The Darrelle Revis trade has simmered for just over a day now, and what’s become abundantly obvious in this highly unique deal in which there’s no guaranteed money is that risk is shared in some way by all parties involved.
- Revis risks not being able to regain his past form following an injury. Or worse, he risks further injury. Either puts him in danger of being cut, and not seeing nearly all of his $96 million over six years. The lack of guaranteed money — any guaranteed money at all in this deal — is downright shocking.
- The Buccaneers risk Revis outperforming what are in effect a series of single-year deals, and holding out again. With no guaranteed money in his pocket and already one major career injury suffered, Revis is quite familiar with the game of maximizing his value.
- The Jets risk being very bad defensively for the foreseeable future, and watching while possibly one of the best defenders of this generation continues to do Revis things in Tampa.
While all those risks are potentially daunting, it’s the latter fear that we’re concerned with here. With the Jets now the proud owners of two picks in the top 15 and thus much more flexibility, how have the dynamics of the first-round been altered?
As I’ve often written, assuming anything in this draft can lead to great pain. But let’s assume that one of those picks will be used on a cornerback. And if the right name is available, it’ll likely be the first one.
But what name will that be? Or preferably, what combination of names to make a full name will that be? It would be pretty cool to have an NFL player we refer to on a single-name basis. Like Madonna, or Cher.
In the ever-changing environment of this draft, as recently as a few days ago I would have said Dee Milliner is a lock to be the first cornerback off the board, and he’ll be gone long before the Jets at ninth overall. Now D.J. Hayden is rising, and he held a private workout today in Houston. There were many important football men from different teams in attendance, but the only head coach who’s been widely identified so far? Rex Ryan. He’s the head coach of the Jets, you know.
And about Milliner: his recovery from shoulder surgery is progressing slowly, and he may not be ready for the start of training camp. Previously it was thought that he’d generate trade interest on draft day, and maybe even from the Falcons during another leap up, as Milliner getting past the Browns at No. 6 was highly unlikely. Now? Combine Hayden’s rise and his improved health (he suffered a freak injury during a practice last year that nearly ended his life), with Milliner’s injury, and a fall could be forthcoming.
In either scenario, there’s a strong possibility that the Jets are in a position to select the draft’s best corner Thursday. If that trigger is pulled, we’ll see the fall of Barkevious Mingo, the defensive end who’s been widely mocked to the Jets at No. 9. No worries, though, because with the teams immediately behind the Jets when they’re first on the clock (Tennessee, Miami, San Diego) not expected to target pass rushers, Mingo will be there again at No. 13. That means in the first round, the Jets could come away with the top cornerback, and a top three pass rusher.
Then there’s another scenario: the Jets using the ninth overall pick on a guard (Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper) to start opposite Willie Colon, and stripping the Chargers and Titans of their top target. The flexibility provided by owning the 13th overall pick then gives John Idzik et al the chance to wait on possibly Xaiver Rhodes at No. 13.
Finally, here’s maybe the most reaching scenario, but also the most creative. The Jets can take Tavon Austin at No. 13, and he’d provide a much needed versatile weapon for Mark Sanchez or whoever the hell is starting at quarterback next fall. That robs the Rams of their target at No. 16, and in turn it could necessitate the rise of Cordarrelle Patterson.