Elijah Moore is no longer a New York Jet.
Less than two years after the franchise believed that they had drafted a steal near the start of round two, they decided to trade Moore to the Cleveland Browns — for reasons most likely stemming from his off-the-field dramatics during the 2022 season.
By now, most Jets fans know the story of Moore and former offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur that led to a deteriorating relationship between all parties involved. Moore didn’t like the way he was being utilized in the offense, LaFleur tried the tough love approach, then there was the “blow up” at practice and the eventual trade request. The question is: Do we know the full story?
After the trade, Jets running back and 2021 draftmate Michael Carter took to Twitter to let fans know that they didn’t. “Proud of my dawg E moore,” he voiced, “stood all the way on 10, not everyone knows the whole story. it’s really nun of y’all business anyway. Everyone bout to see what we been knowinn. 8 is elite.”
Carter was also among the group of NYJ players that appeared publicly surprised and upset after Moore was traded. That group included WR Garrett Wilson and OT Mekhi Becton as well.
Elijah Moore Leaves New York Gracefully, Calls Playing for Jets ‘Honor of a Lifetime’
There may have been a lot of unnecessary drama while Moore was on the Jets, but in leaving, the wide receiver decided to take the high road.
“I want to start by thanking God for the blessings he has bestowed upon me and my family,” Moore posted on social media. “Thank you to the Jets organization for taking a chance on me. This opportunity has meant the world to me and will never be forgotten.”
He continued: “Jets Nation. Every Sunday was the honor of a lifetime. New York will always hold a special place in my heart.”
The polarizing talent also addressed his teammates specifically, stating: “To my teammates. What’s understood doesn’t have to be explained. Came in as teammates and leaving as family. I’ll miss suiting up with you each week. The memories and brotherhood will last a lifetime. Proud of all you boys. Thank you. Go Crazy.”
You can find more information on Moore’s message upon his departure here.
Elijah Moore-Jets Story Ends With ‘What If’ Moment
It’s not lost on me that a large contingent of Jets fans will never forget Moore’s trade request during a winning streak. Having said that, the why behind it will keep many of his supporters up late at night — especially if the Ole Miss product breaks out in Cleveland.
How did the relationship between Moore and the organization get so bad, truly? What is the “whole story” that Carter is alluding to? Was this trade avoidable, and at what point did it become unavoidable?
Unfortunately, we may never know the answers to these questions. Instead, we must collectively move on with a new season on the horizon in fall of 2023.
As the “Not For Long” NFL often teaches us, players come and go, and the circumstances don’t always feel fair or just whether an injury occurs, or a general manager makes an unpopular decision. With Moore, he wanted to be traded and he got his wish.
But for those that truly believed in the talent that they witnessed when the youngster first burst onto the scene in 2021, there will always be that feeling of being robbed — which stems from the words “what if.”