CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora broke the news on Wednesday that the team was indeed looking to shop the All-Pro CB, citing league sources:
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.
According to nyjetscap.com, the team will have over $146 million in salary to pay in 2013 should they keep Revis. As NFL Network's Ian Rapoport noted back in December, the tentative cap figures limit teams to approximately $121 million.
So that's a problem.
Another dilemma, of course, is the lack of firepower on this Jets' roster and how much fan backlash there could be for the team trading its best player. But head coach Rex Ryan managed to still have the second-ranked pass defense even without Revis for much of last season, and Revis is coming off of a serious ACL injury after all.
There is also the fact that Revis will be a free agent following the 2013 campaign, and should the Jets struggle again, it would be difficult to imagine him wanting to re-sign to a long-term deal. Especially if Revis comes back strong off of his injury and has a great year, it would be silly for New York to let him walk free without anything in return.
This transaction would be a bold prospective first step for general manager John Idzik, who was most recently the Seattle Seahawks' VP of Football Administration.
Idzik knows the value of having a strong secondary, as the current Seahawks squad is littered with outstanding players in the defensive backfield. He helped build one of the strongest rosters in the league in Seattle, and picked up all of them in a variety of ways.
FS Earl Thomas was a first-round pick, but Pro Bowl corner Brandon Browner came from the Canadian Football League, and Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman were snagged as late-round draft picks.
Although those decisions weren't all Idzik's doing, he was part of the front office team that made them happen. This particular move is being pushed by owner Woody Johnson, though, rather than the recently arrived Idzik, according to ESPN New York's Rich Cimini:
Johnson has "no confidence" in the Jets' ability to re-sign Revis, the person familiar with his thinking said. Despite the knee injury, he could seek more than $16 million per year, which could be prohibitive for the cap-strapped Jets.
Unfortunately, the same cap restraints that are likely to force Revis out of town will not allow the Jets to get a marquee, proven star that a trade chip like Revis could command.
Rather, Idzik will have to try to get as many draft picks as possible to build the roster in a cost-effective manner and become competitive as possible.
Complicating matters even further is the fact that Ryan reportedly doesn't want Revis gone despite the relative success the pass defense had in 2012 without him (h/t Pro Football Talk). For a front office and coaching staff trying to get on the same page, this is certainly not going to help.
It's hard to imagine Darrelle Revis not in a New York Jets jersey, but that could be a reality very soon.