth-year option picked up by the team last week, guaranteeing him $11.1 million in 2022.

“I was excited about it,” Moore told The Observer of the fifth-year option. “Just another step to something bigger that we’re working towards. I’m really looking forward to it.”

When asked if he wanted a long-term contract with the team, Moore paused briefly before saying yes, “I love Carolina. I love being here, I love the team. ... I would look forward to staying here.”

A league source informed The Observer last week that it is not expected at this time that a long-term deal will be negotiated this offseason, but it is an option down the road. Moore is coming off consecutive seasons of 1,215 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns. Through his three-year career, he has only scored 10 touchdowns, but he is coming off an impressive 18.1 yards per reception in 2020.

In preparation for Moore’s fourth-season in the NFL, he also has spent some time with his new quarterback, Sam Darnold, including separate workouts that the players have self-organized. Fellow Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson and Moore talk often, and Anderson praised his former Jets teammate in their conversations.

“Sam’s a cool dude.,” Moore said. “He’s been out here since we picked him up, so he’s been cool.”

Bridgewater was traded to the Denver Broncos a week ago in a move that was long anticipated. Moore said he has not a chance to reach out since things happened, but that he is planning to.

In Mother’s Day news, Moore declined to share what he was giving his mom on Sunday. He notably gave her a Mercedes-Benz with his first paycheck.

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A new jersey could be in order as he is still contemplating changing his number based on the new league rule that allows wide receivers to wear single-digits. He would change it from No. 12 to No. 2

“It’s still up in the air,” Moore said. “You got to buy all the jerseys so that’s one thing that’s been a factor right now. We’re going to see soon.”