The New York Jets made a franchise-altering move on Sunday, trading star cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Jets will receive the Bucs' first-round pick in this year's draft along with a conditional fourth-round pick in 2014, which will likely become a third-rounder.
While it is rare to see a player with so much talent dealt, the Jets have traded away their best player since Curtis Martin. The trade is an obvious sign that the team is in rebuilding mode. General manager John Idzik would rather build through the draft than overpay a star cornerback.
Jets' management could have avoided this by signing Revis to a long-term deal in 2010, but opted to sign him to a shorter contract.
The foolishness of owner Woody Johnson shone brightly throughout the entire process. Johnson was a big part of the holdout in 2010 and openly stated that he probably wouldn't re-sign Revis. He deserves some blame for how the situation was handled.
The amount of success or failure from this deal depends on what the Jets decide to do with their two picks. They have a chance to address major needs and could expedite the rebuilding process if the right players are brought in.
The person who may have gotten the worst end of the deal is head coach Rex Ryan. With his job on the line, success this coming season was imperative, and now Ryan will be without his best player.
Revis is one of the few corners in the league who can eliminate the opponent's top receiver, which is huge for Ryan's aggressive blitz schemes. The team still has Antonio Cromartie and an improving Kyle Wilson, but they don't have the same skill set as Revis.
Consider Ryan as good as gone if this season doesn't result in eight wins. It is safe to say that Idzik has set his coach up for failure.
Barring divine intervention, this will be a very poor year for Gang Green. The Jets don't have a quarterback, running back or a receiver outside of Santonio Holmes, and they need to use at least one of their two first-round picks on a playmaker.
The defense is still serviceable, but losing Revis will force Ryan to change his strategies. He will have to rely on his front seven to rush the passer effectively and will not have the luxury of Revis to keep the passing attack at bay. If the defensive line and linebackers are unable to get to the quarterback, the defense will struggle mightily.
The only definite right now for the New York Jets is that they are fully in rebuilding mode. By saying farewell to the team's best player, they willingly acknowledge that they are starting fresh and will not be a contender for at least a couple of years.