Was this former Jet really not wanted? Dan Leberfeld

It wasn’t supposed to end this way.

On March 22, the Jets traded wide receiver Elijah Moore and a 2023 third-round pick to Cleveland for a 2023 second-round pick.

When the Jets picked Moore in the second round of the 2021 draft, many people, including the Jets, thought it was a potential steal to select him at 34.

“We would have taken this guy in the first round, (so) the ability to get him at 34 is awesome for us,” said Jets assistant GM Rex Hogan after the 2021 draft.

And then less than two years later, he was traded. What happened?

According to Moore, he wasn’t wanted by the Jets, and now he feels wanted in Cleveland.

“It feels good to be wanted, and it’s going to make any player, any human, go harder,” Moore said this week at Browns OTAs. “When you feel like that and you feel like you’re around people who want you to be here, so I’m going to give it all I got every single day.”

How was Moore not wanted by the Jets?

He had a solid Jets rookie year with 43 catches and 5 TDs. Then he had 16 catches in the first five games of the 2022 season. However, in a Jets win over Green Bay on October 16, 2022, Moore had no catches. After the game, ESPN’s Rich Cimini, who also works on the Jets’ SNY pre-game show, tweeted that Moore had no catches, and the player was triggered, and tweeted out his frustration with his role. Then later that week, according to The Athletic’s Zach Rosenblatt, Moore exploded at practice and told the team’s former OC Mike LaFleur to “go f— yourself” and “you suck.”

Jets coach Robert Saleh sent Moore home after the practice explosion and Moore requested a trade.

His wish was granted after the season.

Browns QB Deshaun Watson recently called Moore’s situation with the Jets “toxic.”

Perhaps, but some would argue Moore made it “toxic” not the Jets.

And some would argue it was Moore who didn’t want the Jets, more than they didn’t want him.

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