BY CHRISTOPHER ESSNER
It’s an offseason of upheaval for the New York Jets as management looks to turn around a team that missed the playoffs for two years straight. Lacking depth and youth in many key positions, new General Manager John Idzik won’t take any options off the table. Shipping Revis Island from east to west coast is one possible option. The trading partner? The San Francisco 49ers.
Many football fans may think this is crazy talk but there are reasons why this trade is viable for both teams. The first being the trade bait the 49ers can provide. San Francisco recently picked up the 34th pick in the NFL draft in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs for QB Alex Smith. On top of that they have their own first round pick at #31.
Darrelle Revis is arguably the best defensive player in the league, and certainly the best player on the Jets roster. His value may be diminished this off-season due to his season-ending knee injury. However, any trade will most likely require more than two draft picks should Revis return at full strength.
Luckily the NFC Champion 49ers are a stacked football team with a lot of youth. The Jets may receive an offer too sweet to pass up should the right combination of players and draft picks be packaged together.
For a team trying to rebuild, it may seem counterproductive to trade away your best player, but there may be more to this issue than people realize. Revis’s contract is up in one year and Owner Woody Johnson expressed to the media he has “no confidence” in the Jets ability to resign him. Revis is expected to seek between $13 and $16 million.
With Antonio Cromartie, an all-pro cornerback in his own right, a high price tag could be too much money invested for one position on a team that lacks talent in many key areas. Revis, however, has not expressed a desire to play elsewhere yet.
“I definitely want to be here,” Revis said the day after the season concluded. “This is where I live, this is the team I got drafted by.”
Those thinking it is ludicrous for the Jets to trade away their best player need only to look back at football history. The Dallas Cowboys, a struggling football team in the late 1980s traded star RB Herschel Walker to Minnesota Vikings in a historic blockbuster deal involving eighteen players and draft picks. With these picks and assets, the Cowboys were able to assemble their Super Bowl winning roster of the 90s, including players like running back Emmitt Smith and safety Darren Woodson.
A trade for Revis likely wouldn’t garner as many moving pieces, but it will surely demand a steep price. Many feel the Jets will look to add another quarterback to their roster with any picks they do receive. In a weak QB draft class, the Jets are hoping to find a diamond in the rough, a la Russell Wilson of last year’s draft class.
The New York Jets have a decision to make. Choose to trade Revis this year or keep him in New York with the risk of losing him next off-season for nothing. Either way, the decision is sure to garner controversy throughout Jet Nation.