The New York Jets turned their 2023 third-round pick into a 2023 second-round pick by trading wide receiver Elijah Moore to the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Is this transaction a precursor to the Aaron Rodgers trade?
The Jets now hold the 13th overall pick in the first round and the 42nd and 43rd overall picks in the second round. If New York did not want to trade away No. 13, packaging together both picks in the second round is the value equivalent of a first-rounder. Or, it’s possible having two second-round picks would soften the blow of trading away the first-rounder for the Jets.
Either way, Wednesday’s trade looks tied to the looming Rodgers deal. The Packers want to trade him. Rodgers wants to be in New York. And the Jets want him. The only hurdle – and it remains a big one – is the compensation. Now, after trading Moore away and improving one of their 2023 Day 2 picks, the Jets have better ammo.
It’s worth noting, the Jets signed Mecole Hardman as a Moore replacement on Wednesday. While the Packers aren’t getting Moore back in a trade for Rodgers, there’s a chance the pick involved in the deal with the Browns – No. 42 overall – will be coming to Green Bay eventually.
If the Jets traded both second-round picks to the Packers, general manager Brian Gutekunst would hold picks No. 15, No. 42, No. 43 and No. 45 and No. 78 during the first two days of the 2023 draft.