New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is definitely a better option than any player currently on the Atlanta Falcons’ roster, or any player who will become available on the free-agent market next week. But the Falcons can’t afford to trade for Revis, and it only has a little to do with money.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported that the Falcons are one of “two to three legitimate buyers” interested in acquiring Revis from the Jets.
While a blockbuster move would fit into general manager Thomas Dimitroff’s modus operandi for pulling off at least one huge deal per offseason—Tony Gonzalez in 2009, Dunta Robinson in 2010, the draft-pick trade to grab Julio Jones in 2011 and Asante Samuel in 2012—trading for Revis would hurt in too many other areas to be a sound move.
The first issue is that the Jets are likely to ask for a first-round draft pick as part of the package to obtain Revis, possibly two first-round picks. The Falcons have seven tradable draft picks in 2013, including their first-rounder at No. 30. But the team has many needs to fill.
Since the Falcons cut defensive end John Abraham, the only player on the 2012 roster to reach double digits in sacks and the guy who made up 34.5 percent of Atlanta sack total, the need for pass-rush help in the draft is huge. Atlanta needs to bring in two guys to rush the passer, either both defensive ends or an end and a linebacker.
It’s going to be quite difficult to bring in a game-changing pass-rusher if the Falcons trade draft picks—especially their first-round pick—to get Revis.
Atlanta would be better off paying free-agent-to-be cornerback Brent Grimes what Grimes feels he’s worth. There’s a drop-off from Revis to Grimes, but Grimes is still a Pro-Bowl-caliber corner. The cost of giving up Atlanta’s first-round pick far outweighs the cost of re-signing Grimes, and the talent difference is negligible, considering the Falcons could then focus on rushing the passer.
There’s also the financial craziness surrounding a possible Revis acquisition. The New York Daily News has sources that predict signing Revis to a long-term deal could get quite expensive.
According to sources, owner Woody Johnson has told the Jets’ brain trust that it should move on from Revis, who is a little more than four months removed from season-ending knee surgery and is expected to command a new multi-year deal ranging anywhere from $12 million to $16 million per season.
Revis is set to make $3 million in 2013 and has a player option for as much as three more years or could become a free agent in 2014. Not only are the Falcons looking to use their more than $20 million of cap space to attempt to re-sign players like William Moore, Grimes and Sam Baker, but 2013 is the final year of quarterback Matt Ryan’s rookie deal. Handing Revis enough money to make him happy would jeopardize those plans.
There’s nothing more important to the Falcons than making sure Ryan is with the Falcons long term, and there are far more pressing re-signings to deal with before Atlanta could consider Revis. Sure Dimitroff might be able to fit Revis in under the cap, but it’d likely only be a one-year rental.
Should the Falcons give up one or two first-round picks for a one-year rental?
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and statements were obtained firsthand.