It’s time for the Jets to bring home the all-world cornerback, to finish his illustrious career right where it all started…
March 12th, 2014 – Darrelle Revis and the New England Patriots reach an agreement on a two year contract. It’s a Jets fans worst nightmare – the lowest of lows, a bottomless pit that would only continue to get worse for the fan base after a New England Super Bowl XLIX victory.
Even the annually pessimistic sea of green jerseys that mobbed Radio City Music Hall knew what the Jets had just stumbled upon. There were high fives and chants of J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS from up above.
For those that do not understand: Darrelle Revis is to Jets fans what Lebron James is to Cavaliers fans.
A franchise that has consistently suffered a draught of selecting and developing ‘superstar’ talent had finally reversed the trend when they traded up in the 2007 NFL Draft to select Revis with the 14th overall pick.
“They had been asleep for two hours, all of a sudden they woke up. They had double expresso up there.”
-Chris Berman when the Jets traded up to 14th overall to select Revis
It was his third year with the Jets and first with new head coach Rex Ryan when Revis evolved into one of the game’s best defenders. He possessed the rare ability to eliminate one side of the field on his own – press man to man coverage with no help over the top.
He only surrendered two touchdowns all season while allowing a 29.1 quarterback rating and 37.8 completion percentage against him (including three post season games, according to profootballfocus.com).
Drew Brees didn’t complete a pass on him when the Jets visited the Saints that year. In the post season Philip Rivers and Carson Palmer combined for 4 completions on 11 passing attempts, for 28 yards and two interceptions (with a quarterback rating below 9.0).
It was beyond the point of a star being born, but rather an all-world talent that football had not witnessed at defensive back since Deion Sanders stepped foot in the NFL.
Three all pro appearances, coming up one game short of the Super Bowl twice, and two contract hold outs later – new Jets’ general manager John Idzik traded Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 1st and conditional 4th round picks on April 21st, 2013.
Revis, coming off a season ending ACL tear, would clearly need some time to regain his dominant shutdown form. The Buccaneers gave him a new contract, which meant very little in the long run. From Pat Yasinskas of espn.com:
When a new Buccaneers regime decided to move on from Revis after only one season, he had the NFL world in his hands. He was fully healthy and well over a year removed from his ACL tear. He had full control over where he landed next and would easily receive a contract that pays him over $10 million per year.
The Mirage Of A Return
Right away Jets fans toyed with the idea of getting back the best player to wear the green and white in the past decade. Drafting Sheldon Richardson with the pick acquired from the Revis trade only to have him back with the team a year later seemed too good to be true. Unfortunately, that was the truth.
— Jason Cole (@JasonPhilCole) August 11, 2014
It’s difficult to speculate who/what the ultimate driving factor was for why the Jets never called Revis. From Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole tweet above, it does seem like it was one of or a combination of Woody Johnson or general manager John Idzik.
With Woody’s latest (and controversial) comments saying he ‘would love to have Revis back’, it could have even been a part of Idzik’s salary cap clearing strategy.
Thoughts Of A Reunion
With reports that the Patriots will decline Revis’ $20 million dollar option this week, the Jets could get a crack at luring Revis back to New York. Various reports have claimed he is apart of new general manager Mike Maccagnan’s offseason plans.
With a team coming off a 4-12 season and a brand new coaching staff in place, why should they target a soon to be 30 year old corner that will command all-world money?
The Jets have nearly an estimates $50 million in cap space this offseason. They have plenty of room to extend Muhammad Wilkerson and even Sheldon Richardson down the line. They have no quarterback on the roster that will command a contract extension soon, unless you are in the belief that Geno Smith has a miraculous turnaround in year three.
What this all simply means that even if the Jets found their franchise quarterback in this year’s draft, they would not have to pay him until the back end of Revis’ deal. It is safe to assume that a large portion of the guaranteed money Revis receives in a new deal would be front loaded in the first three years.
‘Overpaid’ is a trendy, fan favorite word circulating the NFL in this era. The bottom-line is that if you are going to be active in free agency, you will most likely overpay. For instance, the Miami Dolphins reported deal with Ndamukong Suh is worth around $60 million in the first three years of a 6 year, $114 million deal.
Did Miami pay premium dollar? Yes. Did they land premium, game changing talent? Yes. These are the signings that are worth the chance. The signings that force the opposition to game plan away from that player week in and week out. That is exactly what Darrelle Revis does, even as he gets ready to turn 30 years old in July.
The Jets want to turn things around now. The quickest route to doing that is to set up first year head coach Todd Bowles with cogs that fit his defensive system. If New England allows him to hit the market, the Jets should do everything in their power to bring Darrelle Revis home.
Even if that requires them to ‘overpay.’