The Kansas City Chiefs lost wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to the New England Patriots, and they’re still expected to lose free agent Mecole Hardman as well. 2022 fan favorite Justin Watson also remains unsigned at this time.
That leaves Patrick Mahomes II with a somewhat unreliable WR room of Marquez Valdes-Scantling (inconsistent last season), Kadarius Toney (injury history), Skyy Moore (still developing), and an unproven group of youngsters and journeymen including Justyn Ross, Cornell Powell, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, John Ross and RB hybrid Jerrion Ealy.
Rumors have KC targeting veterans like DeAndre Hopkins and Odell Beckham Jr., but what about a more affordable option with a ton of potential? ESPN NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky made the public suggestion on Twitter, voicing that the Chiefs “should be calling [the New York] Jets about Elijah Moore.”
Heading into year three of his rookie contract, Moore has cap hits under $3 million the next two seasons according to Over the Cap — at $2.43 million in 2023 and $2.84 million in 2024.
Similar to Kadarius Toney, Jets’ Elijah Moore Could Be Buy-Low WR for Chiefs via Trade
The Jets denied Moore’s midseason trade request in 2022, but different media members covering the team still believe that the recent second-round pick is a candidate to be moved this spring or summer.
During a March 20 article on The Athletic, NYJ beat reporter Zack Rosenblatt wrote that “if Beckham is [signed by the Jets], it might be safe to predict that Moore is on the way out.” He also noted that “there is some real smoke” surrounding “OBJ” to Gang Green.
Let’s say Beckham prices himself out of Kansas City’s radar and a team like the Jets ends up signing him, perhaps general manager Brett Veach pivots to plan B — and Moore would make a pretty solid secondary option.
The Ole Miss product known for his speed and route-running ability averaged just under 50 yards per game as a rookie before putting together a terrible sophomore season in 2022. Part of that was due to the quarterback play of Zach Wilson and friends, but there was also some reported beef between Moore and former Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
Like the Toney trade last year, it’s possible the soon-to-be 23-year-old just needs Andy Reid and Mahomes to straighten him out a bit. After all, the talent is certainly there. Moore closed out his rookie campaign with six total touchdowns over a seven-game stretch before suffering a season-ending injury.
Is Jets WR Elijah Moore Too Similar to Chiefs’ Skyy Moore & Kadarius Toney?
At 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, it is fair to wonder if Elijah Moore is too similar to Skyy Moore or another slot threat like Toney. Smith-Schuster lined up inside the slot too, but he played a much different role in this offense.
The bigger-bodied wideout was a complement to Travis Kelce, but he also helped as a blocker in the run game. Elijah Moore is not that.
He’s a deep-ball home run threat that has also displayed a shiftiness in the slot. If anything, he’d be more akin to Hardman, or some combination of him and Skyy Moore.
We’ve seen Coach Reid switch up his offense before depending on his current group of weapons, so maybe the market forces the Chiefs to go smaller at wide receiver in 2023? It’s certainly possible, but it also stands to reason that KC is looking for a different style of wideout as they shop around on Hopkins and Beckham.
Either way, this is a solid backup plan to keep in mind if all else fails at WR this spring.