At long last the divorce is final.
Can we now all move on with our lives?
To me that's the big question as the New York Jets have essentially traded one of the best players in franchise history for a bag of magic beans.
Sorry, but the No. 13 pick (it had to be 13, right?) in this year's draft along with a conditional midround pick next year is in a word laughable. Of course some will say that all sides are guilty here and that this was the best deal possible given the situation.
If you came here with the hopes of finding someone willing to look at the bright side, I'm afraid you've come to the wrong place. Bill Barnwell tried to over at Grantland, but couldn't keep it together beyond a paragraph while discussing Revis' exit:
If you're a Jets fan looking for some silver lining to the deal, consider that the New York defense wasn't all that bad last year, even with Revis on the sideline after Week 3. The Jets still managed to rank ninth in defensive DVOA, with Antonio Cromartie serving effectively as a poor man's Revis. You can point out that Revis went from being a very good cornerback to being a transcendent one only after Rex Ryan arrived in 2009; maybe Ryan coached Revis up into something bigger and better than he will be in Tampa Bay. Maybe that ACL injury will be worse than it seems. Revis sure seems to hold out or threaten to hold out a lot. He probably makes the rest of the team feel inferior. If these sound like devil's advocate arguments, it's because they are. It's almost impossible to justify trading one of the best players in football without contorting yourself into impossible leaps of logic.
It is impossible, but it didn't necessarily need to be inevitable.
"But this team was going to be terrible even with Revis and you can't justify paying a cornerback quarterback money!"
Sure, keep telling yourself that if it helps you sleep at night, but maybe consider for a minute what Peter King at Sports Illustrated had to offer in his "Monday Morning Quarterback" column:
I understand the Jets could be going through a rebuilding slog. But Revis is 27. All indications are his knee is progressing well, and he'll be the same Revis. One right decision at quarterback in the next 12 months, and the Jets could easily contend by 2015 -- when Revis would still have four or five good years left. I just don't believe in trading great players you work your football career to acquire and develop and nurture. I'd have gone to Revis with a simple proposal: Prove by October 1 your knee is fine, and we'll show you the money, and you'll be our franchise cornerstone, the greatest cornerback in the game in the greatest city in the world. But that's me. Woody Johnson had other ideas. And so, of course, did Idzik.
Was this a case of owner Woody Johnson being petty, cheap or both?
Meanwhile will John Idzik ever be anything more than the general manager who traded away Revis?
I think we know the answer to the first question, but the second one is what I will be curious to see starting on Thursday night.
With two picks in a weak draft (via NFL.com), Idzik will have his work cut out for him in choosing between a mix of players named Geno, Ziggy, Dee, Star and Barkevious. Seriously they sound like members of a boy-band spin-off in an episode of Josie and the Pussycats.
God forbid if by some strange circumstance both defensive end Ziggy Ansah and defensive tackle Star Lotulelei are taken with the No. 9 and 13 picks. All summer throughout training camp we would be subjected to headlines from the Daily News and New York Post declaring “Ziggy Stardust” the next big thing.
Bad jokes aside, what are the odds that anybody the Jets draft will amount to much?
Perhaps that’s one of the sadder points about the Revis divorce—for once the Jets made the right move during the draft back in '07. Looking back as far as I can remember, the Jets have wasted one first-round pick after another on the likes of Jeff Lageman, Blair Thomas, Johnny Mitchell, Kyle Brady, DeWayne Robertson and most recently Vernon Gholston.
With that impressive track record, let’s just say that Thursday night I probably won’t be holding my breath.
In fact I still believe we have yet to hit bottom, which is only going to make 2013 all the more painful to watch.
Or is it?
With Revis and all his drama out of the picture, I think the focus can shift from being tragic to comic, as we can enjoy one more “magical” season from Marky Mark and the Buttfumblers with Rex Ryan as the ringmaster. Sure it may be professional football in name only, but for all of us as Jets fans, it should be a return to normalcy, by which I mean complete and utter dysfunction.
Apologies for the gallows humor, but honestly I can’t see much of a silver lining here. Unless of course you’re willing to leap forward a year and hope perhaps that the likely train wreck that is the 2013 season will actually pave the way for the Jets to draft South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Don't be shocked if someone coins a phrase something akin to “Clowns for Clowney” as the season spirals into the toilet, if it hasn't been kicked around already.
Such is life with Gang Green—just when you think the team might finally become a force to be reckoned with, the wheels fall off and everyone either jumps ship or is pushed overboard.
At least with Revis, there was some sense of legitimacy in what the Jets had going for them given he was the only marquee name left on the roster prior to this week, but alas he too got tossed over the side.
As for my final thoughts on Revis, I think moving forward as fans we’re looking at two scenarios:
- He fulfills his destiny and becomes this generation’s version of John Riggins—a Hall of Fame player who started out in New York, but soon wore out his welcome only to find fame and fortune elsewhere.
- He fails to fulfill his destiny. In which case, the situation becomes a bit more complicated as fans are left to debate whether or Revis got what he deserved in leaving New York similar to what Jose Reyes is dealing with now after leaving the Mets a few year back.
Either way it's a shame because much like Reyes, I considered Revis the most dynamic and exciting player to put on the uniform in my lifetime. Both demanded you watch them with a heightened sense of anticipation given that anything could happen with them on the field. Both had a flair for the dramatic, in ways both good and bad, but ultimately left you with goosebumps. Ultimately both wore out their welcome to the point that neither was even offered a deal to consider staying. Feel free to point fingers at whomever you like, but did it honestly have to turn out this way?
Much like Reyes, I wish Revis well, but offer a word of caution. Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. While I respect both men for capitalizing on their talents by taking a big paycheck, nothing can replace the fame in addition to the fortune of playing in New York—even if it is for second-class organizations like the Mets and Jets.
Speaking of the Jets, you remind me of that friend or relative who can never quite get his act together. Occasionally you'll pull yourself together and fool everyone into believing you've finally figured things out and turned over a new leaf, but given enough time, it always falls apart.
Yet I can't quit you, because deep down I keep hoping that the next time, you will clean up your act for good and prove me wrong.
In time I will likely forgive you for dumping Darrelle Revis as I have for all of your other mistakes, but I will, however, never forget the fact you did it.
Finally, good luck on Thursday night, you're gonna need it. For as much as I hate to admit it, I will be watching, wishing and hoping you finally get your act together and more importantly keep it together.
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