Friday, January 25, 2013
Does Darrelle Revis fit in AFC East?
By James Walker
I've been asked this question multiple times on Twitter this week: Can the New York Jets trade star cornerback Darrelle Revis to a team in the AFC East?
It’s no secret the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills all have major needs at cornerback. Revis is the best cornerback in the NFL. Therefore, he's great fit for any team in the division.
But would the Jets really trade their best player to a division rival? Let’s examine.
New England Patriots
Analysis: The Patriots have the NFL's 29th-ranked pass defense and desperately need a shutdown corner. The Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco recently picked New England’s secondary apart in last week's AFC Championship Game. A shutdown corner like Revis would immediately make the Patriots a Super Bowl favorite next year. New England's defense was ninth against the run, and Revis' ability to cut off half the field would solve many of the Patriots' problems against the pass. However, the Jets are New England's most hated rival and it would be incredibly silly to boost the Patriots' title prospects. The Jets are zany at times, but they're not that zany.
Analysis: The Dolphins are thin at cornerback and have plenty of assets at their disposal to fix the issue. First, Miami has five draft picks in the first three rounds and 10 picks total, which would be attractive to the Jets. Second, the Dolphins have about $40 million in cap room this year, which would be attractive to Revis. Miami has the capability to give Revis the big-money contract extension he's seeking this year or next year. In many ways, this looks like a potential match for all parties. But would the rebuilding Jets help another up-and-coming rival in the AFC East? Also, New York would have to face Revis twice a year, which is not a good idea.
Analysis: Former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine now is in Buffalo and would love to get his hands on Revis again. Buffalo will have many of the same schemes and philosophies on defense that are familiar to Revis. The Bills also could use another cornerback opposite first-round pick Stephon Gilmore. However, Buffalo just signed Mario Williams to a $100 million contract in free agency in 2012. The Bills probably would not be able to give Revis another mega-contract in 2014, because it would be tough to pay two players that kind of elite money. Revis would appear to be nothing more than a one-year rental if he landed in Buffalo. The Bills are a team in major transition in 2013 with a new offense, a new defense, a new head coach and most likely a new quarterback, who might be a rookie.
Overall, the Jets will have plenty of options to trade Revis. Therefore, the Jets do not have to take on the extra headache of assisting a division rival get to the next level and face Revis twice a year.