According to the New York Daily News, the New York Jets are prepared to trade star cornerback Darrelle Revis. A source added that “he’s gone” and that Gang Green is going to rebuild.
If the reports are true, it only adds fire to the speculation that the Jets want no part of Revis Island moving forward. The San Francisco 49ers have been rumored to covet the sixth-year corner, but the latest stories indicate that they are not interested.
The 49ers are already one of the favorites to compete in Super Bowl XLVIII. On paper, adding Revis to the roster should only strengthen their defense. While it makes sense to fill a need at corner, the price of acquiring Revis will be steep. It’s true that San Francisco has an abundance of draft picks to give away, but there are serious questions regarding his knee, and his desire for a long-term contract.
Revis, who is rehabbing from a torn ACL, is the NFL’s best cornerback when healthy. However, it’s not a lock that he will be the same player prior to the injury. Adrian Peterson defied the odds last season and had a banner campaign, despite suffering the same injury. But Peterson’s return to form should not be the new standard – everyone’s recovery rate is different.
Aside from the health concern, Revis wants to be the highest-paid defensive player in the league. Any team who is willing to sign him to a blockbuster deal would be taking a huge financial gamble. In the 49ers’ case, they’d be better off using their salary and cap space to bring in multiple lesser-priced free agents. The team also has to consider signing Colin Kaepernick and Aldon Smith to new deals.
San Francisco made it to the Super Bowl last season with Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown and Chris Culliver at cornerback. Revis would certainly bolster the group as a whole, but he is not a must-have piece to the puzzle. Even though Rogers took a step back last season, he’s still solid. On the other end, Brown and Culliver are beginning to develop into quality players.
The 49ers should look at some corners in free agency or in the 2013 NFL Draft, but their current group remains serviceable. If anything, general manager Trent Baalke should entertain the thought of obtaining another pass rusher. Giving the opposing quarterback one less second to throw would inherently enhance the play of the secondary.
It’s highly unlikely that the 49ers will use all 15 draft picks. Instead, they can use some of those picks to trade for a top-flight receiver like Percy Harvin or an established veteran. The remaining selections could then be used for filling needs, or adding depth.
The Red and Gold have had two very successful seasons by relying on their homegrown players. Looking at the recent trend of Super Bowl winners, those organizations reached success through the draft and added some complementary free-agent pieces along the way. The 49ers must stick to that formula.
What’s the old saying? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
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