Sunday, April 21, 2013
Jets brass remains optimistic post-Revis
By James Walker
The New York Jets brass held a conference call with the media Sunday evening following the trade of star cornerback Darrelle Revis. The Jets shipped one of their top players in franchise history to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a first-round pick this year and a conditional third- or fourth-round pick in 2014.
Most view trading Revis as a tremendous talent dump for the Jets. Revis, when healthy, is a top-10 player in the NFL. New York will not get that kind of elite player in return with the No. 13 overall pick on Thursday.
However, New York general manager John Idzik, coach Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson were all on board that this was the best decision for the Jets. Idzik also made it clear that other factors were involved, such as health and a looming contract extension in 2014 that made it unlikely Revis would remain a Jet long term.
"It became abundantly clear to us that his value was such that we wouldn’t get there," Idzik said of Revis, who in turn signed a six-year, $96 million contract with Tampa Bay. "That just didn’t [match] with what the Jets had in store."
The biggest concern for the Jets is this roster does not appear competitive this year. New York, on paper, could be the worst team in the AFC East and one of the bottom-feeder teams in the league this season. The Jets have a lot of holes and a lot of questions that the draft alone cannot fix. Now, the Jets dump their best player.
Owner Woody Johnson offered a message to Jets fans that the team's goal is to win in 2013, despite these changes.
"There's never been a year when I haven't tried to win using everything that I have to try to build a team that's capable of doing that," Johnson explained. "This year is no different. ... We're committed to putting a team on the field that's a winning team."
Ryan, who is known to be brash, was adamant that New York's defense will remain one of the top units in the NFL. To Ryan's credit, the Jets were the No. 2 pass defense last season, despite Revis missing 13 games.
"We’re going to play great defense here -- I don’t even think that’s a question," Ryan said. “We’re a football team that has a No. 1 corner. We’re fortunate to have Antonio Cromartie here. So there’s a lot of factors that go into every decision.”
Overall, the Jets made the right move to trade Revis. The compensation was a little light for a player of his caliber, but Revis was injured and Tampa Bay had leverage. But unlike Idzik, Johnson and Ryan, I think the Jets are going to experience some major growing pains in 2013 before this team gets better.