Four years ago, the Seahawks traded a first-round pick for a good, young player who was disgruntled with his AFC East team and then paid him an exorbitant contract.
That deal didn’t turn out so well, as Deion Branch has proven to be worth neither the pick the Seahawks gave up nor the money they have paid him.
That said, would the Seahawks―now under new management―like to try it again?
Four years later, another good, young player is disgruntled with his AFC East team and could be available.
Darrelle Revis, the Jets’ star cornerback, is holding out for a new contract, just as Branch did with the Patriots in 2006.
Of course, the difference is that Revis is a much better player―perhaps the best at his position in the NFL. And that’s why a deal for the All-Pro shutdown corner would be much less of a gamble than the one the Hawks made to get and sign Branch, whose only claim to fame in 2006 was having been Super Bowl MVP.
The Jets have quickly become notorious under owner Woody Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum for paying loads of money to free agents but largely ignoring the players who have played well for them.
Leon Washington is a prime example. The running back made noise about a contract extension last year, and then he suffered a broken leg in October. As he was entering the final year of his contract, the Jets decided he was no longer valuable to them and traded him to the Seahawks.
Perhaps the Jets would be interested in offloading another player to Seattle.
Revis is due to be paid $1 million in 2010 as part of the rookie contract he signed in 2007. As the current best cornerback in the NFL, he would be grossly underpaid at that rate.
He wants to be compensated slightly above Oakland corner Nnamdi Asomugha, who was given a three-year deal worth $45.3 million last year.
The Jets reportedly have offered Revis a long-term contract worth around $100 million, but it reportedly includes only $5 million in guaranteed money. Revis understandably feels insulted by that offer.
If the Seahawks were willing to give Revis $45 million guaranteed―the amount Asomugha is slated to make through 2011―they could probably get Revis to back off the outrageous demand of $15 million per year. That’s the kind of money that only quarterbacks typically command.
The five highest-paid cornerbacks in 2009 averaged $9.57 million. Fair value for Revis would be perhaps 120 percent of that―between $11 million and $12 million per year. So, a more “reasonable” and fair contract would be something like eight years and $100 million, with the $45 million guaranteed.
There is no salary cap this year, so paying Revis $45 million up front would be simply a matter of having that kind of cash in hand―something Seahawks owner Paul Allen usually doesn’t have an issue with. (Teams often split up those kind of payments anyway, giving some of it now and some in deferred payments.)
As for the 30 percent rule everyone has been so worked up about, big bonus money is not affected by it. And, the Seahawks could simply include an option bonus after the third or fourth year that basically creates a new contract with higher salaries at that point.
Of course, there is also the cost of acquisition to consider. But a first-round pick would surely do, considering the Jets are not inclined to pay Revis his market value anyway. The Jets would probably be satisfied with a first-round pick from a team like the Seahawks, which has drafted in the top six in each of the last two years and has most people thinking they won’t be much better this season. If the Jets wanted something else, the Seahawks could throw in cornerback Kelly Jennings―maybe haggling for a mid-round pick in return.
Pairing Revis with a renewed Marcus Trufant would create quite a cornerback duo, with Josh Wilson and promising rookie Walter Thurmond in reserve.
Perhaps it’s something Seattle general manager John Schneider should consider.
Schneider apparently already has considered pass rusher Aaron Schobel, who bluffed Buffalo into releasing him by claiming he was going to retire.
Schneider thinks Schobel is headed to Houston, but it looks like he might be interested in signing with the highest bidder. New England is also reportedly interested.
Schobel, who turns 33 on Sept. 1, had 10 sacks last season, and the 6-4, 243-pound speedster might fit perfectly as a Leo rusher in Pete Carroll’s defense.
So, what’s a reasonable contract for a 33-year-old sack artist who has been pretty healthy and put up good numbers (78 sacks in nine seasons)?
Well, the Seahawks gave an injury-prone, 29-year-old pass rusher $39.5 million over six years when they signed Patrick Kerney in 2007. He lasted three years.
Figure Schobel has three or four good years left, if he doesn’t retire. He has been making about $6 million or $7 million per year, so how about a four-year, $26 million deal guaranteeing $14 million? If they then got two good years out of him, it would be a good deal.
If the Hawks could get a shutdown corner for the next decade at the cost of a first-rounder and a pass rusher for the next two or three years, would it be worth $60 million in guaranteed money?
Weigh in on which of Seattle's second-chance additions will make contributions this season.