According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora:
The New York Jets, fresh off an exhaustive hunt for new general manager John Idzik, will explore options to deal star corner Darrelle Revis this offseason, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
La Canfora notes that although Revis' 2013 salary isn't outrageous ($6 million cap hit), Johnson "has strong reservations about the ability to extend Revis's deal, the sources said."
My first reaction to this news was one of disgust. I thought, "Why would the Jets want to get rid of their best player?" Then, after the initial shock of the idea wore off, I began to see the light.
Revis is going to demand a gargantuan contract after 2014, when his contract can be voided. He's easily the best player at his position in the league, and as long as he's able to rehab his knee back to full strength, then all his injury did was extend his career one more year.
Looking at the highest-paid cornerbacks in 2013, it's easy to see why Johnson would feel the need to get some value for his hottest commodity before he hits the free-agent market or demands another pay raise.
The top four contracts, courtesy of Spotrac.com:
- Nnamdi Asomugha: $15 million
- Brandon Carr: $14.3 million
- Champ Bailey: $9 million
- Cortland Finnegan: $9 million
Carr and Finnegan both got paid as part of the 2012 class of free agents, with each receiving five-year deals worth $50 million.
Revis is worth more than both of them, and he'll demand an even more bloated contract.
The Jets are in terrible shape in terms of their salary cap for the next few years, thanks to the work of former general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
Per the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta:
Jets are $19.4M over 2013 salary cap, per ESPN. However, #NYJ will be ~ $8.3M under when they cut Jason Smith, Bart Scott & Calvin Pace—Manish Mehta(@MMehtaNYDN) January 10, 2013
And there's no doubt the Jets are in full-on rebuilding mode, no matter how much Rex Ryan will deny this fact.
The team's defensive line is in disrepair, two of the team's best linebackers in 2012, Bart Scott and Calvin Pace, are getting old and slow and safety Yeremiah Bell was a huge liability in coverage.
Furthermore, the offensive line had serious issues creating holes for running backs Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell—both of whom struggled to even average four yards per rushing attempt.
New general manager John Idzik needs to rebuild through the draft and lay a fresh foundation for the long-term prospects of the franchise.
Revis would be an attractive player in 2013 for a team like the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Houston Texans or Baltimore Ravens—teams already loaded with talent on both sides of the ball that would be willing to take on a one-year rental for a shot at a Super Bowl.
The 49ers have already pulled off a maneuver like this once before, back in 1994 when the team rented Deion Sanders for one season. Circumstances were a bit different, as San Francisco signed the free-agent Sanders to a one-year contract.
But the deal paid off. San Francisco won the Super Bowl that year, and Sanders played a huge part in the team's success.
Revis could have the same impact in 2013 for a team bold enough to make a deal.
Johnson will be blasted by fans for putting Revis on the block like this, but from where I'm standing, it's just good business.
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