According to several published reports the New York Jets are going to explore the trade market for All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis. The initial reaction to this report was outrage, but after taking a look a the big picture it was easy to understand the Jets thinking. Here are five reasons why the Jets will consider trading their best player:
1) The Jets believe that they will not be able to re-sign Revis: Darrelle Revis is in the last year of his contract. After two excruciating contract negotiations in 2007 and 2010, and probably some broken promises, Woody Johnson believes in his heart that the team will not be able to get a new deal done with the star corner.
2) Gang Green cannot franchise Revis: In the last contract negotiation the Jets gave up the right to put the franchise tag on Darrelle Revis following the 2013 season. Basically the Jets have lost all leverage as Revis can play out the season and walk. The organization cannot let Revis "walk" without any type of compensation.
3) The Jets cannot afford another contract distraction: The New York Jets are in true rebuild mold and the last thing that the organization needs is another Revis contract distraction. Darrelle and his management team have no problem ruffling feathers with their contract demands. I would not be surprised to see Revis hold himself out of practice and camps until he is 1000% healthy.
4) Paying for a rehab year: Darrelle Revis is three months removed from a major knee surgery. According to several published reports the rehab is going well, but the true timetable for Darrelle's return is unknown. There is a chance that it will take Revis the entire season to get back to his All-World status. In terms of cap space the Jets would be paying the star corner $9 million dollars to rehab.
5) Not one player away: In terms of personnel the Jets are a mess as the team lacks explosive talent and has serious salary cap issues. Gang Green needs to create as much salary cap space as possible while accumulating draft picks. Would it really be wise for the Jets to give Revis a huge contract when the money could be spent upgrading several other areas of the team?
Now that we have discusssed the Jets reasons for considering the trade, lets look at some the negatives.
Coming off of knee surgery what is Revis' value? Darrelle Revis is considered by many to be one of the best defensive players in the National Football League. Coming off of a major knee surgery what is Revis' true value? Would a team want to make sure that Darrelle can get back to his All-Pro level before trading for him? Does the unknown status of Revis' knee diminish his value? While I understand the Jets reasons for wanting to trade Darrelle, you just can't give away the franchise's best player.
Trading Revis would result in a salary cap hit: According to NYJETSCAP.com the Jets would suffer a cap hit if the team decides to trade Revis. From the site:
"The information I have on Revis’ contract tells me that he should carry a dead money hit of $12 million in 2013, not $9 million as reported, if the Jets were to trade him. That $12 million comes from an $18 million dollar option bonus he received in 2011 that was prorated from 2011 thru 2016. He is scheduled to count for $9 million against what looks to be a somewhat tight cap for the team, so they would lose a net of $3 million for the year plus whatever draft pick and/or player salary they get back for him."
As you can see there a pros and cons to trading Darrelle Revis. It is tough to comprehend trading the team's best player, but the "win now" mentality has come back to haunt the Jets in terms of cap space and the lack of overall talent. In my eyes I would prefer to trade Antonio Cromartie who has reached his peak in terms of value and would provide the Jets with over $8 million dollars in cap space. But then again can you really accept Gang Green letting Revis walk after 2013 and getting nothing in return in terms of compensation?