Opinion: Rapid Reaction to Revis Trade

Some quick thoughts about the Revis trade … 

darrellerevisinterceptsrandymoss_thumb.jpgThat Escalated Rather Quickly — The irony of the whole farce that has been the last three months is the URGENCY with which the deal needed to happen. We were told over and over again by reporters that it had to happen during the Combine, that it had to happen at free agency, that it had to happen with at least a week prior to the draft … over and over and over again.  What did it ultimately take?  It took the Jets acceding to the deal that was on the table from the Bucs and a day to fly the star corner to Tampa for less than three hours worth of exams and meetings.

Due Compensation — Many smarter people will write about Revis’s new contract and what it portends.  And personally now that he’s traded I don’t really care anymore.  As far as what the Jets got, I expect that there will be a backlash from the public about the Jets gaining the 2013 pick and only a 2014 fourth rounder that could turn into a third.  Could is really should, as Revis just need be on the Bucs roster on the third day of the 2014 league year for the Jets to get that escalator.  But with zero money guaranteed, the Bucs and Revis might come to a handshake deal next offseason to save them the escalator and essentially just resume as is … but that still seems unlikely.  I understand that it doesn’t match the compensation that the Vikings got for Harvin, and I understand why that’s going to get brought up as a comparison.  To me, the biggest difference is the money associated with paying the player.  Harvin received 6yr/$67M from the Seahawks while the Bucs gave 6yr/$96M.  That’s a huge difference and at some point the money plus the injury plus the lack of other teams willing to make a trade worked to the Jets favor.  I think the Harvin deal was a mistake, but Pete Carroll has a very long history dating back to Harvin’s days in high school and that might have influenced the deal that Seattle cut.  It’s not the same situation in Tampa Bay.  As far as a third pick, a fifth rounder was always window dressing.  First round draft picks, especially top 20 picks are extremely valuable commodities to teams and treated as such more more than they were ten years ago and the new CBA based rookie contract system has only made them more valuable.  I get that people want to see the Jets get more for Revis and I fully believe that if they could, they would have, but it was this or let Revis play on the Jets in 2013 and walk next season.

Contract Contact — So I lied.  It’s now out there that the Revis deal has .. ZERO money guaranteed.  It’s not very typical for NFL players, but Revis is betting on himself and it just proves the point that he wants top dollar each and every year and doesn’t want the compensation roller coaster that he seems so averse to.  The funny thing here is that Revis and his camp rejected the $100 million deal back in 2010 because it contained no guaranteed money and his agent even mocked another Jet player publicly (D’Brick) when he got his new deal.  In the end, Revis will get paid as a hired gun, but can be tossed to the curb by the Bucs at any time they like and it’s because as OTC more eloquently put it than we would, Revis wants to win the average per year compensation pissing contest.  It’s not normal and it might be conventionally unsound, but the Bucs and Revis from a cash-compensation basis are cut from the same cloth, we hope they are happy with each other.

Pointing Fingers — Darrelle Revis is my favorite Jet of the last 20 years, but no one party in this situation is solely to blame.  The Jets refused to pay a player who is the epitome of a game-changer and dealt him away rather than see him walk.  As we saw in Team Revis’s backchannel gripes to the media leading into the 2012 season, Revis is all about being as highly compensated a player each and every year.  No one heard complaints from him about his contract in 2011 when he gobbled upwards of $25 million in salary and bonuses from the Jets.  The Jets as well as Revis talked out of both sides of their mouth frequently.  Woody didn’t make much of an effort to re-sign Revis.  And while Revis has stated repeatedly he wants to be a Jet for life, he was never willing to do so at any discount.

Sound Investment — Every team is looking for the AntiHaynesworth.  Given the choice, if I had to pay any player around the league top dollar and not worry about their level of production and effort in relation to them getting “the big contract,” it would undoubtedly be Darrelle Revis.  The Bucs and their fans will quickly learn that.  At the same time, paying Revis among the top three non QBs in the league would be a stretch for just about any team and he’s broken the payscale system which seemed to be sorely out of whack already with Nnamdi.  Now let’s see if he delivers.  Either way, it was not a gamble the Jets were willing to make.

Steady As He Goes — This isn’t the first time the Jets traded away their mercurial star defender.  In the first year of the former GM, the Jets traded away John Abraham and 2006 was immediately written off as a rebuilding year because of the move.  That Jets 2006 team ended up making the playoffs with a 10-6 record in a coach’s first season with huge overhauls all over the roster.  I’m not saying the 2013 and 2006 situations are otherwise identical, but let’s wait and see who the Jets pick with the #13 pick and on down the line before we let the media decry the Jets as simply giving up in 2013.  Somehow the Packers, Falcons, Patriots, Giants and Ravens seem to consistently make it to the playoffs without Darrelle Revis on their team.  I’m not saying the Jets are going to win 12 games … but let’s not jump off the ledge just yet because the media says we should.

A Different Approach — During the 2012 season Rex apparently joked privately to others on the staff about how getting fired might be best, but I don’t think that even though he’s just lost his best player on the team he’s going to pack it in.  Last year proved that Cromartie can be reliable enough to work around and we know that Jets feel confident in some of their depth players at cornerback and will likely draft some more next week to help fill the gap.  Dee Milliner and Xavier Rhodes are intriguing players and Desmond Trufant might be the best cover corner in this class and could provide some help in a short turn-around … but Darrelle Revis is not walking back through that door.  Rex was a great defensive coordinator before he ever had Darrelle, and given some other quality tools, can be again.  Regardless, this move might make the Jets even more determined to find an impact pass rusher in the first round to shorten the time that opposing QBs have to pick apart their Revis-less secondary.