Carolina Panthers decision to trade D.J. Moore
Thursday night's game will be the first time wide receiver D.J. Moore gets the chance to make his old employers pay. The former first-round pick was sacrificed in the trade that sent the Carolina Panthers to No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft for quarterback Bryce Young, which saw the player get called with the news just as he was moving house.
This stung at the time and one could forgive Moore for harboring some resentment. Carolina's passing attack is struggling considerably without him aside from Adam Thielen, but Frank Reich stated via USA Today Sports that Young was worth the risk as part of their aggressive offseason approach.
"Truly one of those guys who can do it all. Everyone knows he’s the vertical threat. But he’s a skilled route runner, he can make the plays deep, he can make the underneath stuff, crossing route—there’s nothing he can’t do. So, really great player. Knew he was a great player. But when you find your quarterback, gotta go all in. And you can’t look back. And those are really hard decisions. And especially what makes it harder is, even though I didn’t know him, I know that it’d be even harder for everyone else here that did know him. But when you find a quarterback that you want, you have to be willing to make that deal."- Frank Reich via USA Today Sports
It's all part of the business. Moore will have an extra sense of incentive going up versus the team that drafted him No. 24 overall in 2018, with the prospect of Donte Jackson covering him in the absence of C.J. Henderson filling most fans with complete dread.