Jets shopping Revis, looking for "at least" a first-round pick
However, he's now on a Jets team that is entering a nearly inevitable rebuilding stage. Former general manager Mike Tannenbaum essentially set money on fire, making the responsibility of keeping the Jets below the salary cap a daunting task for new GM John Idzik. Revis is entering the final year of his $46 million contract, and considering the Jets' current cap situation, it seems nearly impossible for them to retain Revis next winter, when he'll be an unrestricted free agent. Making it even more difficult is the fact that a clause in Revis' contract bars the Jets from using the franchise tag on him.
Head coach Rex Ryan has expressed that he wants to keep Revis next season, but he probably won't have a ton of say in the matter after leading his team to one of the more embarrassing 6-10 seasons you'll ever see. In addition, Ryan is likely thinking of his own future - he is hanging onto his job by a thread, and Revis gives him the best chance to win now and keep his job. Idzik and owner Woody Johnson will be thinking more down the road.
Revis has also told reporters that he doesn't want to be traded and wants to be a Jet his whole career, but do you know what else Revis wants? Money. Lots and lots of money. The persistent holdout threat has proven time and time again that he wants to be paid like he is the best cornerback in the league (which he is), and the Jets are simply unlikely to have the money to pay him next winter.
The Jets are reportedly seeking "at least" a first-round pick in return for Revis. That asking price is certainly reasonable, but there are two factors that will likely cause teams to hesitate:
Revis is currently rehabbing a torn ACL. With modern medicine and the brilliant work of Dr. James Andrews, players can almost always come back from these type of knee injuries as the same player they were before, but it definitely will be a bit of a red flag for teams thinking of coughing up a high draft pick.
Another cause for concern is that Revis is entering the final year of his deal. For those of you who follow the NBA, the concern here is similar to NBA teams' concerns with Dwight Howard. If a team is going to pay big for Revis, they'll likely want assurance that he'll be with them for more than one year. What does help, however, is that Revis is owed an extremely affordable $6 million in 2013.
Not only do the Jets face the very real possibility of losing Revis for nothing next year, but their secondary held up just fine without him. Antonio Cromartie stepped into the shutdown corner role almost seamlessly. Revis tore his ACL in the second game of the season, and the Jets still managed the 2nd ranked pass defense in the NFL. Could Revis really have improved that unit all that much?
I know I threw out the name Dwight Howard earlier, but don't worry folks - I don't expect this situation to get nearly as messy or annoying. It will be something to monitor, however. Though trades in the NFL are always far less of a sure thing than in the other major sports leagues, "at least two teams" have already contacted the Jets regarding Revis since the news broke that he was on the trade block last night. Plenty more than those two teams will be calling the Jets' offices, and if someone offers a good package of picks, we could very easily see Revis in a different uniform next season.