Lions' Caldwell won't commit to keeping three QBs

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Kellen Moore

Allen Park — The Lions have started each season under general manager Martin Mayhew with three quarterbacks on their initial 53-man roster, but coach Jim Caldwell didn't commit to that happening again this year when asked Saturday.

"Every year is different," Caldwell said. "We went for 10 years at Indy and we only kept two, and so that was kind of the way in which we felt we could best utilize our roster at that time. So this is the same thing here.

"How many we keep depends on what our roster looks like."

The team made financial commitments to both Dan Orlovsky and Kellen Moore this offseason and opened the backup competition for most of the summer. To this point, though, the 32-year-old Orlovsky looks to have a sizeable advantage heading into the season after being Matthew Stafford's first replacement in the most important exhibitions the past two weeks.

Moore, 26, has been with the Lions since going undrafted out of Boise State in 2012. He spent his first two years as the third option behind Stafford and Shaun Hill, and last year behind Stafford and Orlovsky. In three seasons, he has yet to be active in a game, which actually gives the Lions the option of stashing him on the practice squad.

Through three exhibitions, Moore has gone 13-of-25 for just 104 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. He should see extensive playing time in the preseason finale against Buffalo on Thursday.

The Lions signed Moore to a two-year, $1.825 million contract this offseason with $340,000 guaranteed, which is more than the $140,000 guaranteed Orlovsky received in his $1.05 million, one-year deal. As much as financial aspects play a role, though, the need for depth at other positions — because of injuries or otherwise — will likely determine whether or not Moore has a spot.

"It adjusts according to exactly your team at that particular point in time and how you think it works and fits," Caldwell said of keeping two or three quarterbacks. "You have to be able to adjust to put together your best roster, so (the number) could change."