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.
Jets get 2013 1st-rd pick (13th overall) plus 4th-rd pick next year that becomes 3rd-rnder if Revis on roster 3rd day of 2014 league year.— New York Jets (@nyjets) April 21, 2013
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.
Were the Jets smart to trade Revis?
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.com. Follow 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.