A Darrelle Revis for Percy Harvin Trade Makes Sense for Everyone

By Dan Pizzuta
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

As the New York Jets stay quiet on the Darrelle Revis front, speculation of a trade becoming imminent grows.

While doing to some research looking into past trades for cornerbacks to see what the Jets could possibly get from Revis, the results do not come out in the Jets’ favor in terms of what they are rumored to be asking for in return. Since 2004, no draft pick higher than a second-rounder has been exchanged for a cornerback and the Jets would presumably ask for a first-round pick in any deal for Revis.

Here is a table of the 10 most significant cornerback trades—and their returns—in the NFL since 2004.

Information from Spotrac.com was used for this table

No first-round pick has changed hands for a cornerback and with the rookie scale of the new CBA, it seems even less likely now for any team to part with what could become a cheap asset to trade for Revis.

If the Jets can’t get the draft pick compensation they’re looking for, why not look into trading Revis for another player, like the Champ Bailey for Clinton Portis deal?

Enter Percy Harvin.

The Minnesota Vikings have recently said they have no intentions of trading Harvin, but there were rumors of that possibility in the beginning of the offseason.

Both the Vikings and Jets are in similar situations with these two players. Both are entering the last year of their current contracts and both want a significant raise in their next contracts.

So why does this trade make so much sense for each team?

According to Football Outsiders’ DVOA, while Minnesota ranked seventh in rush defense, they ranked 24th in the league in pass defense in 2012 and were worst in the league against an opponent’s No. 2 receiver. A trade for Revis allows 35-year-old Antoine Winfield to cover the No. 2 receiver while the younger Chris Cook and A.J. Jefferson can develop in the slot.

The Vikings have some future cap room and need to fill the hole in their secondary. If there were any division where Revis would be worth quarterback-type money, wouldn’t it be one where he would play against Jay Cutler and Brandon MarshallMatthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson and Aaron Rodgers and whoever Rodgers is deciding to throw to at the moment?

Minnesota might be in the best position to take the gamble on Revis.

On offense, the Vikings have a robot in Adrian Peterson, an emerging young tight end in Kyle Rudolph and their pick in the first round is No. 23, right around where West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin is projected to be taken, which is great especially with Minnesota’s recent ability to find and develop talent through the draft. Just look at their draft classes since 2009.

Harvin would in turn fill the biggest need in the NFL outside of an Arizona quarterback as an offensive playmaker for the Jets. His 73 percent catch rate, according to Football Outsiders, and his ability to start plays in the backfield could reduce the pressure on Mark Sanchez. Hey, it’s worked for Christian Ponder.

Harvin’s dynamic playmaking ability should also help the production of the other Jets receivers, another thing that is desperately needed. Harvin totaled a higher DYAR—total value for the whole season—than any Jets receiver, despite only playing in nine games.

The loss of Revis wouldn’t be too devastating for the Jets defense. Without Revis last season, the Jets still ranked ninth in team defense, tenth against the pass and fifth against an opponent’s No. 1 receiver—all according to DVOA.

The Jets would also save money for this season. Trading Revis for Harvin would lower the cap hit from Revis’ $9 million to just above $4 million for Harvin. He does want a new deal with a threat of a holdout, but the Jets could afford a future deal with Harvin while keeping his cap hit low for this coming season. Harvin will also command much less per year than Revis would on a new contract while also keeping the option open on the franchise tag, something that’s not possible for Revis.

As currently constructed, giving the 24-year-old Harvin a long term deal for his offensive output makes more sense for the Jets than paying Revis. The Vikings are one of the rare teams where the opposite can be argued.

This trade seems to make both teams better and makes sense for both sides. It probably makes too much sense, which could be why it won’t happen.



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