The New York Jets traded away discontent receiver Elijah Moore in order to recoup draft picks set to be used in any package to acquire four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers.
On Wednesday, the Jets agreed to send Moore and the 74th overall pick to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the 42nd selection in next month’s 2023 NFL Draft. It means the Jets now possess back-to-back picks in the second round with No. 42 and No. 43.
However, it is highly likely the team will send at least one of the selections to Green Bay in a move for Rodgers. On the Pat McAfee Show last Wednesday, Rodgers publicly announced his ‘intention’ to play for the green half of New York - but no deal has been struck between the Jets and the Packers.
Back in 2021, the Jets drafted Moore in the second round out of Ole Miss and he appeared set to go to work on a new-look offence led by second overall pick Zach Wilson. However, he was limited to just 11 games in his rookie season due to a nagging quad injury, although the 22-year-old still went for 538 yards and five touchdowns from 43 receptions.
His sophomore season was ultimately a disappointment as he appeared to fall out of favour. Moore requested a trade which never came to fruition, and he went on to play 66 percent of the Jets’ offensive snaps - second only to Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson for receivers.
Moore’s production sharply declined as he collected 37 receptions for just 446 yards and a sole score. His unsettled and wantaway status meant he was fairly disposable, particularly after this free agency in which the Jets have added weapons to lay the groundwork for a Rodgers trade.
As the team continue to negotiate with the Packers, the Jets have added former Green Bay wideout Allen Lazard and ex Kansas City Chiefs star Mecole Hardman in free agency to join Wilson and Corey Davis in their receiver room. Robert Saleh’s side have also been linked with a move for Odell Beckham Jr. as the 30-year-old decides his next destination after missing the entire 2022 campaign.
Amid reports Beckham wanted $20m annually, he took to social media to insist the number was lower than that - but he didn’t want to play for a figure as low as $4m. While he needs to re-establish himself after a year, the former New York Giants star will almost certainly receive the right offer in the next few weeks.
The Jets have emerged as one of the favourites to sign Beckham after Rodgers reportedly wanted the franchise to sign him after they complete a trade for the Packers veteran. The team already added Lazard on a three-year deal and have been linked with former Packers Marcedes Lewis and Randall Cobb.