Jets WR Elijah Moore won’t play Broncos after trade request
Elijah Moore’s trade request brought about a change, but not the one he was looking for.
Moore will not participate in the Jets’ Week 7 game against the Denver Broncos, coach Robert Saleh told reporters Friday, reiterating that New York will not trade the WR.
Instead of a trade, Moore’s request earned him a timeout of sorts. Moore was in the Jets building on Friday, according to Saleh, but was excused from meetings and spent his time practicing. Saleh cited the emotional and mental impact of the trade request as the reason he decided Moore would not compete this weekend in Denver.
“In my opinion – whether we agree or not, it doesn’t matter – asking him to play a game of football with where is from a mental point of view would not be fair to him in my opinion. “Saleh said. “But it’s strictly my decision.”
Moore’s displeasure first surfaced on Twitter after New York’s 27-10 win over Green Bay on Sunday, with Moore posting a message that read: “If I say what I really mean…I’ll be the selfish guy… winning us.” Moore later added that he felt “Grateful! A huge blessing! Everything I ever wanted. [Bitter] soft for me but I will be strong. So I’ll keep quiet. Just know that I don’t understand either.”
Obviously, that was just the beginning of Moore’s frustration with its use. He had officially requested a trade on Thursday and Saleh made the decision to give Moore more time to think about what he wants from his NFL career instead of immediately trying to prove it on the field or with a moving truck.
“It could be (a selfish act). You could see it a million ways,” Saleh said of Moore. “You can see it any way you want. It’s not for me. Just knowing the individual and knowing what he wants, he wants to contribute. He’s a competitive kid. He’s a competitive man. He wants, he feels like he can do more inside the attack to help us get over the goal line. For me, that’s admirable.
Moore’s production hasn’t been outstanding, but he’s been a decent contributor in an offense that relies on all of its talented players to move the ball. Moore has 16 catches for 203 yards, but he hasn’t scored a touchdown and is well below his 2021 average goal.
A year ago, Moore was the center of attention. The 2021 second-round selection turned heads in camp and gave downtrodden Jets fans reason to believe this was the start of a bright future for their team. Then Moore got injured, slowing his hype train and limiting him to 11 games as a rookie, while the Jets had to figure things out with Corey Davis, Keelan Cole, Jamison Crowder and Braxton Berrios, among others.
Moore still caught 43 passes for 538 yards and five touchdowns in his first season, but that didn’t stop the Jets from spending another top-64 pick on a receiver. Now Moore can’t buy more than a few targets per game in an offense that’s suddenly packed with playmakers.