With New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis reportedly on the trading block, a lot of speculation has been put into which teams would be willing to trade for the star. One of the teams people are discussing is the New England Patriots.
But would it be worthwhile for the Patriots?
Certainly Revis would be a welcome addition to the Patriots defensive backfield. The Patriots have been trying to rebuild that secondary since 2009 but have had trouble mainly due to injuries. They used draft picks on Patrick Chung and Ras-I Dowling who looked good when healthy but have been injured for most of their young careers.
Late in 2012 the Patriots did seem to be making progress. When rookie Alfonzo Dennard got healthy he looked real strong and it seems as though he can be trusted. The biggest move for the Patriots was a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers which brought back Aqib Talib. With Dennard on one side and Talib on the other, the Patriots made a brazen move sending Pro Bowl cornerback Devin McCourty to safety alongside Steve Gregory. The plan worked perfectly, as all four played at a very high level.
Unfortunately, the secondary took some steps back in the postseason. Over the last few weeks of the regular season it looked as though the defensive backfield in New England was finally figured out but they were exposed especially in the AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens. In that game it was clear there is still some work to be done.
If the Patriots did trade for Revis a likely candidate would be Wes Welker. The Patriots spent the entire 2012 offseason negotiating with Welker and rumors were floating that they were close to a deal. But after Welker signed his franchise tender, he revealed that actually negotiations were not close.
So the question as it pertains to Revis is would a trade for Welker be worth it? The answer depends on how the Patriots are willing to negotiate. While the Patriots have had great success in their passing game through tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, they haven’t been as lucky with receivers. While Welker has continued to play at a Pro Bowl level, the team has not been able to replace Randy Moss who was traded during the 2010 season.
If the Patriots are convinced they can’t come to a deal with Welker then a trade for Revis would be excellent. You’d be losing a Pro Bowl receiver who you’d likely be losing anyway and gaining an All-Pro at a position where they’ve struggled. The addition would allow for McCourty to focus on safety full time and that would make a feared secondary.
However, the Patriots should make every effort to keep Welker. Welker likely doesn’t want to leave New England as that’s where he’s had all of his success. Plus, while he’s a favorite target of Tom Brady, there’s no evidence that would continue in New York. Welker has been the only consistent receiver the Patriots have had since Moss and that hasn’t gone unnoticed.
If they can’t come to an agreement with Welker, a trade with the Jets for Revis would help the team a lot.