What Does Darrelle Revis Trade Mean for the New York Jets?

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IApril 21, 2013

December 4, 2011; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) stands on the field during warm-ups prior to the Jets game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. The Jets won 34-19. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In rebuilding their roster, the New York Jets had two options: build around All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, or trade him in the final year of his deal and start going in a new direction.

The former would have come with a level of comfort and familiarity, but would have meant that in the long-term, the Jets would be investing around 15 percent of their salary cap on a cornerback.

The Jets went the latter route, sending Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their first-round pick in 2013 and their fourth-round pick in 2014, according to the Jets' official Twitter account.

The Jets might have liked to get more picks, as they were originally aiming for a first-, third- and fifth-round pick. The fact that they were able to acquire the Buccaneers' 2013 first-round choice, the 13th overall, should be considered a huge win. Who knows if the selection would have been worse had the Jets waited to get next year's first-round pick from the Bucs.

While the Jets would have owed Revis $9 million for 2013—and will take a $13 million dead money cap hit as a result of the trade—Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports that the deal will pay Revis $16 million per year for six years. 

At that kind of price tag, the Jets are better off without him. The formula with Revis hasn't brought home a Super Bowl trophy yet, and the Jets could instead invest that money in improving their offense.

"Life without Revis" isn't exactly uncharted territory for the Jets defense, having played without him for 14.5 out of 16 games last year. In fact, they hardly suffered overall from a statistical standpoint. Their numbers largely remained the same from 2011 to 2012.

That's rather illusory, though, as the Jets were clearly not the same defensively. The unit really kicked it into high gear late in the season when the competition was notably lighter—they faced the Cardinals, Jaguars, Titans, Chargers and Bills in the final five games of the regular season. 

Losing Revis didn't hurt them so much against No. 1 receivers, where Antonio Cromartie stepped up remarkably and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl as a result. The impact was felt further down the depth chart, where Kyle Wilson became largely responsible for covering the No. 2 receiver and the likes of Ellis Lankster and Isaiah Trufant manning the slot.

With that in mind, the Jets would be wise to use one of their new picks to add another cornerback. Granted, that position would have likely been a high priority for the Jets anyway, given the fact that Revis has one year left on his deal and the Jets will soon need to find long-term answers.

The Jets made a wise choice to help them find those solutions, and now, the pressure is on them to turn those picks into talented players and build toward the future.


Erik Frenz is also a Patriots/AFC East writer for Boston.comFollow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise noted, all stats obtained from ProFootballFocus.com, and all quotes obtained firsthand or via team press releases.