Should the San Francisco 49ers Trade for Darrelle Revis

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Should the San Francisco 49ers Trade for Darrelle Revis
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
The San Francisco 49ers appear to be one of the top teams in contention for the services of Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis.

Once again, the San Francisco 49ers are in the spotlight.

Last week, it was the news that San Francisco was going to trade its long-time starter-turned-backup quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for more draft picks.

This week, the 49ers again are in the news but this time, they are being discussed as one of the top teams interested in New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.

For the Jets, moving Revis makes plenty of sense.  New York is coming off an abysmal 6-10 season, which was filled with injury, disappointment and controversy.  The Jets have plenty of needs to address this offseason if they look to improve in the AFC East in the upcoming year. In an article by Newsday's Bob Glauber, former NFL receiver Keyshawn Johnson stated that, since the Jets have so many holes, moving Revis makes perfect sense.

I think it's a smart move if they do move him and get value...He's not going to win any games for you. He's a defensive back who will shut down the top receiver, but the ball is not in his hands. The Jets need more than a top corner. They need some pieces. If he gives them the value to get those pieces, then move him (via nfl.com).

 

Revis is set to make $6 million in the final year of his contract and is likely to seek around $16 million per year when he becomes a free agent in 2014 (via espn.com).  If the Jets are able to move him, the money saved could be used on shoring up some of their own shortcomings.

Signs point to the Jets doing just that.  New York Daily News columnist Manish Mehta and CBS Sports columnist Jason La Canfora have both indicated that Revis shall be traded and soon.

Nick Laham/Getty Images
Darrelle Revis had four interceptions and 41 tackles in 2011.

For Revis, a pending trade seems bittersweet.  The four-time Pro Bowler and 2009 AFC Defensive Player of the Year indicated his frustration at being shopped by the Jets this offseason.  Revis stated, “This definitely hit home especially being one of the best players out there and come to find out you’re getting shopped. It really hits home." (via nydailynews.com)

He did state in the same interview that playing for the 49ers would be "awesome."

In addition to the 49ers, the Falcons, Colts, Buccaneers and Chiefs have also been rumored to have interest in Revis (via cbssports.com).

Yet, for the 49ers, the move seems to make the most sense.  For starters, San Francisco's lone defensive liability in 2012 was its backfield, which was exposed during their Super Bowl run.  49ers cornerbacks Carlos Rogers and Chris Culliver struggled in the postseason, leading to some impressive quarterbacking numbers by Atlanta's Matt Ryan and Baltimore's Joe Flacco.  If there was an area that needed help, San Francisco's secondary would be it.

Furthermore, the 49ers have 15 draft picks going into the NFL draft this year.  While San Francisco could make some upgrades and add depth through the draft, there certainly are not 15 holes to fill.  Thus, packaging some of those draft picks in exchange for a player who would have an immediate impact would seem both likely and beneficial.

Of course, there is substantial risk in the trade.  Revis suffered a torn ACL in Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins and missed the rest of the regular season.  Before the injury, Revis was one of the best shut-down corners in the game.  After the injury and recovery, it is difficult to determine how effective he will be.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Darrelle Revis tore his ACL in Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins, creating concerns about his effectiveness in 2013.

It would be risky for the 49ers to make a trade given the unknowns, but considering San Francisco's current roster, which is already stacked with talent along with the large number of draft picks they have, the risk may be worth the reward.

Bay Area News Group columnist Monte Poole feels that the 49ers need to make a big trade with all those draft picks and feels that Revis might be the best option (via mercurynews.com):

With their pockets stuffed with as many as 15 picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Niners can afford to get crazy.  If there is a time to take a risk, it is now. If there is a guy worth the risk, it is Revis.

 

Assuming that the 49ers are able to make the trade, what would it spell for their salary cap? And what would it mean for some of their current free agents hoping to re-sign with the team, most notably safety Dashon Goldson?

The 49ers are currently pressed up against the salary cap.  Trading Alex Smith, along with the release of kicker David Akers and the potential release of linebacker Parys Haralson, will free up some cap space.   

Goldson remains the biggest priority for the 49ers.  He has also mentioned that he would love to see something work out with San Francisco (via csnbayarea.com).  San Francisco did not use its franchise tag on Goldson and have indicated that they want him back. 

Where does Darrelle Revis end up in 2013?

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Goldson made over $6 million in 2012, and given his performance during the season, he is likely to command a large contract in 2013 (spotrac.com).  Could the 49ers afford both Goldson and Revis?  That is a difficult question to answer.

Whether or not San Francisco can retain Goldson and trade for Revis, the 49ers camp has revealed very little about its intentions.

According to CSN Bay Area analyst Ray Ratto, the potential trade seems to be similar to the 49ers interest in Peyton Manning a year ago: a lot of hype and rumors that fail to amount to much of anything.  He indicates that while the deal may seem to be a no-brainer, fans should not be surprised if all the talk fails to translate into any action (via csnbayarea.com).

Indeed the 49ers have not shown much of their hand.  They have reason not to.  With other teams like the Falcons potentially in the market, the Jets are in a great position to evaluate the best package offered.  Given the steep contract Revis has, along with his injury, the 49ers may be looking elsewhere.

ESPN writer Chris Mortensen reported a source stating that San Francisco has almost no interest in Revis, citing that the contract issues along with the package it would take to get him might be too much for the 49ers to bear.  Revis' injury may also be a factor.

The potential trade seems to be a high-risk, high-reward scenario for the 49ers.  They need help at cornerback and Revis is out there.  San Francisco has all those picks too, and it is highly unlikely that they would use all of them in the upcoming draft. 

Darrelle Revis roaming the 49ers secondary would be a huge addition if he returns to his pre-injury form.  For San Francisco, already poised on another return to the Super Bowl, all that risk may be worth the reward.

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