Darrelle Revis trade an option for Patriots to shore up defense
Aqib Talib batted down a ball thrown to Anquan Boldin in the early going of the AFC Championship game last Sunday, then limped off the field with a thigh injury. In hindsight, the Patriots’ hopes of containing the Baltimore Ravens’ offense left the field with him.
Despite another historic year on offense, the Patriots fell short on the defensive front when it matters most. That’s why in the 2013-2014 season, it is likely that they will want to add another piece to the defensive unit. The 2012-2013 season’s acquisition of Talib reportedly gave the secondary swagger, and fans can expect the franchise to sign him on for at least another year for good behavior and making an impact on the field.
But Talib can’t do the job alone. The biggest trade rumor this weekend is the potential blockbuster and possibly another NFL record signing of one of the best defensive players to play the game. Gang Green is shipping out Darrelle Revis for likely buyers, and the Patriots reportedly are interested.
The formidable combination of Talib and Revis in the secondary hounding on top receivers would make the Patriots the favorite to win next year’s Super Bowl. But the Patriots will need to pay top money, high draft picks, and perhaps a core player to wedge Revis away. Another issue that comes up is whether or not the New York Jets will trade their best player to a divisional rival.
Next is the salary cap. NFL News reported that Revis is due $6 million in 2013, and has a player-option for the following three seasons. Buffalo Bills’ record signing, worth $96 million for 6 years for Mario Williams, remains the figures to beat. Look for Revis to want more than that. He is 27 years old and coming back from an ACL surgery. This is perhaps the best chance for him to get job security, and a chance at immortality.
New England won’t be the only team interested. GMs around the league are expecting a bidding war for Revis. “There’s a Revis gold rush forming,” said one GM. And right now, Revis has all the leverage he needs, and the Jets with the second-ranked passing defense last season even when Revis was out since Week 3, has much to gain from the trade.
Teammate Antonio Cromartie, who was named to the Pro Bowl this season, told NFL.com from Hawaii: “”We can’t lose a guy like him. He’s a great leader in the locker room and also in our [defensive backs] room, making sure that guys are accountable for each other. To lose a guy like that would be huge. And even though he’s coming off the surgery, I believe he’ll come back as strong as ever.”
New Jets general manager John Idzik, who took over Mike Tannenbaum’s position, underplayed the rumors by asking Revis for more patience. Idzik reportedly told NBC’s “Pro Football Talk” on Friday that Revis “reacted well” to a phone call after Revis vented his frustration on Twitter: “I’m speechless by far but more importantly I feel more upset for the jet nation for having to go through this!!!”
According to NFL News, the Jets are going to be $19 million over the salary cap in 2013. It makes sense to trade Revis now that they have a reliable passing defense, and with a sputtering offense that needs rebuilding. It also makes sense that every other team in the NFL would want one of the best shutdown corners on their roster, Super Bowl contenders or not.