On Thursday, New York Jets receiver Elijah Moore requested a trade, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Moore, the 34th pick of the 2021 draft, has started every game of the 2022 season but has seen his yards per game drop from 48.9 yards in his rookie year (when he started six games and played 11) to 33.8 yards this season.
For his NFL career, Moore has posted 59 receptions for 741 yards (12.6 yards per reception) and five touchdowns. He has played 819 snaps on offense to just five special teams snaps over his career. With that being said, he did post 27 punt returns and 12 kick returns at Ole Miss in his college days.
Moore missed practice on Thursday for what was originally reported as a “personal day” that he spent with his family. It now seems clear that the root of his absence stems from his production on his struggling passing offense. Following the Jets’ 27-10 win over the Green Bay Packers, Moore tweeted that he didn’t understand his lack of targets on Sunday. Moore only had one target in a 110-yard passing effort by quarterback Zach Wilson, which didn’t even end up on the box score as it didn’t officially count due to a penalty.
With first-round receiver Garrett Wilson joining the mix in New York in 2022, Moore has been moved out of the slot often, the role that many projected the 5’10”, 178-pounder to thrive in at the professional level. The former All-American now has one of the highest average depths of targets in the league as he’s transitioned to a more perimeter receiver role, while the volume has gone Wilson’s way.
Primary difference for Elijah Moore has been he's lost his underneath targets to Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall. His aDOT is up over 3.0 yards this season. One of the highest in the league. #Jets https://t.co/S950dWGC7Z pic.twitter.com/0FeFrzjbY7— Hayden Winks (@HaydenWinks) October 20, 2022
According to ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin, the Jets won’t grant his trade. We’ve seen teams say they won’t trade a player, though, just to change their mind when a story gets built up enough to be a distraction. The question now is if Moore is willing to take it that far.
Moore would be an interesting trade candidate for the Packers, who are down Christian Watson, Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins at receiver in the short term. The question is if the team is willing to add another receiver to the room, which would give them eight options whenever Watkins is activated off of the injured reserve. Any addition comes with a corresponding roster move, which will likely send either return man Amari Rodgers or rookie seventh-round pick Samori Toure on their way. General manager Brian Gutekunst has yet to cut a 2022 draft pick, despite their collective lack of playing time early on in their rookie seasons.
The trade deadline in the NFL is on November 1st, two Tuesdays from now, so if Moore is going to get traded it’s going to happen fast. The Packers don’t have much functional cap space, but Moore’s remaining salary for the rest of the 2022 season is only about $700,000. For all the talk about veterans like Odell Beckham Jr., who almost certainly will come at the cost of a spendy price tag, Moore has been the most realistic option to appear on the receiver market for the Packers’ interests.