It was the worst kept secret in the NFL; Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets were shortly going to part ways.
But while that was known, what could not be seen was how this would eventually go down.
On Sunday afternoon, the hammer finally dropped. Revis Island was relocating to a warmer climate.
Many speculated for months what the Jets and their new GM, John Idzik, would be able to get for their elite cornerback. It was a new type of trade situation – Revis is coming off of ACL surgery and will not be ready until the season – so what exactly his value would be was unknown.
We know now.
Darrelle Revis, called by head coach, Rex Ryan, the best CB in the game, was only worth the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ #13 pick of the 1st round for the 2013 draft and a conditional pick, which will be a 3rd or 4th rounder in 2014.
On the surface, it is shockingly little for one of the greatest players in Jets history. When digging deeper, it still does not get any better.
That conditional pick they are getting from Tampa will be better if it is in the 3rd round, but they would have gotten a compensatory 3rd rounder next year for losing Revis if he walked. So this deal basically comes right down to getting a first rounder, and only a first rounder.
That is very little for the franchise player, coming off ACL surgery or not. A team like the Jets, obviously rebuilding after this deal, had to be able to restock their depth charts by getting rid of a star like Revis. Instead, the only way they could really do so now is to trade down and load up more picks – something they are unlikely to be able to do.
Obviously when looking at the result of this trade, you cannot just take into account what happened this year – what occurred was the end of a long line of events and mistakes that poisoned the water for the former first rounder and Gang Green.
From the beginning, the Jets and Revis did not get off on the right foot. Foreshadowing future issues, Revis did not even make it into training camp in 2007, his rookie year, when the team and his agents could not agree on the amount of years (they wanted 5 years as opposed to the usual six).
With a voidable 4th year being inserted into his contract, the more famous dispute between the two sides occurred on television, with both sparring during the taping of HBO’s Hard Knocks. Revis sat out all of training camp before signing a 4 year contract, only 1 year more than the contract he had, in what was a band aid over a massive wound the two created.
By the time a 3rd go around was set to begin this off-season, the Jets had shown they had enough. As reported by Ian O’Connor, the Jets seemed unwilling to even bargain with Revis; they had made up their mind.
Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum, and Rex Ryan had been through a lot with Revis’ agents and their wild demands over the years and when the time came for reasonable talk, the Jets were no longer willing to hear them out.
Yahoo’s Jason Cole reported the Jets could have gotten the same non-guaranteed contract the Bucs wound up offering.
While Idzik wound up getting the bad deal for Revis, you have to look at the owner and the fired GM Mike Tannenbaum as the major culprits behind this trade.
Jets had their shot when they held all the leverage two years ago to sign Revis long term. Mike Tannenbaum was not able to get it done. Not only that, when he finished his bandage of a contract, he left Revis with all the leverage, disallowing the Jets from using the Franchise tag on him in the future.
Woody Johnson, the only person remaining with power in the organization from that period, clearly had no intention of laying out the necessary contract for Revis – a definite $16 million.
With the cap messed up, a team rebuilding, and an owner unwilling to spend on a luxury, the Revis trade was an easy one to decide.
The problem was, everyone knew this. When everyone knows you are shopping your player, the price automatically goes down.
For a team with no leverage, hardly any time, and very few options to sell him off to, this led to Sunday’s deal for scraps.
Darrelle Revis’ time in New York will be known for shutdown defense, but also a history of milking out every last dollar he could get. It is the NFL, and careers are short, but it would be hard to make the case Revis put the team before his wallet.
So where does this leave the Jets?
As Rich Cimini reported, there is a sizable difference in result when Revis was on the field and when he was not:
The pressure will sure be on Antonio Cromartie. His play last year made this decision for the Jets a bit easier, but now he will be without two cogs at safety who made his life easier – Laron Landry and Yeremiah Bell.
The pressure will obviously be on new GM John Idzik as well. He now has two first round picks that have to be hits for this franchise-altering trade to be successful. Problem is, as Jason Cole reports again, it is very hard to replace a guy like Revis with the 13th pick. Looking back at the last 40 drafts, he got this result:
Yes, only 5 players over the past 40 years have had better careers than Darrelle Revis at any position from the 13th pick. There is a lot on the line where there may not even be an actual answer for Idzik and the Jets.
One guy who probably does not have much pressure in all of this: Rex Ryan. The embattled coach looks as good as gone with a roster Gary Myers likened to an expansion team.
They may be better than that – at least on offense – but it will take a lot just to finish better than 3-13. There are no expectations for Ryan, but that is not a good thing with a coach who went to two consecutive AFC Championship teams. When you know going into a season you have no shot, rarely do you get to see a season in which you do. For all the things Ryan brought to the Jets, his coaching career in New York looks to be ending on an embaressing whimper.
NFL Draft is in 3 days – the recovery from Revis, and the long rebuilding process, begins then.