Green Bay Packers: The Pros and Cons of a Marriage with Darrelle Revis

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 04:  Darrelle Revis #24 of the New York Jets walks to the field before the start of the Jets game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 4, 2011 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

This week, the New York Jets made the surprising announcement (per CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora) that they were open to trading Darrelle Revis, one of the top cover corners in the NFL.

Perhaps more surprising? The Packers have been mentioned as potential suitors.

We all know that Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy aren't usually the type to seriously be looking at what would end up being an expensive trade, though it's not completely unheard of or outside the realm of possibility.

Of course, the most important question is this: Would it even work?

So here is a look at the ways it could work, and why it wouldn't as well.

Pro: Revis is a rare level of shutdown corner


 The secondary had a better year in 2012, but it still had its struggles. Adding a player of Revis' caliber just makes all the sense in the world for a team in a division with players like Calvin Johnson, Percy Harvin and Brandon Marshall, as well as a conference which contains the likes of Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Crabtree and more.

Being able to line up Revis against any of those players would be a huge plus for this defense and not only help the secondary, but make it harder for opposing quarterbacks to get rid off the ball, making them more prone to sacks.

You may ask where those sacks were for the Jets. Well, simply put, the Jets lack any real pass-rushing force, certainly of the level of a guy like Clay Matthews. Revis would help Matthews, as well second-year players like Jerel Worthy and Nick Perry.

It'd be a big help to Tramon Williams, who struggled again for portions of this season—especially in the playoffs. Across from Revis, Antonio Cromartie had some of his best years. If and when Revis leaves, I expect Cromartie to step back to pre-Revis levels.

Williams is so much better than Cromartie, it's not even close. With Revis across from him, he'd have less pressure to hold the secondary up by himself. Also, it's clear he missed Charles Woodson full time across from him; it's clear he works better in tandem than solo.


 Not only do the Packers have Tramon Williams, a very good corner in his own right, they have up-and-coming Casey Hayward. Hayward is a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate who is only getting started.

While Williams did struggle, he took a step back from his 2011 numbers and will continue to bounce back. Maybe he isn't as good as he looked early on, but he is a very good corner overall. Hayward has the potential to be a special player in his own right.

The upside of this combination is pretty significant. Why add Revis, especially when you consider the cost?

The Jets will want a ton in return for their best player. It will come in the form of high picks and top players—things the Packers have plenty of but aren't likely to want to part with.

On top of the immediate cost, Revis wants a contract. Yes, another one.

Jets fans can tell you that as good as Revis is, one thing he appears to not excel at is being a "team player" in the way the Packers like a guy to be.

In Revis' five years in the league, he has held out twice and then threatened to hold out another time. This isn't a guy who plays out contracts—he's a guy who signs one contract while looking toward the next one.

The Packers certainly have some history with "flighty" and "needy" players—Brett Favre, Jermichael Finley, Javon Walker and Greg Jennings spring to mind immediately—but I just don't see them going out of their way to get a guy who is essentially in the last year of his contract (the last three can be voided) and wants to be paid a significant amount of money come the end of 2013.

You're talking about, potentially, a one-year rental at a high cost.

It's fair to also wonder whether Revis would be as productive as he has been in New York, if he left for Green Bay. Revis has always been really talented, but he flourished in Rex Ryan's defense in New York.

Of course, a lot of that scheme is predicated on the idea that Ryan can leave Revis by himself and concentrate on other pieces of the defense.

Can Dom Capers (assuming he's back) do that? Can he put Revis in a similar position and, more importantly, would Revis be able to be the player he is in New York in the Green Bay scheme? Would he fit?

Let's also talk about how willing he is in run support. In Revis' rookie season, he had 74 tackles, but since then, he's basically averaged around 40 or so, never more than 47.

Williams has rarely been under 50 tackles and Hayward, in his first year (and not even quite a full-time role), amassed 40.

I'm not saying Revis can't get physical—I've long wondered if a season around Charles Woodson could help him round out his game—but whether he would be willing to.

Back in 2011, the Jets were in the midst of choking a game away against the Denver Broncos. Tim Tebow was at the helm for the Broncos, and after the snap, he looked downfield, saw no open receiver and headed to his right to scramble for a first down.

As you can see in the video, Revis wanted no part of that tackle. I get that Tebow is built like a Mack Truck, but that "tackle," if you call it that, was embarrassing for everyone involved.

The Packers have tackling issues, but it's not a lack of willingness—it's execution. Revis actually looked like he was technically sound; he just didn't actually try to tackle Tebow.

Perhaps in Green Bay, it's a whole new world. However, I just can't forget high-priced defensive backs who have switched teams—like Nnamdi Asomugha—and were never the same.

Of course, the last piece of this puzzle is possibly the biggest: Can he come back from his knee injury? Sure, Adrian Peterson just had a career year post-ACL/MCL injury, but he's a freak of nature.

Are we sure about Revis? It's pretty dangerous to assume he's going to come back at 100 percent and on time next season.

That surgery is a huge unknown and makes this idea an even bigger risk.


There is a part of me which is very intrigued by the acquisition of Darrelle Revis for the Packers. He's a tremendous cover corner and, as stated under "Pros," this is a league which requires good coverage.

However, this is a deal that the Packers should pass on.

I'm not sold Revis would be the same player out of the New York scheme, nor am I convinced that Dom Capers would get the most out of Revis. I believe Casey Hayward is the future at the corner spot and as much as Williams struggles at times, the two of them will be a great pair and not in need of Revis.

I also believe Revis would be very demanding in terms of money, and the Packers have some very expensive contracts in the near future, especially in homegrown guys like Aaron Rodgers and Matthews.

Plus, once you get him signed, he seems to be the type of player who immediately sees the next big contract and becomes unhappy.

On top of all that, there's the ACL injury. We have no idea how he'll perform when he comes back, and while the Packers can certainly protect themselves in some way, high picks and good players for a damaged cornerback seems like too much risk.

Revis' coverage skills are huge, but so is the potential cost and baggage. As much as the thought of him in Packers green and gold is tempting, it's not worth what the Packers would need to do to get him and keep him happy.

What are your thoughts on a Revis-Packers marriage? Let me know below in the comments.

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Follow me on Twitter at @andrew_garda.


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