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Jets Crash Again

It is hard to be a fan of the New York Jets.

They have hardly done anything right since Joe Willie Namath won SuperBowl III, and every time you think maybe they are finally turning the corner, they find some new way to screw things up.

Today the Jets traded Darrelle Revis, the best cornerback in the NFL and far and away the best player on the team. It is never a good idea to trade the best player on your team. The Jets desperately need a shut-down corner, since they do not have a real pass-rush threat, and the only way they ever get any pressure on the opponent's QB is by shutting down his receivers long enough for the rushers to get there. Revis was a huge part of the reason why Rex Ryan's defense has been so good (ups and downs, sure, but still one of the better defenses in the league). So they get rid of him Right.

Only the Jets. They have a pretty good defense and a godawful offense, so what's their big offseason move? "Hey, let's get rid of our best player, bring the D down to the same level as the O."

Now, maybe, MAYBE, you can make a case for trading Revis if you get a "Herschel Walker" deal. That is, a deal as rich as the one where the Dallas Cowboys traded RB Herschel Walker to the Vikings, and got so many players and draft choices that it won them three SuperBowls. And it is worth noting that Herschel Walker, while a damn good player, was neither the best player on the Cowboys nor the best running back in the NFL at that time.

But the Jets did not get a Herschel Walker deal. Revis is going to Tampa Bay. In return, the Jets get Tampa's first round draft choice this year (#13 overall, not even a top ten pick) and a conditional fourth round pick next year. Yeah, NEXT YEAR. Yeah, I said FOURTH round. Maybe it becomes a third. Whoop-de-doo.

The Jets, in short, got rooked. Congrats, Tampa Bay GM, you drank our milkshake.

And what about the new Jets GM? Fire his ass now. Bring back Mike Tannenbaum. Bring back the guy before Mike Tannenbaum. Hell, bring back Harry Wismer.

The best theory about this trade is that the Jets want the #1 pick overall in the 2014 draft. Cause this next season is going to be bloody painful. After which our new whizz-bang "let's give away our best player for a bag of old jockstraps" GM is going to fire Rex Ryan because, after all, that 2 - 14 record is clearly Rex's fault.

The year after that is likely to be even worse, even with that swell fourth-round-maybe-it-becomes-a-third we'll be getting from Tampa Bay. That is, assuming Kal-El Son of Jor-El isn't coming out in next year's draft. And even if he was, the Jets wouldn't take him. All that green would remind him too much of kryptonite.


Excuse me, while I go weep into my beer.

(It is not all bad. I will always have Paris. And Parris. And the Giants)



Akiva Cohen
Apr. 24th, 2013 03:17 am (UTC)
From a fellow Jets fan
First, one of my favorite authors is a Jets fan? Too cool!

Second - you are so very, very, very wrong about this. Let's start from the back end of this thing - the compensation. The days of Herschel Walker deals are long gone. Teams have wised up to the vast value of a well selected draft pick. A decade ago, Laveraneus Coles was signed as a restricted free agent, at the cost of a first round pick. This year, Victor Cruz - a significantly better player than Coles, who is (for reasons both on and off the field) one of my favorite Jets - couldn't get a sniff of an offer. A decade ago, Keyshawn Johnson went for two first round picks. Now, Randy Moss in his prime nets you a fourth.

My point? The bar for "good return on an established player" is much lower than it was in the 80s and 90s. There's a reason for that - the cost of the established player is higher. Herschel Walker might have earned $16,000,000 in his entire career. Revis is getting that for one season. In a salary cap league, that decreases the value of the established player relative to the draft pick.

The better comparison is the deal the Vikings got for Percy Harvin this year - and looking at ye old draft value chart, what the Jets received for Revis was essentially the Percy Harvin deal plus a mid-second rounder. In a vacuum, that's good value. Considering they were over a barrel with Revis, on the verge of losing him for nothing because they couldn't franchise him next season, it's GREAT value. As a negotiator, Idzik did a hell of a job.

Third, about that "how could they trade Revis!" Here were their choices: (1) Trade him; (2) Pay him 16M per season; (3) let him walk for nothing after this season when he voided his contract.

(3) obviously is not an option. So the question is, will you pay him 16M per year? If not, you *must* trade him. Which is what the Jets did - and it was the right move.

Don't get me wrong, Revis is a transcendent player. Loved watching his game, had my 7 year olds watching him, loved to brag about him at work on Mondays. But you can't win in the NFL with 15% of your salary cap going to a CB. It's just not a viable approach given the reality of the current NFL. That's all the more so when the cupboard is as bare as the Jets' is at the moment. They weren't going anywhere this year with Sanchez at QB, and next year will be the start of a new QB's run. So really, you're looking at 2015 for the start of a serious Super Bowl push - at which time Revis will be 30 going on 31. That's not the time to be paying a CB top dollar - let alone 48% again above the franchise tag number for CBs.

Anyway, I'm with you on how painful this season will be. Next time you're in NY, drop me a line, and we can cry into a beer about it together. But the Revis deal was the right move.



George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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