After taking a day to digest the emotions that come with trading a once in a life time talent like Darrelle Revis I feel that I am now prepared to adequately break down the blockbuster trade that took place yesterday between the Jets and the Bucs. My immediate reaction to the trade was disappointment, in as much as the Jets weren’t going to be getting a third pick in return for the All-Pro Cornerback. This pick would have come in handy because it would have meant that the Jets would likely have been able to still trade away a 5th rounder to the Saints in return for Chris Ivory while still being able to maintain a pick in the 5th round. However having said that the additional 5th round pick that had long been reported to be part of the deal always was and would have been a complete throw in pick. While history proves that there is plenty of talent to be found in the 5th round, the player the Jets would have drafted with this pick likely wouldn’t have been a player that the team could rely upon to start immediately.
Now that we have addressed the pick that the Jets didn’t get, it is time to look at the picks that the Jets did get. The 13th overall pick that the Jets received for this years draft is an incredibly valuable piece to the Jets future plans. Furthermore, the conditional pick in next years draft is almost guaranteed to be a third rounder. Barring a devastating career ending injury, there is no possible way that Revis will be cut after just one season in Tampa.
In the past 24 hours I have heard many people like Ray Lucas compare this trade to the trade the Jets completed with the Bucs in 2000 for Keyshawn Johnson, saying that the Jets failed to get acceptable value for Revis because they couldn’t get multiple 1st rounder’s like they did for Johnson. This however is not the trade that the Revis deal should be compared to; instead we must look at the trade the Seahawks made for Percy Harvin earlier this year. Even if we can expect Revis Island to make an Adrian Peterson like recovery, he is in a completely different point in his career then Johnson was when he was traded. It is plain and simple; a player coming off an ACL injury is worth less then a player who is fully healthy. Like Revis, Harvin is a star player coming off knee surgery.
At first glance it may appear that the 1st and 7th round picks this year and the mid-round pick next year that the Vikings got for Harvin is a better deal then the Jets got for Revis. However like ESPN’s Rich Cimini pointed out today on twitter, despite only getting two picks in return for Revis, the Jets actually got a better value then the Vikings did. Like the aforementioned 5th rounder that was rumored to be involved in the Revis deal, the 7th round pick the Vikings got is simply window dressing. So we essentially must compare each teams respective additional first rounder and the pick they will get in next years draft.
When you look at it like this, the Jets clearly got a better deal then the Vikings. The Vikings got the 25th overall pick, which is clearly much less valuable, then, the 13th overall that the Jets traded for. I believe that the 13th pick this year is much more valuable to the Jets then gaining a top 10 pick would have been. This is a draft class that is stocked with a lot of very talented prospects, but is very thin on the type of surefire players that normally warrant a top 10 pick. This means that picking a player this high is a much bigger risk then it is in most years, which in turn makes it less likely that a team will want to trade up that high in order to get the player they desire. Gaining the 13th pick provides the Jets with a lot more room to pick the player they want in a spot that their value warrants. It also will allow them room to trade back to gain more picks later in the draft if they so desire to. If the Jets do decide to keep both the 9th and 13th overall picks then they will be able to fill their never ending need for a pass rushing OLB, while at the same time allow them to fill one of their needs for a guard or a dynamic offensive playmaker with a pick that is much more fitting to that players position or skill.
Furthermore, while anything is possible in today’s NFL, I think it is safe for us all to assume that despite adding Revis, the Seahawks are still in a much better position to contend for the Super Bowl then the Bucs are. With this taken into consideration it is very likely that the Jets pick in next years draft will be of greater value then the Vikings pick next year. We must also keep in mind the value that NFL brain trusts place on 3rd round picks. This is when teams pick players who have first round talent but yet for some reason or another like injuries, character issues, or competition level fell out of the first two rounds. Every third round pick is a player that teams have expectations will turn into a key contributor to their team.
In regards to the Jets receiving good value for Revis, I believe that the proof is in the pudding. The Jets were able to get two picks that can undoubtedly be expected to play a key role in the immediate and future plans for the team. There is however one question that still remains: was trading Revis away the right move for the Jets?
This is a question that can only truly be answered by time. Having said that I believe that it was the right move. Outside of Rex Ryan, you will be hard pressed to find anyone who appreciates the role Revis Island played for the Jets more then I do. But this is a deal that had to happen for both sides. The Jets are in entirely too delicate of a position to pay Revis the money that he wanted. When you have as many holes as the Jets you cannot afford to pay $16 Million to any player that is not a QB. The Jets might have been able to afford to pay Revis next year, but with the history between Woody Johnson and Revis’s representation I can’t envision a way that the two sides would have possibly been able to strike a deal that would have kept Revis on the Jets for 2014 and beyond. The Jets had no choice but to trade Revis away. Otherwise all they would have gotten next year in return for arguably the greatest corner since Primetime would be a compensatory 3rd rounder from whatever team won the Revis sweepstakes next offseason.
This trade also had to happen from Revis’s point of view. As dedicated as a player as he is when on the field, he is also a player that knows his value in the big money landscape that is the NFL in 2013 and will never be happy unless he is being paid that value. This trade allows him to get paid the money he desires and will also allow him to play on a Bucs team that with the addition of his services is ready to be a serious contender against the powers that be in the NFC South.
There are with out a doubt many Jets fans that have been left screaming at their TV’s and Computers, questioning how the Jets Brass could ever trade away such a once in a lifetime player like Darrelle Revis. To these fans I say that as much as it may pain them to do so, they must yet again take the blindly optimistic approach that Jet fans have become famous for. You need to keep your faith in our New GM John Idzick. You must remember that there is a reason that Idzick was hired as GM. His role in building the Seahawks into a team poised to contend for years to come is unquestioned. For this reason you must put all emotions aside and trust that trading away Revis was the right step towards turning the Jets into the type of perennial contender that Jet fans have never seen before.