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By overpaying for quarterback Alex Smith, the Kansas City Chiefs may have helped the New York Jets find their quarterback of the future.
The Chiefs reportedly agreed to trade their second-round pick (34th overall) to the San Francisco 49ers, who now have the ammunition to become players for cornerback Darrelle Revis.
The NFC champions own 11 draft choices, including the 31st and 34th picks. The 49ers are looking for the proverbial missing piece and, considering the way their secondary was shredded in the postseason, they'd be smart to consider a cornerback to replace Carlos Rogers.
The Jets are willing to listen to offers for Revis. In fact, they spoke with "multiple teams" at the scouting combine in an attempt to gauge the market for their star cornerback, according to sources.
You know the story. There's no way owner Woody Johnson will pay $16 million a year for Revis, whose contract voids after the season, and he has instructed new general manager John Idzik to see what's out there.
Let's be realistic: The chances of trading a player coming off ACL surgery -- someone who wants to be the highest-paid defensive player in the league -- are slim.
|The 49ers could make the Jets an offer on Darrelle Revis that they simply can't refuse.|
The Jets, knowing it will be difficult to receive fair value for Revis, are intent on letting it play out, allowing Revis to get healthy before making a decision on whether to trade him, re-sign him or let him play out the season.
But it takes only one team to make an offer they can't refuse, one team to defy conventional wisdom. Could the 49ers be that team?
They're in Super Bowl-or-bust mode, with the most talented roster in the league. They're so loaded that last year's first-round pick, wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, was basically redshirted.
If the 49ers can squeeze Revis under their cap -- hardly a gimme, considering all their highly paid defensive stars -- they should call the Jets and make an offer.
Would the Jets accept the 31st and 34th picks for Revis? That's a bit thin for a player of Revis' caliber, but they could package those picks to move up in the first round. Based on the trade-value chart, they'd be able to jump up to 13, where they'd be in position to pick a quarterback.
This isn't a great quarterback class, which is why Chiefs coach Andy Reid allowed the 49ers to fleece him for Smith, an ordinary passer. The Jets own the ninth pick, probably too high for any of these quarterbacks, but they'd get value by taking one in the middle to late portion of the first round.
Maybe West Virginia's Geno Smith would be there. Maybe it would be USC's Matt Barkley, whom they interviewed last week at the combine. North Carolina State's Mike Glennon, whom they met with at the Senior Bowl, and Syracuse's Ryan Nassib are considered late first-round/early second-round options.
The Jets keep talking about bringing in competition for Mark Sanchez, but the pool keeps shrinking. Michael Vick, Tarvaris Jackson and Alex Smith are spoken for, leaving Matt Moore and Jason Campbell as the top free agents -- Zzzzzz -- and Matt Flynn and Nick Foles are possible trade targets.
Flynn makes the most sense because Idzik is familiar with him -- the Seattle connection -- and he has a background in the West Coast offense. But he wouldn't come cheaply -- $11.5 million over the final two years of his contract -- and it's not as if he's a sure thing. He has only two career starts.
If the Jets trade Revis, one of the best players in franchise history, they have to make it count. They can't send him away for a cut-rate package, which is why it pays to wait until he's healthy.
But if the Jets can parlay Revis into a first-round quarterback, it would generate excitement, give them something to build around and minimize the fallout from a situation that's bound to get uglier.