Of course, Douglas did immediately trade for running back James Robinson after the Breece Hall injury, but that’s old news to a lot of fans. In the now, the Jets chose not to bring in any help at offensive tackle or any other perceived positions of need.
They also chose to hold onto a couple of wide receiver prospects that had previously requested trades, in Denzel Mims and Elijah Moore. Douglas addressed the latter during a press conference after the deadline.
Jets Confirm Turning Down Trade Calls for Elijah Moore
After the recent trade request from Moore’s camp, reporters asked Douglas how things currently stand with the 2021 second-round pick.
“We love Elijah,” Douglas voiced with unwavering support. “We all stood on the table to take him high in the second round last year, and we think the world of him. Obviously, we’re a football family and anytime there’s an issue, we like to handle that in-house. I was able to have a really good one-on-one conversation with Elijah and again, we think the world of him. We think he has a bright future as a New York Jet.”
When a follow-up questioned whether or not Gang Green gave any thought to dealing Moore, the GM admitted that while the Jets did receive “some calls,” they never seriously considered trading him.
“Like Robert [Saleh] said, Elijah was always going to be a New York Jet,” Douglas confirmed.
Some might find this response odd considering Moore’s lack of playing time the past two weeks. After giving the wideout Week 7 to clear his head, the coaching staff only had him on the field for 10 offensive snaps in Week 8.
Although no one ever admitted to it, this felt like a disciplinary measure from Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur. That begs the question — where does this relationship between Moore and the Jets go from here?
Elijah Moore & the Jets Need Each Other
People can be frustrated with the drama Moore has caused and the pass-catcher can be frustrated with his role but the fact remains, they both need each other.
Without Hall at running back, the Jets have a clear need for more dynamic playmakers on this offense. At the same time, Moore is stuck in New York with zero leverage.
If the Ole Miss product truly wants to become an NFL superstar, he’ll have to prove himself on his rookie deal. At the same time, LaFleur and the Jets coaches must do their job and figure out how to properly utilize the talent that they have on this roster.
In Week 8, that didn’t happen. Whether it was because of stubbornness or a lack of creativity, Moore was a minor part of the game plan versus the New England Patriots — the same team the wide receiver scored his first career touchdown against in 2021. The Jets also came up short offensively.
Keep in mind that they could have benched Moore outright if they were trying to prove a point.
As of now, the Jets are sending mixed signals when it comes to Moore and that doesn’t seem like the right way to handle this sort of problem. If they’re committed to him long-term like Douglas and Saleh both say they are, his snap count should reflect that during a key division game against the Buffalo Bills.
If it doesn’t, fans have a right to be confused.