As the world waits on the Green Bay Packers to make a deal with the New York Jets centered around Aaron Rodgers, the Jets have dealt away one of the more intriguing players who might have been a part of that trade from their side. Wide receiver Elijah Moore was a first-round draft pick in 2021, but after a solid rookie season he saw his target share and playing time drop a bit in year two. Now he’s on the move, but not to Green Bay as many NFL analysts had suspected.
Instead, the Jets have traded Moore to the Cleveland Browns, as reported by Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter on Wednesday afternoon. New York will upgrade from a third-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to a second-rounder with the trade, sending the 74th overall selection along with Moore to Cleveland and receiving pick number 42 overall in return.
That now leaves the Jets with three picks in the top 43, with the team also holding their original picks in rounds one (#13) and two (#43). The additional second-round pick could end up being instrumental in finishing off trade compensation between the Jets and Packers, particularly with reports that the Packers have been pushing for higher compensation for the four-time MVP.
There remains a possibility that the Jets could send a player to the Packers to sweeten the Rodgers deal. Moore had been viewed as a leading candidate given his apparent falling-out with the New York coaching staff and his excellent athletic profile (a RAS of 8.69 with a 4.35-second 40). However, his trade to Cleveland suggests that the Packers were not particularly interested in acquiring him as a part of a trade after all.
Rodgers’ destination is not in question, but the terms of a potential deal remain unclear. If the Jets offer a pair of back-to-back picks in round two, that could be enough to entice the Packers to accept, particularly if the Jets include a conditional 2024 pick in the deal as well.
Receiving picks 42 and 43 would give Green Bay three picks in the early 40s, with those choices joining the Packers’ own selection at 45. That package could also include a conditional pick in 2024 that depends on the Jets’ success in the upcoming season and/or Rodgers’ status on the Jets’ roster for 2024. This would be a way for the Packers to add roughly the value of a pick in the middle of the first round without actually getting a first-round pick. Using the classic Jimmy Johnson trade value chart, the combination of picks 42 and 43 are worth 930 points, or about equivalent to the 17th overall selection. The Rich Hill chart puts those two picks closer in value to pick number 19 overall.
Stay tuned to see if this trade is a precursor to an imminent agreement on a Rodgers deal.