The New York Jets Should Offer Darrelle Revis a Contract Extension

Andrew KaufmanSenior Analyst IJanuary 25, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09:  Darrelle Revis #24 of the New York Jets walks to the sidelines against the Buffalo Bills  during their season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 9, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The New York Jets made news once again today, when owner Woody Johnson announced to the media that he was open to the idea of trading star cornerback Darrelle Revis.

On the surface, Johnson's desire is understandable, as the Jets are likely looking at a rough 2013 campaign and Revis will become a free agent after that season, so it might make sense for the Jets deal him now while they can get something in return. Additionally, the Jets run the risk that Revis either returns from injury a lesser player or performs so well in 2013 that cash-strapped Gang Green can no longer afford his services.

But it doesn't have to be this way. Instead of falling victim to Revis' unique situation, the Jets have the opportunity to step up, be proactive and profit from the uncertainty currently surrounding Revis' future by offering him a long-term contract now, before he has even demonstrated a full recovery from his ACL injury.

It is unclear exactly what type of offer the Jets could make to Revis right now, but what is clear is that New York has the opportunity to sign Revis to a much more team-friendly deal than whatever offer he would command following a strong return to the field in 2013.

And, of course, the terms should be more team-friendly, as the Jets would be offering to share in the risk that Revis' injury has created. But by sharing in that risk, New York would also gain the opportunity to lock up a truly elite player at below market value.

The Jets may find themselves negotiating from a position of strength as well, as Revis would have to consider any offer that would set him up for life with a significant amount of guaranteed money. Holding out for more millions may be the strictly economical thing to do, but the risk of re-injuring himself and ending up with nothing cannot be ignored.

Mark Sanchez's hefty salary will almost certainly come off the books following the 2014 season, enabling the Jets to offer Revis a somewhat front-loaded extension while they surround him with younger, cheaper players on defense. 

Given the traditionally thin market for quarterbacks, Revis is worth far more to the Jets than any veteran they can currently acquire. He remains the heart of the Gang Green defense and, when healthy, is one of the few players on the current New York roster that is worth building a team around.

He is also one of the few players in the entire league who is worth the kind of risk being proposed. The Jets should recognize what they have and act immediately to keep Darrelle Revis in green, at an affordable rate, for as long as possible.