Darrelle Revis and New York Jets Both Need to Move On
As much as I hate to admit it, it's time to move on.
The relationship between the New York Jets and Darrelle Revis has reached an unhealthy level of distrust and angst that is only going to get worse in the coming weeks and months unless both sides agree to face the truth.
The truth being that both sides need a fresh start.
For starters, the Jets have now missed the playoffs for two straight seasons, are currently breaking in a brand new general manager who is trying to get the team's finances in order and both their head coach and starting quarterback are skating on thin ice. You can argue that the Jets haven't quite hit bottom, but good luck finding a silver lining here...
Meanwhile in the midst of all of that, Revis is in the process of rehabbing his knee after missing nearly the entire 2012 season with a devastating injury. Yet with only one year left on his current contract, he will become an unrestricted free agent unless he signs a long-term deal before the start of the 2014 season.
In short, the Jets are once again a mess and Revis is very expensive question mark.
So should the Jets make an effort to keep Revis or trade him?
Right now, it's hard to tell what's going on given all of the drama, but ESPN New York's Rich Cimini offered his take on the situation last week:
If they truly have an interest in re-signing their best player, they should contact the agents to express that sentiment and to set up a time to talk, even if it's a month from now. But the situation is so toxic that they're reluctant to engage in small talk. Idzik called Revis a month ago, but it was only to smooth things over after fumbling Revis-related questions in his introductory news conference.
The Jets have to be careful here. Their brand took a big hit last season, the fan base is angry and Johnson has PSLs to sell. If he alienates his best player and trades him for a second-rate package, it'll be a public-relations disaster of epic proportions.
As for Revis, he needs to chill, concentrate on his rehab and gear up for an extended poker game between his agents and the Jets.
Even if you get past the middle school "he said, she said" antics of everyone involved, the situation still looks to have no winners. Fact is the Jets have bigger problems than whether Revis is happy at the moment, and if they are serious about rebuilding, they need to focus on getting those issues sorted.
As the draft approaches, expect more.
The question is whether any of these rumors hold any value both literally and figuratively. After all, it only takes one team to come up with a deal that works, but would the Jets pull the trigger?
In many ways, the situation here is somewhat reminiscent of how the Mets ended up letting Jose Reyes leave following the 2011 season. Reyes, similar to Revis, was arguably the team's best player and certainly one of the most exciting to ever put on a uniform for the franchise, but the Mets didn't trade him or even make an offer as a free agent when his contract expired.
Granted, the Mets ownership at the time had a lot on their plate, namely the Bernie Madoff case, but I still have a hard time accepting what happened with Reyes.
For the better part of the 2011 season, we got to watch Reyes play with the lingering doubt that he wasn't going to get "Carl Crawford money," according to owner Fred Wilpon. It was ugly and arguably one of the lowest points in franchise history. I suppose on the bright side, at least the Mets signed David Wright this past winter to a lengthy deal, but right now the Jets really have no other consolation prize waiting in the wings.
A package of players or draft picks in return for Revis seems like a hollow gesture this particular year. Sure, there are some solid prospects at the top of the draft, but let's face facts, there isn't a Robert Griffin III or Jadeveon Clowney superstar-type player available.
Yet, could all the chatter from Revis be his way of forcing owner Woody Johnson's hand?
You have to figure that Revis probably wants to get on with his life and could feel that getting Johnson to budge is probably the easiest way to either get paid or get a ticket out of town. Oddly enough though, this is probably the first time since the Jets drafted Revis that the team actually holds most if not all of the cards.
Therefore, I can actually picture the Jets' front office on some level at least enjoying the fact they have Revis on his back foot, but how long will that last?
Can everyone keep cool until then, or will the rhetoric and nonsense reach a boiling point?
For as much as I'd love to see Revis stay a Jet, in the back of my mind it just doesn't make much sense given all the angst, especially if the team fully plans on rebuilding from scratch.
What's disappointing is that the whole situation has reached this point at all. Beyond the drama of Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, and Rex Ryan, you would like to believe the team could still lock up its best player in both good times and bad.
Today, I have my doubts and fear that our last image of Revis in a Jets uniform will be him limping off the field in Miami last September.
If it all falls apart, don't be surprised if things continue to unravel. By this time next year, at the rate things are going, the Jets will likely have a new coach, be in search for a new quarterback and might even have new uniforms, all in an attempt to wash away the bad taste of the past two plus years.
In the end Revis will get paid, Rex will be someone else's defensive coordinator, Sanchez will be holding a clipboard somewhere and Tebow will be either in the CFL or running for Congress. Yet through it all, Woody Johnson will be the man in charge.
That in itself is a problem for another day, but for now he's the man writing the checks.
My heart hopes that I'm wrong, but my head can't shake the notion.
The Rex Ryan era was fun while it lasted, but it's time to blow it up and start over. The first move is finding a deal that will help the Jets reload while allowing Darrelle Revis to exit New York with his dignity intact.
Let's just hope this happens before the love we once felt for the Jets and Revis meets a soul crushing end as the current ugliness is beneath everyone involved, including all of us on the sidelines.
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