If you listened to general manager John Idzik and coach Rex Ryan tap dance around the subject on Thursday, you'd know. Given the chance to end speculation by just saying, "no," they did just enough bobbing and weaving to make you think there's something to the idea.
"We recognize Darrelle's a great player," said Ryan, "and I would say, 'Could there be a trade? Yeah, anybody could be traded.' But do I expect there to be a trade for Darrelle Revis? No. But that doesn't mean something couldn't come up."
|More on Jets|
That's not what I'd call slamming the door on the subject and for good reason: Because the Jets should consider the idea, and I'll tell you why.
First of all, the guy wants top dollar in a renegotiated contract, which means $15 million or $16 million a year. That's OK if your name is Matt Stafford or Matt Ryan -- but not Darrelle Revis. Cornerbacks don't make that kind of money. An elite pass rusher? It happened with Mario Williams -- but as an unrestricted free agent -- and look how that turned out. An elite quarterback? Naturally. But an elite cornerback? Nope.
Second, the Jets have a zillion cap concerns that they've begun to address with the releases of veteran players. They don't have a guard, a tight end or a running back of consequence under contract for next year, nor do they have either of their starting safeties signed.
Third, they were 6-10 last season without Revis and wide receiver Santonio Holmes, their best player on offense. They were 8-8 the year before. So they're only two games worse without their best defensive player and offensive players? By comparison, Indianapolis went from 10-6 in 2010 with Peyton Manning to 2-14 a year later without him.
Fourth, name the one club that last year did not allow a 100-yard receiver. It was the New York Jets, and they got there without Revis. Yes, he's a terrific player, but, no, he's not indispensible.
Plus, look what happened to Dallas a year ago, when it shelled out $50 million for the best free-agent cornerback on the market, Brandon Carr. Nothing. The Cowboys went from an 8-8 team in 2011 to an 8-8 team one year later.
The question, of course, is what Revis could command in a deal, especially coming off a serious knee injury. Conventional wisdom says it still could be a first-round draft pick ... and maybe then some. Except, talking to a handful of league sources at this year's scouting combine, there's a feeling that might be a stretch; that Revis is overvalued and might not be worthy of a first-round pick in return.
If that's the case, the Jets are in a pickle.
Revis is under contract for another season, then becomes an unrestricted free agent. As part of his contract, if he doesn't hold out, the Jets can't protect him as their 2014 franchise player -- which means he walks. That's a big deal for a couple of reasons: 1) They lose a premier player, and 2) According to reports, they'd get hit with $9 million in dead money in 2014 if he leaves as a free agent. So they either pay the guy now or have him walk in a year.
We already demonstrated why they shouldn't make him the league's highest-paid defender. So then what? Well, then you test his trade value. And while the Jets say they're not interested, they should be.
"What we want is a good end result," Idzik said. "What's good for Darrelle is good for the New York Jets."
He wants money the Jets can't afford, and they're nowhere close to a playoff team, even with him. So see what's out there. And if there's a deal that appeals to them, satisfy Revis with a trade and start rebuilding for the future with the draft picks that you gain in return.
Simple, huh? Not exactly. While Revis might find the money that he wants elsewhere, it's going to be hard for anyone to pay $15 million or $16 million a year for a cornerback -- which makes a trade tricky. But that doesn't mean the Jets shouldn't consider one. They should. And listening to them Thursday, it sounds as if they know it.