After Trading Alex Smith, the 49ers Must Try to Acquire Darrelle Revis
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On March 12, when the San Francisco 49ers' trade of quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs is made official, the 49ers will possess an incredible 15 picks in this April's draft, including No. 31 and 34, and five of the top 93 selections.
With all that ammunition, and a glaring need in the secondary, here's my directive to coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke:
Go get Darrelle Revis.
We know that Revis, the league's finest cornerback, won't be a Jet in 2013. It doesn't make sense for the team. As part of the new contract Revis signed in 2010, he will essentially become a free agent after the upcoming 2013 season. The Jets are currently in the midst of a salary cap nightmare, and there's just no way they can pay Revis "Mario Williams" money, in the range of $16 million per season.
On the Jets front, it's also worth noting that Revis has held out twice in his six-year career, and the last time it happened, in 2010, it left owner Woody Johnson with a sour taste in his mouth. The Jets have been a circus for years, but can you imagine the media backlash that would occur if Johnson and the team lost Revis and received zero compensation for him?
That's what will happen if the Jets don't trade Revis this offseason.
Then, take into account the verbal tap-dancing that Jets coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik engaged in at the combine. When presented an opportunity to declare their star player untouchable, Ryan and Idzik chose not to do so.
The Jets need to improve in a variety of areas, and trading Revis will give them the flexibility to improve their 53-man roster, which is devoid of young, quality talent.
The writing is on the wall for Revis' time as a Jet. The best cornerback in the league will play elsewhere in 2013 and beyond.
Enter the 49ers.
The job that Harbaugh and Baalke have done in the past two seasons has been nothing short of spectacular. A surprise trip to the NFC title game in 2011 was followed up by a berth in Super Bowl XLVII, and the team very nearly pulled off an incredible comeback against the Ravens to capture the franchise's sixth Lombardi Trophy. This is a team poised to be a juggernaut in the NFC for years to come.
But, the 49ers have a clear weak link: their pass defense.
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The 49ers secondary was torched throughout the postseason, allowing an average of over 300 yards per game through the air, and opposing quarterbacks completed nearly 70% of their passes.
While the playcalling at the end of the 49ers final drive in the Super Bowl was certainly suspect, don't get it twisted: San Francisco lost the Super Bowl because of the failings of their secondary.
Cornerback Chris Culliver had a nightmare Super Bowl, getting repeatedly shredded down the field. San Francisco's other starting corner, Carlos Rogers, will be 32 at the start of next season and his skills will only decline.
With all of that said, it makes all the sense in the world for the 49ers to explore a trade for Revis, and San Francisco has the arsenal of draft picks to make it happen.
The 49ers have a ridiculous 15 picks in April's draft. What's to stop them from offering, say, the 31st and 34th overall picks, plus a pick next year, for Revis?
Would the Jets really turn that down? It would provide Ryan and Idzik with three picks in the top 34, at a time where the team is absolutely desperate to infuse the roster with young, inexpensive playmakers.
In turn, the 49ers would receive a game-changing player in Revis, a guy capable of erasing the opposing team's best receiver.
I understand the concerns about Revis' health, as he is coming off an ACL tear. But Revis' rehab is reportedly moving along nicely, and he is expected to be fully ready for next year.
Now, it's worth noting that San Francisco is going to the playoffs in 2013 with or without Revis. Colin Kaepernick will only improve with more starts at the quarterback position, and the roster is filled with quality players.
But, if the 49ers acquire Revis, they become the no-doubt, clear-cut favorite to win Super Bowl XLVIII—period, end of story.
Should the 49ers trade for Darrelle Revis?
For the 49ers and Jets, this one is easy. The Jets must trade Revis, or risk losing him for nothing. San Francisco needs Revis to shore up the team's secondary and make them the favorite to hoist the Lombardi Trophy next February.
Gentlemen: let's make a deal.
Nick Kostos is the executive producer of the "SiriusXM Blitz," hosted by Rich Gannon and Adam Schein, on SiriusXM NFL Radio. You can follow Nick on Twitter.
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