- Longtime Jets beat writer for New York Daily News
- Syracuse University graduate
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Disgruntled New York Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore, who requested a trade Thursday after being sent home following a blow-up with a coach, returned to the team’s facility Friday but will be inactive Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
“To ask him to play a football game with where he is from a mental standpoint wouldn’t be fair to him, in my opinion,” coach Robert Saleh told reporters. “But that’s strictly my decision.”
Saleh said the Jets won’t grant Moore’s trade request, saying they hope to work out their differences once the second-year receiver rejoins the team. He was excused from meetings and practice Friday and won’t make the trip to Denver. He will remain in New Jersey, working out with the conditioning staff as if he were injured.
“It’s part of what we deal with every day,” Saleh said. “We’ve had our discussions with Elijah. Trading him is not an option. We’ll just continue working with him.”
The NFL trading deadline is Nov. 1.
Saleh, who said Thursday that Moore was given a personal day to deal with a family matter, confirmed reports that Moore was told to leave the facility before practice due to a disagreement with the coaches.
A source told ESPN that it was a heated exchange with offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
“Like everything, it gets to a boiling point,” Saleh said Friday. “He showed displeasure. It was one of those deals where it was just best for him to just relax, calm down, take a day, catch your breath and we’ll reconvene at another time.”
The controversy comes at an odd time because the Jets (4-2), winners of three straight, have their best start since 2015. But Moore, a 2021 second-round pick who showed promise as a rookie, is upset because of his usage. An every-down player, he’s sixth on the team in receptions (16) and fifth in targets (28).
Moore went public with his feeling last Sunday after the Jets upset the Green Bay Packers — a game in which he had no official targets. He tweeted, “I don’t understand” why he wasn’t a bigger part of the offense.
Referring to the tweet, Saleh issued a mild public rebuke on Monday, saying “mistakes happen.” He defended Moore’s character, and did so again Friday, downplaying the repercussions of the trade request and the perception that Moore is a selfish player.
Saleh chalked it up to Moore’s competitiveness, calling it an “admirable” trait.
“He wants more,” Saleh said. “That doesn’t make him selfish. In my mind, it makes him a competitor.”
To replace Moore on Sunday, the Jets will activate wide receiver Denzel Mims for the first time. Mims, a 2020 second-round pick who requested a trade in the preseason, was a healthy scratch for the first six games. Mims and Jeff Smith likely will share Moore’s reps in the game.
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