Coming into his third year with the New York Jets, Elijah Moore’s future is in question
At the end of the 2021 season, New York Jets fans believed the team finally broke its second-round curse by drafting Elijah Moore.
Moore was the Jets’ first second-round wide receiver to post over 500 receiving yards in his rookie season since Wesley Walker did it in 1977. Between Moore and Walker, the Jets drafted seven consecutive busts at the WR position in the second round.
Instead of following in Walker’s footsteps, Moore’s production regressed in a major way in his second season.
Despite playing five more games, Moore dropped from 538 receiving yards to 446. He only managed to score one touchdown after scoring six in his rookie season. Moore didn’t match his success in the running game either, declining from 54 rushing yards on five attempts to five yards on five attempts.
Although his numbers took a significant step backward, Moore’s ability to get open wasn’t the problem. In fact, according to Moore himself, the biggest problem was his lack of usage within the Jets’ offense. When asked about the chemistry between him and Zach Wilson on October 30, Moore said, “I don’t know, I couldn’t even tell you [what our chemistry is]. I don’t get the ball.”
Overall, the 2022 season was a disaster for Elijah Moore, from requesting a trade after a team win, to fighting with then-OC Mike LaFleur, to an overall drop in production and usage.
The big question for the Jets is this: Where do the two sides go from here?
Realistically, there are only two options. They can trade him, or they can keep him and bet on a bounce-back season.
The case for trading Elijah Moore
If I were the Jets, this is a route I would explore. As much as I love Elijah Moore the player, his personality type can cause issues, especially on a team like the Jets where success isn’t a yearly guarantee.
However, the biggest issue for the Jets is that Moore’s trade value is at an all-time low.
Trading Moore would also force the Jets to have a real insurance plan at the position. That could include using Braxton Berrios in a larger role and looking at adding another WR to be the team’s true WR2, as Corey Davis hasn’t shown the ability to stay healthy.
The optimal move would be for the Jets to incorporate Moore into a large role in 2023 and trade him prior to the 2024 NFL season for a haul that’s worthwhile. But if used properly, Moore could shine, and the Jets would have two star receivers on the team. This leads us to the second option.
The case for keeping Elijah Moore long-term
I think this option is less likely to happen, but it could allow the Jets’ offense to truly be a juggernaut.
While the Jets have issues on the offensive line, their skill position players are true difference-makers. Garrett Wilson has already solidified himself as a true WR1. At tight end, Tyler Conklin is an effective pass-catcher and an excellent red zone option. Finally, at RB, Breece Hall has already shown to be one of the best at the position, while Michael Carter as the ultimate complementary back.
If Moore can be successfully incorporated into the Jets’ offense alongside those pieces, it would truly be frightening for opposing defenses. Of course, that also depends on who’s throwing him the ball.
Whatever the case may be, the Jets need to make a decision on the future of Elijah Moore. With both scenarios having the potential for extreme outcomes, it’s a tough decision, but one the team needs to make sooner rather than later.
Was this article written four months ago and the stats just updated?
Maybe it’s me, but this is a really weird take. Elijah Moore is the Jets #2 receiver ATM. If they’re trading him, they’re getting back #2 receiver value…so they’re not trading him.
I agree, they could consider swapping him for a more accomplished #2 WR but anything short of that and he stays. I was thinking a swap for someone like DJ Moore might make sense. DJ is more polished, is an established as a #2 WR and has more NFL experience. A team like Carolina who is resetting might prefer a younger guy to build with for their future. I think perhaps some player similar to that would be a good move.
I will say this, hidden in the “lack of opportunities” and the “everything is Zach’s fault” narratives is the fact that he didn’t play particularly well when he did have the chance. He constantly runs backwards after the catch, and hasn’t done anything explosive to make me excited about him to the extent I think “oh he’s just not being used correctly.”
There were a lot of things that went wrong in the Lions finish, but hidden in all of it was Moore catches a 4th down pass (that if we are being honest Zach saved their ass) and immediately starts running backwards before heading to the sideline. If his sticks his nose up in there and gains another 4 yards it’s a 53 yard FG. He almost ran out the clock. I know this is only 1 play but if you’re a player bitching about playing time and opportunities then you can’t do things like that when the team needs you.
I LOVED him coming out of college, I’m not sure he reaches the potential I and many of us expected in the pros. Just my 2 cents.