With only two teams remaining in the battle for the NFL’s most coveted prize many franchises have already turned their attention to their offseason goals. New GM’s and Coaches are settling in and assessing all the assets they would like to retain from the prior regime. For all but a few players on teams entering a new era of management life will become a guessing game as to whether or not you are on the chopping block.
Newly appointed New York Jets GM John Idzik will be promptly handed one of the most polarizing issues of the 2013 offseason. For everyone who thought I was referencing Tim Tebow, I ask you to quickly navigate away from my blog because no one should care where the most expensive punt protector in the league goes. I’m am referring to star Cornerback and Island owner Darrelle Revis. Revis is entering the final year of his contract and is in complete control of his own future. The Jets hands are tied by a clause in Revis’ contract that does not allow him to be Franchised tagged next season. After next season, Idzik would either have to give Revis the exact contract he is looking for or watch his best player walk away with no return for his investment. Last week CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Confora reported on cbssports.com that Jets owner Woody Johnson was set to explore the trade market for 27 year old who is rehabbing from ACL surgery.
Flashback to the 2004 offseason when two rising stars in the NFL were swapped in a deal that has rarely been seen in the free agency era. Elite Cornerback and future Hall of Famer Champ Bailey was traded, along with a 2004 second-round draft pick, from the Washington Redskins to the Denver Broncos for talented running back Clinton Portis. Both teams received players that were set to be the face of their franchises for years to come. A rare trade in which, it can be argued, that the teams benefited equally from the deal.
Back to 2013. John Idzik has the ability to move a player who may demand the same return that Champ Bailey got in 2004. The Jets are hurting for talent on the offensive side of the ball and the player who owns Revis Island might garner the sort of return that can turn a teams fortunes around. The Jets had a bad year in general but one bright spot that could be found was the play of CB Antonio Cromartie in Revis’ absence. Now I’m not arguing that Cromartie playing good football makes the best cornerback in the league expendable but John Idzik has inherited a situation in which he has solid top talent but is lacking depth throughout his team. Moving a player like Revis will command some sort of return and with the need of upgrading at almost everyone position on offence, including Quarterback, it may be in Idzik’s best interest to trade away his best asset.