Back in early January I posted Revis Rehab Review, in which I attempted to sketch out what to expect in terms of the timetable for Revis' recovery from ACL surgery and when certain milestones might be expected. I compared Revis' rehab to Adrien Peterson's remarkable recovery from ACL surgery to try to sketch out a possible timeline of approximately when to expect certain milestones. To briefly recap, Peterson began running (in NFL parlance, "football related activities") approximately 3 months after surgery and saw his first game action approximately 8 months after surgery. He struggled early on, but returned to his finest form approximately 10 months after surgery, and went on to have one of the greatest years a RB has ever had in the NFL.
Many here at GGN pointed out that Revis was at the same HOF level as Peterson, had the same great work ethic, and so was likely to have a similar recovery. In light of the latest information regarding Revis' recovery reported here, that looks to be unlikely at this point. According to the cited article, Revis is still at least 6 weeks away from beginning football related activities (i.e., running). The earliest that may happen is reportedly early April. That would put Revis at a minimum of 5 1/2 months after surgery, at least 2 1/2 months behind Peterson's incredible recovery.
That in itself is not particularly cause for concern. The typical full recovery from ACL surgery takes 9-12 months, assuming of course full recovery is ever achieved. If we assume Revis remains 2 1/2 months behind Peterson's whirlwind timetable (an admittedly wildly unsupported shot in the dark estimation, but it's the best we can do given the current information available), then Revis should be fully recovered sometime around 12 1/2 months after surgery, which would basically be a bit slow but certainly not so slow as to raise any red flags...yet.
If this is how it plays out (and things will very likely change as time goes on), then we can expect a few things. First, there is virtually zero chance of Revis being traded prior to the 2013 draft. By late April Revis will only be completing early exercises in straight line running, meaning no team will have any means to judge his ability to cut or properly evaluate the likelihood of a full recovery. Trading Revis at that point would only bring in low ball offers, and the Jets are unlikely to settle for that, so I think it's safe to say Revis will not be bringing back 2013 draft picks, even if he is eventually traded.
Second, the slightly slow recovery makes it very likely that Revis will be staging a defacto holdout by not appearing in any preseason action. He is now essentially on track to begin running precisely one year after Peterson began his running. Peterson did not appear in any preseason action. If Revis stays on this track, expect to see the first of him in game time action on opening day of the regular season.
Third, again following the Peterson script after he began running, Peterson did not look like the AP of old until week 7 of the season. If Revis does the same, then we will see him look rather pedestrian right up until a week or two prior to the trading deadline. Since we can expect any potential trading partners to be paying extremely close attention to Revis' game day performances, it now becomes fairly likely that no team will be willing to pony up a premium package of draft picks for a player who will likely still present huge question marks regarding his ultimate recovery prospects at the trading deadline. If so, then trading Revis becomes much less likely, as the Jets might not get much better offers than the compensatory pick the Jets would get if they lose him via free agency.
This also could greatly complicate the matter of trying to re-sign Revis. If the Jets can't be sure prior to the trading deadline whether Revis is likely to return to all world status, then the Jets will likely be reluctant to offer Revis a mega deal prior to the trading deadline. But after the deadline the Jets lose most of their leverage, and if Revis subsequently shines the last half of the season, he will very likely let the season play out and enter the open market for his services. If on the other hand Revis does not return to form during the 2013 season, he will lose much of his leverage, but the Jets will then be faced with a serious dilemma. While they may find Revis' asking price reduced somewhat, unless he is truly bad during the 2013 season he will still likely command a very large contract. So the question will be, should the Jets sign him to that large contract and bet the next few years' salary cap on an eventual full recovery, or should they let some other team take that risk and simply move on?
Revis' slightly delayed recovery has begun to make things more complicated and more interesting for every party involved. How Idzik handles this situation may well end up defining his tenure as Jets GM. It appears that Mr. Idzik has been immediately thrust into the clutches of that age old curse "May you live in interesting times." This is likely to get very interesting indeed.