Jets WR Elijah Moore won’t play vs. Broncos following trade request

Elijah Moore’s trade request prompted a change, but not the one he was seeking.

Moore will not play in the Jets’ Week 7 game against the Denver Broncos, coach Robert Saleh told reporters Friday, reiterating New York won’t trade the QB.

Instead of a trade, Moore’s request earned him a timeout of sorts. Moore was in the Jets’ building Friday, per Saleh, but was excused from meetings and spent his time working out. Saleh cited the emotional and mental impact of requesting a trade as why he decided Moore would not participate this weekend in Denver.

“In my view — whether we agree or not, it doesn’t matter — to ask him to play a football game with where is from a mental standpoint wouldn’t be fair to him in my opinion,” Saleh said. “But that’s strictly my decision.”

Moore’s displeasure first appeared on Twitter following New York’s 27-10 win over Green Bay on Sunday, with Moore posting a message that read: “If I say what I really wanna say … I’ll be the selfish guy … we winning.” Moore later added he felt “Grateful! Huge blessing! All I ever wanted. [Bitter] sweet for me em but I’ll be solid. So I’ll just stay quiet. Just know I don’t understand either.”

Evidently, that was just the beginning of Moore’s frustration with his usage. By Thursday, he’d officially requested a trade, and Saleh made a decision to give Moore more time to think about what he wants from his NFL career instead of immediately trying to prove it on the field or with a moving truck.

“It could be (a selfish act). You could view it a million ways,” Saleh said of Moore. “You could view it however you want. It’s not for me. Just knowing the individual and knowing what he wants, he wants to contribute. He’s a competitive kid. He’s a competitive man. He wants, he feels like he can do more within the offense to help us cross the goal line. To me, that’s admirable.”

Moore’s production hasn’t been remarkable, but he’s been a decent contributor in an offense that relies on all of its skilled players to move the ball. Moore has 16 catches for 203 yards, however he hasn’t scored a touchdown, and he’s well below his average target rate from 2021.

A year ago, Moore was the center of attention. The 2021 second-round selection turned heads in camp and gave downtrodden Jets fans a reason to believe this was the start of a bright future for their team. Then Moore got hurt, slowing his hype train and limiting him to 11 games as a rookie, while the Jets were left to figure things out with Corey Davis, Keelan Cole, Jamison Crowder and Braxton Berrios, among others.

Moore still caught 43 passes for 538 yards and five touchdowns in his first season, but that didn’t preclude the Jets from spending another top-64 pick on a receiver. Now, Moore can’t buy more than a few targets per game in an offense that is suddenly stocked with playmakers.

“You want your guys to have that type of confidence in themselves where they know that they can do more for the offense,” Saleh said. “But we are in a really cool situation where Corey Davis deserves the ball, Garrett Wilson deserves the ball, Breece Hall deserves the ball, so does Braxton Berrios, so does Michael Carter, so do the two tight ends, so does Elijah. … It’s just a matter of continuing to work and trust the direction that we’re going.

“We’re young at the skill positions on offense and it’s got a really good chance to grow together. So from his perspective, I just think he’s competitive. He wants more, and that doesn’t make himself. it just, in my mind, makes him a competitor.”

Moore took a page out of teammate Denzel Mims’ book by requesting a trade, but much like Mims — who will take Moore’s spot on the gam-day roster — he’s still on the team and likely isn’t going anywhere — including Denver this weekend.

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