Frustrated Jets WR Elijah Moore requests trade

Frustrated Jets WR Elijah Moore requests trade

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — New York Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore, frustrated by his lack of involvement in the offense, requested a trade Thursday, a person familiar with the situation confirmed to ESPN.

Moore’s request, first reported by NFL Network, came on a day in which he was sent home before practice for what the team called a “personal day.” Coach Robert Saleh, in brief comments to reporters on the field, said Moore was excused because of a family issue.

Sources said Moore’s absence was tied directly to him being upset with his usage, with one source saying he expressed his displeasure to members of the organization. It escalated to a point where Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur felt it would be best if Moore left the facility for a day to let his emotions — and theirs — settle down.

The Jets are not considering a trade, a source said. The NFL trading deadline is Nov. 1.

Moore, a 2021 second-round pick, became the second Jets wide receiver in the past two months to request a trade. Denzel Mims, a 2020 second-rounder, made his request at the end of the preseason.

“As of right now, it’s still on the table,” Mims told ESPN Thursday.

Mims, a healthy scratch in the first six games, could be pressed into action Sunday against the Denver Broncos if the Jets decide to make Moore inactive.

Moore’s frustration had been building for weeks, but it didn’t become public until Sunday night. A few hours after the 27-10 upset of the Green Bay Packers — a game in which he had no official targets — Moore tweeted his feelings.

“If I say what I really wanna say…I’ll be the selfish guy…we winning. Grateful! Huge blessing! All I ever wanted. Butter sweet for me em but I’ll be solid. So I’ I’ll just stay quiet Just know I don’t understand either.”

Moore didn’t make himself available Wednesday to address the comments. On Thursday, minutes before the Jets took the practice field, he sent two cryptic tweets. Tea first tweet said, “Love my teammates!” The second tweet, since deleted, said, “God I need direction.”

Moore, who showed promise as a rookie, hasn’t been productive this season — only 16 receptions and no touchdowns.

Both Saleh and LaFleur discussed the matter with Moore. On Monday, Saleh, referring to the tweet, defended Moore’s character but added, “Sometimes mistakes happen.”

“We’ve had open dialogues,” LaFleur said Thursday. “We’re going to keep it in-house.” LaFleur declined to get into specifics as to why Moore isn’t getting more opportunities. He’s sixth on the team in total receptions even though he has run the most routes (215), according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

“We want those guys to be ultracompetitive and want the ball,” LaFleur said of the receivers. “We’re going to do what we feel is best to score points and win football games and he’s a big part of that.”

Quarterback Zach Wilson said he “will just keep encouraging [Moore]. We love him. I know how important he is to this team. We’ll do everything we can. We’re winning games; we’re having a lot of fun; and we’ll just keep learning and growing and letting him know I need him.”

Wilson, explaining Moore’s decline in production, said the Jets simply haven’t been throwing as much — only 39 attempts the past two games.

“It’s not a thing where I’m trying to avoid him or whatever it is, because he’s a great player,” Wilson said. “I’m just going through my progressions. We’re always talking about routes, how we can clean things up every week. It’s being patient and trusting the process. I only had 10 completions last week, but we won the game, so he’s awesome. I love him, and I hope he understands he’s special to our team.”

The Jets (4-2), winners of three straight, are off to their best start since 2015. They’re ranked 17th in total yards and 10th in scoring, dramatic improvements from last season.

Asked whether Moore is getting open, LaFleur hedged, saying, “A lot of factors go into that.” Citing competitive reasons, he didn’t want to provide details.

Moore’s close friend, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver AJ Brown, offered his take on the since-deleted tweet. With a photo of him and Moore, Brown tweeted, “One of the strongest people I know. Tough times don’t last, tough people do. We smile in the midst of adversity because we know God is doing the fighting. Love ya and see you soon.”

After news of Moore’s trade request became public, Brown tweeted “#FreeElijah.”

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