The night before John Idzik’s introductory press conference, Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports filed a report alleging Jets owner Woody Johnson and the Jets organization are “open” to trading star cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Johnson, according to the report, wants to explore trade options for Revis rather than risk losing him in free agency next season (his contract voids after this season and they are unable to franchise tag him). The report also suggested that Johnson does not have confidence that the team will be able to re-sign Revis – due in large part to their cap situation – while other reports have even suggested that Johnson might be sick of the headache that Revis and his contract demands has created.
If you’re not familiar with much about the team, Revis’ contract, and his history with the Jets front office (and honestly, not sure how you couldn’t be as his highly publicized holdout was documented on HBO’s Hard Knocks), the idea of trading Darrelle Revis probably seems insane. But there is much more to this situation than simply concluding that the Jets are foolish to trade away their best player in franchise history.
We have since learned several things about the Revis trade talks:
- It is very much a real thing and not a rumor. In fact, the Jets (under then general manager Mike Tannenbaum) actually considered trading Revis before his season-ending injury this season, according to Mike Cannizzaro of the New York Post. The Jets are now in what sources around the league are calling the “exploratory” phase — that is, they are asking around, gauging interest and possible compensation for any potential trade. Obviously, no trades can be made until after the new league year begins in early March, but the idea of this happening is not just a rumor. This is something that is absolutely being discussed.
- Not only is there genuine interest from other teams (duh), but the trade market is being described as a “gold rush.” CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman wrote about the trade market for Revis on Friday morning, quoting one NFL GM who likened it to a “gold rush.” Freeman cites New England (not gonna happen), San Fran, Green Bay, Denver, Seattle and Buffalo (also not going to happen, Jets are trading him to a divisional rival) as several of the teams having interest.
- Revis doesn’t just want to “get paid,” he wants a premiere contract — Think Chris Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson money. Also according to Cannizzaro, Revis hopes to surpass Mario Williams deal – a six-year, $96 million contract, the richest contract ever for a defensive player. That’s a lot of money that realistically, the Jets probably cannot offer. They are already between $20-30 million over the cap – depending on what you read – and even with some of the cuts they are expected to make (Scott, Pace, Smith, etc), there will not be sufficient room to pay Revis the kind of money he is asking for.
- The Jets are seeking multiple draft picks as compensation for Revis. Many have speculated that the Jets would like to get at least a first round draft pick in exchange for Revis, but with the value of first round picks at an all-time high – not to mention the fact that Revis is coming off of an injury – the Jets may not get the king’s ransom they are hoping for. Another over-looked factor is the reality that any team that trades for Revis this spring will also inherit his current contract (which expires after the 2013 season) and may also be forced to pay him the premiere contract he is seeking, unless they too, want to see him test the free agent market. It would take a certain kind of team with a certain kind of cap situation to do that.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini outlines the pros and cons of a hypothetical Revis trade in his latest post on ESPN.com. For as much crap as we all give Rich, it’s a really great read, with a good explanation of many of the points I have highlighted here.
My take on this is simple: Darrelle Revis is special and without question one of, if not THE best defensive player in the league. I have always been an avocate for players seeking deals that they deserve and Revis certainly deserves to be handsomely rewarded for his product on the field. But the Jets have a lot of needs and not a lot of cap space at their disposal to fill them, and I can completely understand why trading a player like Revis – who would command a lot of compensation – would be a good move for the future of the team. (For more on my thoughts, check out this week’s edition of Flight 5 Live. We had a in-depth discussion about the Revis trade rumors and recapped the Idzik’s presser from Thursday. You can watch a replay of the episode here).
As is the case with just about everything that happens with this team, Jets fans seem to want to draw a line in the sand about which side of the Revis debate a person is on. I don’t like the idea of seeing Revis in another uniform, but I see why it makes sense for team in the long-term. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Revis or respect him or enjoy watching him play, I just get it.
So, now it’s your turn to weigh in.
Does a Revis trade make sense?
- Yes (83%, 19 Votes)
- No (17%, 4 Votes)
Total Voters: 23
For what it’s worth, Woody Johnson told reporters on Thursday that he had no idea where the report came from, though he did not deny the report. General manager John Idzik, who started his first day in the office on Thursday, apparently made a phone call to Revis on Thursday – just hours after the corner tweeted that he “speechless” about the rumors – explaining the situation. In an interview with Pro Football Talk on Friday, Idzik said Revis “reacted well.” Take that for what you will.
UPDATE: ESPN New York is reporting that there is a “small segment of the organization” interested in trading Cromartie instead of Revis, per a source. If the Jets were to move Cro, it would need to be fast — he is due a roster bonus the 15th of March. A Cromartie trade would clear $8.2 million in cap space.
Fans have been suggesting the team trade Cromartie for months as he is coming off his best year.