NEW YORK– By Joseph Wasserman
The Darrelle Revis trade signals the official start of another rebuilding phase for the Jets. Losing Revis is not the end of the world. For a rebuilding team, getting some draft picks is decent compensation for losing a top star.
The reality is that having the league’s best cornerback is not a priority for Gang Green. For many teams looking to win right now, receiving a player like Revis is a big deal. Tampa Bay should definitely be excited. However, the Jets should be able to utilize the draft picks received in the trade to build for the future.
Revis has definitely left his mark on New York. He has been the face of the franchise over the past four years, and the most well received player in the green and white uniform. Understandably, his absence will loom over his former team. That being said, his ex-team has bigger fish to fry.
There are holes everywhere on the Jets roster. The offense cannot run the ball and the defense cannot stop the run. The team turns the ball over at an alarming rate, and allows way too many sacks. The quarterback struggles have been well documented throughout the media—with Mark Sanchez becoming the butt(fumble) of every joke.
Ironically, the one area in which the Jets thrived last season was the secondary, which allowed the second fewest passing yards in the league—and it did so with Revis out for 14 games while nursing a knee injury. With the Jets struggling in so many different aspects, it is time to turn over a new leaf and build through the draft.
There are many directions New York can take in this year’s draft. The only hope is that whoever the franchise selects pans out well. There is a serious shortage of talent on the current Jets roster, so any good player at virtually any position will help the team perform better.
With such a dearth of talent around, an utterly miserable season appears inevitable. Even that old number 24 would not have been able to clean this mess, and re-signing him to a monstrous, long-term contract would have been a grave mistake that would only have set the franchise back another bunch of years. For the Jets, this was the only option.
Miami Dolphins- They may have overpaid Mike Wallace a little bit, but the Darnell Ellerbe signing for $7 million a year was fantastic. He has a chance to be a defensive anchor for Miami for quite some time. Phillip Wheeler was overpaid, but they do have a good trio of guys coming in.
Philadelphia Eagles- It’s about time Philly changed its philosophy from star-driven to hard nosed. Signing a guy like James Casey is certainly a step in the right direction, as is releasing Nnamdi Asomugha. Those moves were substance over style and that should bode well for the future under Chip Kelly. Isaac Sopoaga is the same kind of player as well.
Chicago Bears- Chicago finally realized that protecting the quarterback is important, and Jermon Bushrod will provide Jay Cutler with more time in the pocket to throw to players like new tight end Martellus Bennett. Well done.
Baltimore Ravens- You could call trading Anquan Boldin a losing move, but that was justifiable. The team’s defense is going to take a big hit with the losses of Ellerbe and Paul Kruger along with Ray Lewis. And though Chris Canty isn’t a bad signing, he won’t be able to replicate what the previously mentioned trio did for that defense.
Cleveland Browns- I understand it’s going to take big money to lure players to a losing team, but $41 million is a ton for Kruger, as good as he was for Baltimore last season. He’s going to have to lead that front seven to validate that type of contract. I’m not sure if he’s up to the task.
AFC East Teams- Not getting to face Ryan Fitzpatrick twice a year will make things tougher against the Bills. Fitzpatrick got significantly worse since his contract extension and the time was right for Buffalo to move on.
4:28 p.m. Eastern
-Miami has reached a deal to sign WR Mike Wallace.
4:20 p.m. Eastern
-Another tight end is off the board, with Anthony Fasano going to the Chiefs.
4:03 p.m. Eastern
-The first move of the league year appears to be Martellus Bennett signing with the Bears.
2:15 p.m. Eastern
-Anthony Spencer signed his franchise tender with the Cowboys, says Dan Graziano.
-Arizona re-signed S Reshard Johnson to a three-year deal.
-The Jets will likely lose DL Mike DeVito with several teams in pursuit, says Aaron Wilson.
1:45 p.m. Eastern
-Jets rumors: They have interest in WRs Brandon Gibson and Mohammed Massaquoi and could lose Dustin Keller to the Titans if Tennessee can’t re-sign Jared Cook.
-St. Louis has interest in CB Brent Grimes, Jim Thomas reports.
-Pittsburgh plans to re-sign Plaxico Burress to a one-year deal soon, says Jason La Canfora.
-Houston released WR Kevin Walter, says Adam Schefter.
-Four to five teams are interested in LB D.J. Williams.
1:15 p.m. Eastern
-Tony Gonzalez is officially coming back next season for the Falcons, as first reported by Jay Glazer.
-The Eagles, Colts, Saints and Titans are all interested in DT Ricky Jean-Francois, says Ian Rappoport.
-The Jets will seriously pursue WR Brandon Gibson, says Manish Mehta. *The Chiefs and Jets are interested in QB Chase Daniel.
-Minnesota re-signed WR Jerome Simpson to a one-year deal.
-Baltimore re-signed James Ihedigbo to a one-year contract.
-Pittsburgh will cut OL Willie Colon today.
12:40 p.m. Eastern
-The Broncos have interest in CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, says the Denver Post.
-Indications are that Tony Gonzalez could indeed return to the Falcons.
-New Orleans is interested in DT Ricky Jean-Francois.
12:20 p.m. Eastern
-Chatter from Adam Schefter’s SportsCenter hit: The Rams and Vikings would be two teams that could make an offer for RFA Victor Cruz. *The Bears, Rams, Eagles and Dolphins are among the teams that are going after OT Jake Long.
-Ian Rappoport reports that the Patriots have not yet made a contract offer to Wes Welker.
-Could Quintin Mikell go back to the Eagles?
-DE Chris Canty is visiting with Baltimore today. He has previously visited Tennessee, Kansas City and Green Bay.
-Washington restructured the contract of WR Santana Moss.
-Minnesota restructured the contract of TE John Carlson.
-Green Bay won’t tender a contract to TE Tom Crabtree.
11:25 a.m. Eastern
-The Titans, Broncos, Colts and Bills are all interested in G Andy Levitre, says Ian Rappoport.
-Tampa Bay is among the teams interested in DE Cliff Avril, along with QBs Chase Daniel and Drew Stanton.
-Free agent LB Dan Connor visited the Steelers, ProFootballTalk reports.
-San Diego released TE Randy McMichael.
11 a.m. Eastern
-Chicago is interested in top free agent offensive linemen Jake Long and Jermon Bushrod, according to Alex Marvez.
-The Jets are cutting DT Sione Pouha, according to Adam Schefter.
-Pittsburgh restructured Lawrence Timmons’ contract, while Carolina released James Anderson to help its cap number.
-Detroit is interested in safety Glover Quin.
10:20 a.m. Eastern
-Some D-Line news from Aaron Wilson: Cleveland is closing in on a deal for Paul Kruger, while the Colts are the front-runners for Cliff Avril.
-ProFootballTalk reports that a quick run at RFA Victor Cruz is unlikely.
-The Eagles, Saints, Patriots and Broncos all have interest in James Harrison.}
-Detroit is in the lead to land Reggie Bush, PFT says.
-Chicago is interested in Minnesota OL Phil Loadholt, says the Chicago Tribune.
-San Diego has interest in CBs Derek Cox and Jerraud Powers.
10 a.m. Eastern
-Jason La Canfora: Expect Percy Harvin to get $12 million per season on his new Seattle contract and for more trade to occur around the league. *Kansas City has interest in Chase Daniel and Minnesota likes Matt Cassel. Drew Stanton will land in Arizona, Tampa Bay or Jacksonville. The Bears, Jets and Browns are options for Jason Campbell. *The Cardinals, Lions and Packers are all in the mix for Reggie Bush. Steven Jackson could go to Atlanta or Green Bay, and the Broncos and Dolphins are interested in Rashard Mendenhall. The Giants may end up bringing back Ahmad Bradshaw. *Minnesota and Miami are all in on Mike Wallace, and it’s possible Greg Jennings stays with the Packers. Philadelphia has interest in Danny Amendola, and Julian Edelman could replace him in St. Louis. There isn’t a huge demand for tight ends right now. Follow the link for a lot more from La Canfora.
-Baltimore re-signed WR David Reed for two years as they look to re-sign Darnell Ellerbe.
-Adam Kaplan reports there are at least six teams interested in QB Chase Daniel.
9:30 a.m. Eastern
-There were two major trades in the NFL on Monday, and there could be another enormous deal in the coming days. After Minnesota sent WR Percy Harvin to Seattle for first, third and seventh round picks and San Francisco acquired WR Anquan Boldin from Baltimore for a sixth rounder, the NY Daily News reports that the Jets are prepared to trade CB Darrelle Revis “in the coming days.” New York prefers to trade Revis to an NFC team. The Jets also made a move on offense, signing veteran QB David Garrard.
-Could another Super Bowl winning Raven go to the 49ers? If San Francisco doesn’t re-sign Pro Bowl Safety Dashon Goldson, the Niners could go after Baltimore legend Ed Reed, Adam Schefter reports.
-After releasing CB DeAngelo Hall on Monday, Washington could go after free agent corner Aqib Talib, Schefter reports. *Cleveland will also be in play for a CB, FOX’s Alex Marvez reports.
NEW YORK– By Joseph Wasserman
As unpopular as it would be to trade away the top cornerback in football, and one of the brightest stars in the game, it would be the right move for the Jets. New York is obviously entering a rebuilding phase, and by swapping Darrelle Revis for some valuable assets they can accelerate that process significantly.
If the Jets choose to keep Revis around, they can marvel at his uncanny ability to consistently shut down the best receivers in the game. But his ability to do that will not help this franchise turn things around.
Even if the cornerback returns to the same level he was at pre-injury, the Jets will struggle to win games. There are far too many flaws in other areas, like the run defense that ranked 26th in the league. As for the offense, when the highlight of the year is your quarterback sliding into his own lineman’s ass, you know it was ugly.
And if Revis is not traded, who’s to say he won’t say goodbye and take his talents to greener pastures following the season? Better to get something out of him than nothing, as the Mets learned with Jose Reyes when he spurned New York for Miami.
Revis will surely demand a tremendously lucrative contract to keep him in New York, and that is not something the Jets should be willing to give into. Gang Green’s salary cap issue is problematic enough already. Giving Revis a monster contract will only severely limit the franchises ability to rebuild.
Ever since Revis began his sensational play during the 2009 season, and especially due to the playoff run that came about that year, as well as the next, Revis has become a huge fan-favorite in New York. As well as he has played, Revis owes much of his popularity to the success that the team enjoyed back then. And although he played a key role in the team’s success, the Jets were a far better overall team at that point. It was more than just “Revis Island.”
Perhaps the best thing about shopping Revis is the underlying message it sends. Valuable pieces may be received in return, but the idea that the franchise would part ways with its most popular player shows a drastic shift in its philosophy. The Jets are not contemplating a Revis trade for the sake of aggravating New York fans, but because it is felt to be optimal for the future of the franchise.
About a year ago, New York traded draft picks in order to acquire Tim Tebow. That move was made solely to gain exposure, much like the decision to do “Hard Knocks” was. But with new General Manager John Idzik, it seems that maybe the Jets finally have the right idea. That is not caring about popular opinion and gaining exposure, but making a true and fervent effort towards rebuilding a damaged football team.
With rising star Colin Kaepernick clearly entrenched as the San Francisco 49ers QB, the team has reportedly agreed to send backup Alex Smith to Kansas City, as first reported by FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer. No trade can become official until the start of the league year on March 12, but Glazer reports that a deal has been worked out and Kansas City has committed itself to Smith.
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the Chiefs have agreed to send a 2013 second round pick, which would be the 34th overall selection, and another 2014 pick for Smith. Smith is an accurate QB who guided the Niners to the 2011 NFC championship game and should be able to ably guide the young KC offense.
As I reported in November, Smith is due a $1 million roster bonus in March, and then he could work out a new contract with a team. Expect the Chiefs to give Smith some sort of security and the team’s starting job.