Forgive me if I’m a little hesitant with the ol’ trigger finger on the prediction pistol right now. Being bold ended in looking foolish last night/this morning, to which I mostly responded with a meh.
But I’ll still say this: the chances of Darrelle Revis getting traded this offseason are slim, at least for now.
Last night Jason La Canfora shared his gospel with us, writing that new Jets general manager John Idzik will “explore options” to move Revis, who’s the best cornerback in the league, and one of the best defensive players overall (some would say the best). I think we all understand that the Jets are about to embark on a rebuild, and they’ll likely suck for a few seasons. At minimum that could involve not retaining the services of tight end Dustin Keller and running back Shonn Greene this offseason, both of whom are free agents. It’ll also result in the jettisoning of Tim Tebow, who’s completely irrelevant and useless on any NFL roster (*ducks*).
But although the desire to retain value for a player of Revis’ caliber who’s at the top of his position and will be a free agent a year from now is more than understandable (indeed, it’s a rare display of logic from a new management regime), actually executing said deal will be difficult, if not impossible.
Revis is recovering from a torn ACL. Again, a healthy Revis is the best player at his position, and a shutdown corner during a passing era when such a player is heavily coveted. However, paying a premium for him like the first-round asking price is something an executive who wants to become a fan would do. It’s early in the draft season, and there’s plenty of time for stocks to rise and fall, and then rise and fall again. But if you’re a general manager with a need at cornerback, you’d be much wiser to use that first-round pick on this year’s Morris Claiborne or Stephon Gilmore — a young CB who will cost significantly less, and hasn’t sustained a massive injury — than to put all of your money-colored eggs in the at least slightly decayed Revis basket.
Then there’s the matter of Rex Ryan. After La Canfora’s report last night, ProFootballTalk followed up with a report which essentially amounts to that horridly annoying Obvious Guy pop up from Blind Date (admit it, you’ve watched a marathon of that filth) saying an obvious thing. Mike Florio reported that Ryan has no desire to trade Revis, and that goes beyond the head coach not wanting to lose his best defensive player. Ryan surely knows that if Revis leaves, his departure will soon follow after the end of next season, or even earlier. He would be the lamest duck.
Then the next domino fell, in which Jets owner Woody Johnson told the New York Daily News that his team is willing to “explore any and all avenues” to improve. Feel that? It’s so soft and cushy. Slightly tweaked broad language to alter public perception feels so good. During a presser today Johnson also aimed his verbal gun at La Canfora, saying he has no idea where his report came from. Wheeeeee.
Still, even if it seems slim as we sit here now in late January, the possibility that Revis could be dealt will linger and grow by mid-April, a glorious time of sunshine, optimism, and franchise-crippling deals (hi, Donovan McNabb). And despite his knee injury and the uncertainty surrounding it, speculation will also grow if it becomes evident that Revis will again be aggressive in his pursuit of a payday just like he was in the summer of 2010 when he missed training camp due to a holdout. Such a payday isn’t appealing to a team that’s dismantling itself down to its very foundation, and the Jets could be highly hesitant to extend Revis’ deal by giving him all of the dollars.
One thing that’s certain is that from a fantasy perspective, getting Revis out of the AFC East is fun. Tom Brady is clearly among those residing in the top tier of fantasy quarterbacks, and not seeing Revis twice every season would raise his already elite numbers. Brandon Lloyd would also have a chance to be a little less useless.