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Monday, April 22, 2013

Implications of the Darrelle Revis Trade

Wild on Sports
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Implications of the Darrelle Revis Trade
By Wild on Sports Analyst Jason Gillson

The New York Jets traded star cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the weekend for the Buc's 1st round pick (#13 overall) in 2013 and a conditional pick in 2014. Shortly after the deal was complete Tampa Bay announced that Revis has signed a 6 year extension that could be worth as much as $96 million, making him the highest paid DB in football.

So Revis got what he wanted: a big money long term deal. But what about the Jets? What about the Buccaneers?

It has been a sad turn of event in New York over the past calender year for a Jets team that not so long ago was facing the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game in consecutive seasons.

What went wrong? Well, that answer is two fold.

Injuries to their two best players (Revis and WR Santionio Holmes) early in the season killed their spirits in 2012. Having a healthy Darrelle Revis changes the whole dynamic of a defense. He is one of the true shut-down corners in the game these days -- they don't call it "Revis Island" for no reason. He can single handedly shut down a receiver, giving opposing quarterbacks fits.

Revis island now moves from the North Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico as Tampa Bay adds a huge piece to what was already shaping up to be a very strong defense. The Bucs identified their team's weakness early in the off-season and have really made great strides towards inproving what was the 29th ranked pass defense in the NFL in 2012.  Their first move of the off-season was to go out and sign arguably the best defensive free agent on the market in safety Dashon Goldson. Pair Goldson in the middle with last year's top draft pick Mark Barron, gives the Bucs a heck of a duo patrolling the middle of the field. Now pair that up with a corner who can completely shut down his side of the field and you have a defense that may have just gone from one of the worst in the league to one of the best .

From the Jets stand point this was a deal that had to be made. New GM John Idzik explained it well during Sunday's conference call with the media, ""It became quite evident, to us, there was a substantial difference with Darrelle's view of his value and ours. It was never our goal to have Darrelle to leave the Jets. On the contrary ... we wanted Darrelle to remain a Jet long term, ideally."

Revis made it clear that he wanted to be the highest paid defensive player in the league. For the Jets, a team tight against the salary cap as it is, that just was not going to be feasible, particularly for a player who just missed almost an entire season due to a torn ACL. While we have seen players come back and come back in a big way -- see Adrian Peterson -- a torn ACL is no walk in the park. To clearify, all signs point to the healthy Revis moving forward, but making a player coming off that kind of injury the highest paid defensive player in the league is a very risky proposition. Multiply that times 10 for a team that already has a number of terrible guaranteed contracts *cough Mark Sanchez cough*.

So where do the Jets go from here? Well, they now have the #9 and #13 picks overall on Thursday night. Most signs point to Rex Ryan drooling over LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo. Mingo is a Terrell Suggs type that can play on the end or stand up and play LB. As for the other pick, the Jets have been linked to corner Dee Milliner or even speedy receiver Tavon Austin. Milliner would be the more logical pick if he is still available, to fill the void let by Revis. It will be very interesting to see what the Jets are able to pull off on Thursday night.

Revis is gone. Mark Sanchez is still there and for the time being, so is Tim Tebow. Rex Ryan and company have a lot of work to do. That said, they made a step in the right direction this weekend. As much as it will hurt Jets fans to hear it; the road back to reliance was one without a ton of money tied up in one defensive player. Its OK Jets fans. You can breathe now.

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