Cleveland Acquires Talented WR Elijah Moore in Exchange for Jets’ Second-Round Pick
Elijah Moore will be donning a new jersey in the NFL, as he is set to join the Cleveland Browns after the team made a trade with the New York Jets. As part of the exchange, the Browns will receive Moore and the No. 42 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, while sending back the No. 74 overall pick.
The Jets selected Moore in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Ole Miss, but his rookie season was hindered by a quad injury and limited him to just 11 games. Despite this, he still managed to make 43 receptions for 538 yards and five touchdowns.
Last year, New York seemed to lose interest in Denzel Moore, and he even asked for a trade. However, his request was never met, and Moore ended up playing a significant percentage of the team's offensive snaps--second only to Garrett Wilson among receivers.
In the end, the Jets made the decision to let Moore go via free agency. They have assembled a crowded wide receiving room by adding Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman in free agency, in addition to Wilson and Corey Davis who were already on the roster. The move was needed to make way for a potential trade to acquire Packers star QB Aaron Rodgers.
Moore is headed to a great situation with the Browns, who have been seeking another wide receiver to compliment Amari Cooper. Moore will not be overlooked in the Browns' passing attack as he should receive plenty of opportunities with Deshaun Watson under center for his first complete season with the team. Moore has two more years of team control at an inexpensive price of $1.47 million for the 2023 season and $1.8 million for the 2024 season. A great situation for both the team and player.
The Browns made a shrewd decision by obtaining Mecole Hardman, a former second-round pick, instead of trading away a first-round pick to acquire Jerry Jeudy from Denver. Hardman has exhibited his skills in his career and is a more affordable option in terms of salary over the next few years. This move allows Cleveland to have another secondary receiver opposite Cooper without having to part with a first-round pick, while still having the potential of reaping high rewards. Hence, this was a low risk, high reward trade for the Browns.
The New York Jets had a large wide receiver room, leaving Moore as the odd one out. In a noteworthy move, the Jets chose to give away their third-round pick in exchange for Moore and gain the 42nd and 43rd overall picks in this year's draft. This yielded New York a proven commodity while also giving them the wiggle room to take a gamble on the unknown at their No. 42 pick. Although this is a risky move, it is an improvement from their initial plans and gives the Cleveland Browns an edge in the trade.