The league’s annual meetings always give the second wave of free agency a swift kick in the rear. With Jake Long off the market as of late last night, Day 6 of free agency saw one of the final major, top tier names claimed. Ed Reed is the last commodity in that category, and then there’s all the veteran defensive ends. Fax machines, man. They still suck.
But before we keep gleefully exploring every rumor and piece of aimless hearsay as the second week of free agency starts, let’s check in on a certain Jet who likely won’t be a Jet for much longer.
No, go away Tim Tebow. You’re irrelevant.
The matter at hand is Darrelle Revis, of course. To review in the simplest possible terms for the 92nd time: Revis wants to get paid, and the Jets don’t want to pay him because their problems are far too widespread as they begin a rebuild. Or at least that’s been the no-brainer belief for a very long time, and it’s been pieced together through so many reports from so many sources. Anyone who’s associated with the Jets has been pretty guarded with their words RE: Revis, except if you talk to Rex Ryan, who talks for sport.
That ended last night when various reporter men talked to Jets owner Woody Johnson as he arrived in Arizona for the annual league meetings, and the gist of his response to a Revis trade was (wait for it): “it depends“.
He said that to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News,
He remained noncommittal to whether Revis would be on his team in 2013.
“It depends,” Johnson said. “We’d like to have him on the team. But we’re trying to always make the team better. He’s on the team right now.”
As so often happens in our little media bubble, those two words have been packaged and re-packaged as Johnson’s primary comment on the situation (hey, see that sweet headline?). And rightfully so, to an extent. While he elaborates with a standard, generic line after saying “it depends,” by itself the fact that the owner of the team that employs the league’s best cornerback said those words is notable. It’s the strongest indication yet that a trade is forthcoming (with the Bucs?), and possibly during the Arizona meetings.
But you can take your neat little sound bite, because this quote is giving off some pretty thick smoke too after Mehta asked Johnson if a championship team can be built around anyone other than a quarterback.
“No. I think you need to look at the entire 53 (man roster). To build a team, if you don’t look at the whole 53, you’re not going to make it. It starts with the quarterback. You got to get your quarterback going… and then you have to work on the 53. Everybody has to add. It’s not one player.”
It can be argued that Revis contributes as much towards stopping passes as a quarterback does to executing them. The problem for the Jets both now and for the foreseeable future is an abundance of the former between Revis and Antonio Cromartie, and a severe lack of the latter, leading to the doubt that a team sinking significant cash into a defender while floundering at quarterback can win regularly, and win championships.