According to Jason LaConfora of CBSSports, the New York Jets are going to explore trading superstar cornerback Darrelle Revis. This past season has been tough on Jets’ fans and little was tougher to overcome than the mid-season torn ACL suffered by their best player. That injury could have a much greater impact as the Jets appear to be willing to part with their superstar performer as he enters the final season of his current contract. Of course, even after Adrian Peterson‘s miraculous recovery from his knee injury last year, the presumption that Revis will be fully healthy for training camp next year is just that, a presumption. Not a certainty.
With the Jets looking to rebuild a roster that needs almost a complete overhaul, with very little wiggle-room underneath the salary cap, trading Revis is a viable option. Despite the serious nature of his injury and the fact that he has only one year remaining on his contract, the Jets should still be able to get huge value for a player who is still in his prime and clearly the best cornerback in the NFL. However, to counter the value they would receive in physical rewards, trading Revis would deflate the whole franchise and it’s fanbase.
Things got so bad last season that their unofficial mascot, Fireman Ed, left late in the season because of the embarrassment. With Mark Sanchez still tied down to a huge contract, an old, slow defense far from where it wants to be and an offense that needs to be rebuilt in ethos and talent, the Jets have very little to feel optimistic about.
Typically, rebuilding processes begin when a head coach or quarterback is let go. For the Jets, neither of those things have happened nor are they likely to happen prior to the beginning of next season. Should they trade Revis however, that would signal that the team is completely thinking for the long-term at the expense of their short-term goals. Holding onto Revis doesn’t make them a viable competitor for the playoffs, but it does show a signal of their intent.
The value of a high quality cornerback in today’s NFL is huge. Because it is a passing league, the value of a true shutdown cornerback can’t be overstated. Other shutdown cornerbacks exist currently, but none carry the intimidating reputation of Revis. The 27-year-old will require a huge contract extension if he proves his health this season, but if he returns to the level that he has played at the past few years, then he will be worth every cent of that deal. Rex Ryan essentially built his defense on Revis’ ability to shut down the opposition’s best receiver without any help at all. While the Jets were still able to sustain some level of success without him last year, they were limited in what they could do even with Antonio Cromartie having an all-pro caliber season.
It may seem amazing to say, but the Jets could expect two first round picks at least for Revis. Most likely more presuming a market develops competition. It may sound like a lot for a cornerback, no matter how good he is, but considering Revis’ suitors will most likely be competitive teams, those picks will likely be playoff level first rounders. Two first round picks for teams such as the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints or San Francisco 49ers likely wouldn’t come before 20th overall in either year. That’s not a big price for Revis, while it would be a good return for the Jets to help their rebuilding process. If a competitive market developed between those teams trying to acquire him, then the package could ultimately include an extra second, third or fourth pick also.
It may be the unpopular move amongst Jets’ fans, but there are definitely two sides to the idea of trading the best cornerback in the NFL.