Much like a Presidency, it is very tough to accurately assess a major trade in sports until several years down the road however, the early returns on the much-ballyhooed Darrelle Revis trade are already making it worth it for the Jets. When the Jets and Buccaneers were having their stare-down over compensation for a potential deal that would send Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay, there were many including myself that were screaming from the rooftops that in order for any deal to be remotely worth it, the Jets would have to get at least two First-Round picks back in return.
I’ll admit, the Jets’ well-documented history of selling low on players that were still in their prime but coming off injuries (see: Vilma, Abraham, Washington), only heightened this sentiment. I firmly believe that if the Jets were to trade Revis in a typical year, he would easily fetch two “1′s” and two “2′s” but you have to believe that John Idzik got as much value for Revis as he could have given the circumstances. When seeing what the Jets ultimately got in return for their all-world Cornerback, I was among that contingent that was incensed, feeling as though we had gotten fleeced, coupled with the fact that the Buccaneers gave him a sham of contract with a big sticker price with ZERO dollars in guarantees, it was maddening.
However, the Jets now armed with two First-Round picks set out to rebuild a team that seemed to be in dire need of it. After selecting Dee Milliner with their first pick, the Jets left an entire fan base scratching their heads by drafting a Defensive Lineman in the First Round for the third consecutive year. Not too many people were familiar with Sheldon Richardson but in an admittedly small sample size he appears to be the “real deal” and one of the anchors of perhaps the best Defensive Line in the NFL. Considering that he is only halfway through his Rookie season, the sky appears to be the limit for Richardson.
On the flip-side, the dumpster fire that is the 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers is making it appear as though Woody Johnson and John Idzik were right: one $100 million-Cornerback does not a team make. The Bucs have been using the best Press/Man-to-Man, Cover-Corner in zone coverage, which is essentially the Football equivalent to bunting with Babe Ruth. Now it comes out that Revis is admitting that in Week 8, he is “not even close to 100% right now.” Couple that with the fact that the Bucs are still win-less and the Jets come out looking very much like the early winners of this trade but would have been even better served by digging in and getting that second First-Round pick, which could turn out to be a Top-Five pick this year. However, we do have the benefit of hindsight and you would be hard-pressed to find someone that thought the Bucs would be win-less at this juncture.
The Jets still have another relatively high pick in the form of a likely Third-Round pick in 2014, which they have the opportunity to turn into another productive player. On the other hand, the Buccaneers may be in a somewhat precarious situation, presumably with a new Head Coach and Quarterback. They may find themselves in a similar situation to the Jets where their needs stretch way beyond a high-priced/All-World Cornerback and could be faced with a tough decision. Granted it wouldn’t make much sense to admit defeat and essentially relinquish a First-Round pick on an ill-fated season but considering that contract might as well be written on a Napkin, they can rid themselves of the sizable financial burden without any ramifications. All sides may actually be happy, with Revis finally able to hit the free market, no one knows how much money a team would throw at “Revis Island” after a season like this but I know one guy that would welcome him back with open arms for the right price and odds are he is probably looking for “A Goddamn Snack.”