The Browns made getting Deshaun Watson help a priority, but landed on a surprise trade at wide receiver to do so, getting Elijah Moore from the Jets.
After a bevy of free agency moves, most of which have been extremely well received, it became clear in recent days that the next order of business for the Cleveland Browns was adding a wide receiver to improve the situation around quarterback Deshaun Watson. So they looked to a place with a growing surplus at the position in the New York Jets.
They made a deal.
As reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport, the Browns have traded for wide receiver Elijah Moore in a deal that involves a draft pick going each way in the deal as well.
So is this the move the Browns needed? Did the Jets make a good deal? We’re handing out NFL trade grades for the deal after we dive into the details.
Elijah Moore trade details: Browns swap 2023 picks with Jets for WR
Here’s a look at the trade details and what each team is sending to the other in this trade.
Essentially, the cost of getting Moore in the building for the Browns was just swapping their second-round pick for a third-round pick. That’s not a huge price to only move down the board 32 picks. However, there is some downside to that, which we’ll get into as we hand out NFL trade grades for each team.
NFL Trade Grades: Browns boost WR corps with Elijah Moore in major way
It was abundantly clear that Cleveland saw it necessary to add a true No. 2 wide receiver alongside Amari Cooper — who the team traded for last offseason — as they had reportedly been sniffing around the likes of Jerry Jeudy, DeAndre Hopkins and even free agent Odell Beckham Jr. for an unlikely reunion.
Getting Moore is a definite win, especially at a relatively minimal cost. Even more important as they get Watson more weapons is to work around the quarterback’s monster contract, which is something that Moore still fits into extremely well. Still on his rookie contract, he’s owed under $4 million over the next two seasons combined, per ESPN’s Field Yates.
The one gripe for Cleveland, though, is the lack of draft capital this leaves them with. Houston has their first-rounder from the Watson trade, so now the Browns won’t pick until the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft. They’ve been aggressive filling holes in free agency and now via trade, which helps ease that blow, but it’s still a consideration when handing out this grade.
Browns grade: B+
NFL Trade Grades: Jets land another second-rounder for Elijah Moore
For the Jets, this trade came almost immediately after New York signed Mecole Hardman. That was surely the impetus in this deal getting done, but it’s also a nice use of assets to move up in the draft for a player who was becoming a bit irrelevant in the scope of the Jets offense with Garrett Wilson, Hardman and Allen Lazard likely comprising the core. It’s not great, but it’s nothing to scoff at.
What actually makes me more in favor of this is how it could help the Jets in their ultimate goal this season, which is of course getting Aaron Rodgers from the Packers.
It’s been clear that New York is hesitant to give up a first-round pick (No. 13) this year for Rodgers while Green Bay would like to get that back in a trade. Now the Jets have the No. 42 and 43 picks in the second round, which the draft trade value chart equates to roughly the 17th overall pick. That could now be enough to get the Packers to budge on this deal while still retaining their own first-rounder.
All told, the long-term effects of this trade could be getting Rodgers, which is what the team’s primary focus for 2023 has become.
Jets grade: A-