Jets receiver Elijah Moore demands trade following mysterious absence from practice


The Jets, through six glorious, wholly unexpected weeks, have succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, already matching their win total from last season. Ordinarily, that would be cause for celebration. Of course, nothing in New York is ever that simple with Thursday representing the latest bizarre chapter of the ongoing Elijah Moore saga.

Moore enjoyed a productive rookie season, debuting with 43 catches for 538 yards and five touchdowns, leading his team in the latter two categories. However, his contributions this year have been minimal, regressing to the tune of 16 catches for 203 scoreless yards. Frustrated at not seeing any targets in Sunday’s upset of Green Bay, Moore lamented his reduced involvement in a since-deleted tweet, calling the win “bittersweet.”

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Moore isn’t alone in this regard, joining fellow second-round pick Denzel Mims (a healthy scratch in all six games) in coach Robert Saleh’s doghouse. Twitter detectives were on the case, hunting for any clues that might solve the mystery of Moore’s disappearance, both figurative and literal after the 22-year-old was absent from Thursday’s practice, a development met with no shortage of reckless speculation.

Beat writers had initially said Moore was tending to a “family matter,” though that report was later refuted by Connor Hughes of SNY and ultimately NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who dropped this bombshell just after 5 PM ET.

Moore would make all the sense in the world for a team like the Packers (already said to be circling Steelers receiver Chase Claypool), though, just as they did when Mims made his trade request over the summer, the Jets seem intent to let the process play out, refusing to cave to either player’s demands.

In the ruthless business of NFL transactions, where truth is only relative, this could be a negotiating tactic on the part of GM Joe Douglas, refusing to sell low on a talented player who showed promise as recently as last year. Perhaps Moore gets the squeaky wheel treatment this week, if only to keep the disgruntled star from blowing up the locker room at a time when the Jets can ill afford a distraction that might dampen team morale. Of course, the other, more explosive outcome would be an all-out war, an intense power struggle pitting Moore against a team that doesn’t seem to value him the way that he would like.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Mitchell Leff, Getty Images