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Best Trade Fits For Darrelle Revis


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I know it's been talked about plenty already, but figured I'd post it for those of you who don't waste your money (like me) on ESPN Insider. Enjoy.

The New York Jets' quest for relevance continues. After years of chest-thumping and a season of incompetent quarterback play in front of a declining roster, they're now back in the news as trade winds swirl around their top player, cornerback Darrelle Revis.

For those who have forgotten, Revis may be the most dominant defensive player in the league, even after a season that saw J.J. Watt, Geno Atkins and Von Miller rewrite the Pro Football Focus record book. It's all too often that a superstar player escapes the consciousness of NFL fans due to injury. Revis was lost for the season back in Week 3; so perhaps a refresher course is in order.

Revis is one of the top defensive players in the game, regardless of position. He exemplifies the phrase "shutdown corner," despite those words being thrown around on a near-weekly basis. He has his own Revis Island, where the top wide receivers in football see their gaudy numbers disappear in Bermuda Triangle-like fashion. Yes, Revis deserves every accolade thrown his way, even in a league where short-sighted hyperbole has become the norm.

A quick look at his history

2009: Revis Island is born as head coach Rex Ryan assigns him to the opponent's top wide receiver every week. He goes head-to-head with the likes of Randy Moss, Andre Johnson,Steve Smith and Roddy White, to name a few, yet he only allows 38 percent of passes thrown his way to be completed. He intercepts six passes while deflecting 24 more on his way to allowing an opposing QB Rating of 29.1.

2010: Injuries slowed Revis throughout the season, but he still manages to allow only 42 percent completions into his coverage with 13 passes defensed. His zero interceptions prompted some to declare this as a down season by his standards, but he still played at an elite level.

2011: Another superb effort that saw Revis allow only a 41 percent rate into his coverage, to go with his four interceptions and 16 passes defensed. He graded as PFF's top cornerback once again.

Now who needs a player like this? Of course, everyone does, but there are some complicating factors. First there's the ACL injury that cost him the 2012 season. Despite Adrian Peterson's miraculous 2012 season just nine months after reconstructive knee surgery, his recovery is an exception rather than the norm. Most ACL injuries tend to take year of recovery before a player can regain his prior form. Pre-injury Revis is the best in the league at mirroring receivers, and he is just as adept at turning and running with a receiver down the field as he is breaking on a pass in front of his face. It still remains to be seen if he can regain the movement skills that set him apart from other cornerbacks in the league.

But even if he returns in full form -- and for the purposes of the following discussion, let's assume he does -- only a few teams possess the financial flexibility and resources to make a trade happen. Take all that into account, and there are still a few potential landing spots. Here are the best:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs are certainly not afraid to make a big splash with veteran signings, as they spent a lot of money to bring in guard Carl Nicks, WR Vincent Jackson and CB Eric Wright last offseason. Despite the big moves, they're still in good shape, with $31.3 million of cap space going into 2013. They've drafted some cornerstone defensive players in recent years in DT Gerald McCoy, LB Lavonte David and SS Mark Barron. A veteran presence like Revis could be a perfect addition for a cornerback corps that was saddled with injuries and ineffectiveness in 2012. This would likely mean an end to the Eric Wright Era, but it would ensure that they don't go into a season resting their hopes of slowing down Marques Colston, Roddy White and Julio Joneswith E.J. Biggers and Leonard Johnson.

Atlanta Falcons

Another NFC South team that is not afraid to make bold moves, the Falcons traded a plethora of draft picks just to select WR Julio Jones in 2011. They were mere minutes from reaching the Super Bowl and may feel that the pieces are in place to take the next step.

The caveat here is the dangerous thought process that a team is "one player away" from a championship, which is rarely the case in the NFL. There is too much attrition during an NFL season to put so much stock in one player, and the Falcons' lack of draft picks due to the Jones trade puts them in a difficult position with regard to roster depth in the near future. Still, the aggressive front office may see a closing window of opportunity and the addition of Revis could mask some of the pass rush issues they're facing up front.

They currently have Asante Samuel entrenched on one side and despite his tackling woes (missed one of every 2.7 attempts), he's been strong in coverage, allowing a reception every 11.5 cover snaps, good for 19th in the league. On the other side is Dunta Robinsonwho allowed 1.55 Yards/Cover Snap, ninth worst out of the top 77 qualifying cornerbacks. With only $4.9 million of cap space, releasing Robinson would wipe his $8 million contract off the books to make room for Revis.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have a number of holes on their roster, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, and they have the cap room to do something about it. They enter the offseason $46 million under the limit, so a long-term deal with Revis is well within reach. The Colts spent nearly all of their 2012 draft picks on the offensive side, and while they built a strong nucleus around rookie QB Andrew Luck, now the defense needs a lot of attention. Bringing in Revis would allow them to allocate their resources toward must-needed upgrades to the front seven and ensure they can do something they weren't able to do this year: Shut down a team's wideouts. Cassius Vaughn, who was beaten for 40 combined first downs and touchdowns, needs to be upgraded.

Others to consider

Houston Texans

Cap space is tight in Houston, as they only have $12.9 million with which to work, but they currently use Johnathan Joseph to track opposing teams' top wide receivers, and he struggled at times throughout an injury-laden 2012. If they can find the necessary money, adding Revis to a cornerback corps that includes Joseph and an emerging Kareem Jacksonwould go a long way toward masking a pass rush that is too dependent on Watt's pressure up front.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns already have one of the league's best young cornerbacks in Joe Haden. Adding Revis would make for a nightmare for opposing offenses. They have $46.1 million in cap space and a young roster that would benefit greatly from Revis' veteran presence and production. But would Revis want to go to a team that seems a long way from being a contender? Money talks.

Cincinnati Bengals

Another team with the means to make the move, the Bengals got excellent production out of their cornerbacks last season. But with Adam Jones and Terence Newman slated for free agency, change is in the air. Leon Hall is a talent, and they'll want to see what they can get out of Dre Kirkpatrick, but in the modern game you really need three talented cornerbacks. Still, the Bengals have to think about long-term deals for Andre Smith and Geno Atkins, and that may take precedence over what a position of "want" and not "need."

Final Word

The Jets have an interesting dilemma on their hands.

They possess one of the most valuable commodities in the league -- but one whose value may be diminished by his recovery from injury and perceived steep contract demands. Still, if they can find a market for Revis, they have a chance to accelerate what looks to be a lengthy rebuilding process. Still, Revis is in the prime of his career, and giving up on such a talented player is the type of decision that could haunt an organization for years to come. Chances are they stick with Revis, especially considering his perfect fit in Ryan's defense. But if the right package is presented, don't be surprised if the Jets part with their franchise cornerstone. And the potential suitors above seem to make the most sense.

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I herd they want atleast 1st and 2nd for.him, i would.pass.

Yea I don't see Revis becoming a Falcon nor do I want him to be. I would rather have Sean Smith from Miami who is a FA and is a huge corner that is also pretty physical with still alot of upside at the age of only 25 for a much cheaper price.

Edited by DawnOfThemBirds
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Yea I don't see Revis becoming a Falcon nor do I want him to be. I would rather have Sean Smith from Miami who is a FA and is a huge corner that is also pretty physical with still alot of upside at the age of only 25 for a much cheaper price.

Agreed, Revis is too much of a Risk to dump alot of money into and he does not solve our main problem pass rush.
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I herd they want atleast 1st and 2nd for.him, i would.pass.

Agreed, the demands would have to fall to next year's 1st or (not and) this year's 2nd for us, probably, to even think about doing this deal. As I've said before though, the x factor here would be is, like with Samuel, Revis had to OK any trade for it to happen.

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Guest Negatorris

No way I would want the Falcons to trade for him unless they can somehow steal him like they did Asante. But that ain't happening.

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