Former Jet Darrelle Revis Heading to Tampa Bay
The question for many Jets fans this offseason was not 'if' Darrelle Revis would be traded, but rather when and where. The All-Pro Corner Back was traded Sunday afternoon to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 2 picks including the 13th pick in the upcoming NFL Draft and a conditional pick next year. Revis signed a deal with Tampa for $96 million, though no money is guaranteed.
Initial reports of the Revis trade mentioned multiple picks including an extra mid-round pick this year. Jets' fans, upon hearing of the Revis deal, were furious with team ownership and new GM John Idzik. Despite the issues surrounding Revis, the CB was a 4-time pro bowler for New York and a fan favorite.
With the trade, Tampa Bay pulled off a serious steal. Though they are making Revis the second highest defensive player in the entire NFL, as mentioned above, the deal is not guaranteed. They can afford the gamble on Revis, who should return to form immediately as one of the league's top cover men. Also, considering the picks they traded, it is highly unlikely that the Jets will recoup the talent that they lost in Revis. The Bucs now boast two top corners in Dashon Goldson and Revis, and their defense should be among the league's best against the pass.
Taking over as Jets' GM during the offseason, Idzik has officially made his presence known. The next step for he and the team will be deciding who will replace Revis. Despite his struggles, the Jets still view Boise State product Kyle Wilson highly. Wilson will need to seriously improve his cover skills or the Jets defense could give up large chunks of yards against him. Antonio Cromartie will now be tasked with shutting down opposing teams' best receivers.
Looking forward to the draft, the Jets now hold the 9th and 13th picks. The Jets have serious needs at LB and CB (now that Revis is gone) and should improve significantly through the draft. At 9, the Jets could go with LSU OLB Barkevious Mingo or take the risky option Jarvis Jones. Another option at the spot could be Alabama CB Dee Milliner. If he slides to 9, Milliner would perfectly replace Revis. At 13, the Jets are projected to go defensive again, either taking a linebacker they passed on at 9, or taking Washington CB Desmond Trufant if they pass on Milliner.
Still, the Jets offense is an issue that Idzik and Coach Rex Ryan can't overlook. Mark Sanchez is still projected to start week 1, though he lacks receivers and a running game. The Jets are interested in acquiring Saints RB Chris Ivory, who could slot in as the top back for the team. The Jets could also look to land top draft WR Tavon Austin, who would offer a serious speed option across from Santonio Holmes.
Interestingly for New York, they'll take on the Bucs in Week 1 of the NFL regular season. Though he says he has no hard feelings, Revis will certainly be looking to get back at his old team. With Sanchez at QB, I'd imagine the Jets would avoid Revis as much as possible in that game.