Hey everyone, this is my first post but I've been a lurker for a while now. Hope you like.
In the discussion of Revis trade scenarios, the view normally is that the best case scenario is a trade in which we get a couple high round picks and a couple mid-round picks. The worst-case scenario is viewed as keeping Revis for the year and then letting him walk. Well, I'm advocating for the latter as actually being the best case and the one we should do! But please, save your boos for the end of the post.
If we trade Revis this year, it will be to the Bucs. It's looking like we'll get a first rounder, either this year or next, along with a handful of high mid rounders this year and next. The logic on this is that we have so many holes to fill and need all the picks we can get in the next two years in order to field a winnable team as quickly as possible. However, I disagree with this logic.
I'll show my hand and say right now, I'm not someone who is crazy about draft picks in general. Sure, I think they can at times be invaluable, but overall I think they are highly overrated, especially in comparison to younger veteran talent. You build a respectable, winning team as much with serviceable, starting-caliber but still low-end veterans as you do with "good" draft picks. And these "good" draft picks are in themselves pretty rare. As for those superstar picks? Nearly non-existent and certainly very improbable to come our way this year or next (when was the last time the Jets DRAFTED a hall of famer not named Revis? Exactly.). If we did trade Revis, the best we could realistically hope for is some quality starters that become team players for a while. Guys like Bryan Thomas, Mo Lewis, Jason Fabini, Shaun Ellis, etc. And these guys are wonderful and have been crucial to our teams in the past, no doubt. But you don't need a draft to find these guys.
If the signings of Barnes and Goodson (and to a lesser extent because of age, Colon and Garay) prove anything to me, it is that Idzik knows the value of cheap veterans with potential. Let's say hypothetically we draft players of a caliber equal to that of these four veterans as they currently stand, in rounds 2 through 5 this year. Idzik will be hailed as a draft genius and the draft considered one of the best in years. This says something serious about how low realistic expectations are about quality draft picks. Simply put, draft picks are huge gambles that even when they are successful, typically have a ceiling of solid starters with maybe a pro bowl year or two if lucky. The Jets have gotten maybe two of those players per draft when it's "good." I think young veterans with something to prove and old veterans with a few more years in the tank are much more useful to rebuilding teams. A risky stockpile of picks are just as likely to have that same level of play as their ceiling (except they're also more raw and in need of time to develop) as they are to be major busts.
So, you're asking, if we don't trade Revis, how is keeping him and letting him test the market any better? If we keep Revis this year, the absolute worst that can happen is he has an Adrian Peterson type year, breaks all kinds of records (which, you know, would just be TERRIBLE for our defense) and then signs that mega-contract he's been eyeballing with someone else next year, maybe even a division rival to make it extra bad. I say, in this case, oh well, nice while it lasted. However, this won't happen. Revis is not the quick-healer that Peterson and Manning proved to be. The other times he's been injured and had to miss some games, he lost a step in his first game or two back (which for Revis was still better than everyone else). This type of injury is not one I expect Revis to recover from fully, ever. He will be a worse player, period. Because he is Revis, he still may be the best in the game, but he will be humanized and I expect that his obvious drop-off and his age will scare the daylights out of other teams and he won't get that 16 mil a year contract he craves. Instead, the best another team offers will be around 9 to 10 million, which I think the Jets can match after we dump Sanchez, Holmes and Harris next year, assuming we still want to resign him. But if we don't resign him and let him walk...
...we get a third round supplemental pick. Yes, I know I just knocked picks as overrated, but we also still need bodies on the depth chart after all. Plus, I think we can still get a good number of picks AND keep Revis, for all you rookie lovers. Come draft day, I fully expect a team or two to covet our 9 pick. I think we can turn the high 1 at #9 into a mid to low 1 and a couple mid rounders, probably a 2 and 4 this year, or a 2 this year and another 3 next year, and maybe have to give up a 6, which is a garbage pick and virtually no different than an UDFA anyway. Essentially, what we have in this scenario is another year of the best cornerback of all-time, plus 3 high mid round draft picks and a lower #1 pick this year, AT WORST. At best, we lock up the best cornerback ever for his entire career, plus get a couple high mid rounders and a lower #1 this year. Either way, I think this is a very smart way to rebuild this team and I like it far more than straight up trading Revis for a cache of gambles.