Dear John Idzik: Good Luck!
March 1, 2013 1 Comment
Put yourself in new GM John Idzik’s shoes.
Your new team, The New York Jets, lacks depth, youth, speed, and has an abundance of PR headaches. What to do?
The New York Jets have an absolute mess on the offensive side of the ball. However, they still have a championship caliber defense. Although Laron Landry and Yeremiah Bell are unrestricted free agents and Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, and Eric Smith were cut. So it is safe to say there are a lot of holes on the defensive side of the ball too.
If that was not enough for Mr. Idzik, here are the Jets 2013 Unrestricted Free Agents:
- Dustin Keller – Tight End
- Matt Slausen and Brandon Moore – Offensive Guards
- Shonn Greene – Running Back
- Chaz Schilens and Braylon Edwards – Wide Receivers
- Lex Hillard – Fullback
- Nick Folk – Kicker
- Bryan Thomas – Outside Linebacker
- Laron Landry & Yeremiah Bell – Safeties
- Mike DeVito – Defensive Tackle
What makes matters even worse is that the Jets salary cap is in worse shape than Albert Haynesworth during his tenure with the Washington Redskins. Which means they will not be able to retain most of these players. However, when you look at this list of free agents I find it very tough to put a value on these guys, especially from the offensive side of the ball.
Dustin Keller has flashes of being a top 10 tight end in the league, but tends to disappear through stretches of the season.
Now could that be attributed to awful quarterback play and play calling?
Absolutely, but with the price tag he is going to demand, is he truly worth top 5 tight end money?
Brandon Moore and Matt Slausen also have been great during stretches of the year.
However, if my memory serves me right, wasn’t Sanchez running for his life half the season?
And let’s not forget, Brandon Moore’s ass had the hit of the year.
Shonn Greene could be the most overrated free agent in this class. If i was Idzik, I wouldn’t even bother bringing him back unless the contract is extremely team-friendly. Shonn Greene in my opinion, has proven he is NOT an every down back and that he will wear down over the course of the season.
If you think I’m being harsh, put on the tape from 2009 and 2010. Shonn Greene has burst and is rarely brought down by the first defender. I feel like this season was his time to shine and prove he can be an every down back, he failed miserably. Lastly, Alfred Morris was drafted in the 6th round last season, meaning you can find running backs ANYWHERE.
Landry and Bell would be ideal to bring back. However, Landry has already stated he’s not giving a “hometown discount” to the Jets. Unlike most of the team, Landry performed very well during the season and rightfully should be looking for a lucrative multi-year contract. The Jets are just so cap-strapped that might not be able to afford Landry. Yeremiah Bell on the other hand, would be less of a hassle to bring back and he also performed very well ranking 3rd on the team with tackles with 74.
The other Jet Free agents such as Edwards, Schilens, Folk, Thomas, Hillard, and DeVito I believe should be cut, they are replaceable and they are exactly what the Jets already have at those current positions. Meaning they aren’t explosive and these positions have great value in the later part of the draft or undrafted free agents.
What To Do with Darrelle Revis?
Now to the Jets biggest storyline this offseason.
What to do with their All-Pro Cornerback coming off ACL surgery.
This is where John Izdik can make his mark as the new Jets GM. Head Coach Rex Ryan is on record saying he wants to keep Revis, however Rex isn’t paid to make personnel decisions and the well-being of the whole team is more important than one position.
Also, Cromartie played very well in Revis’ absence, making Revis expendable.
In addition, it’s no secret that Revis wants a lucrative long-term deal. A deal that could range in $14-16 per year which for a cornerback is unheard of. With a team desperately needing youth, speed and depth, Revis can offer this to the Jets in a trade and relieve the headache of his contract issue forever.
However, Revis is considered in many NFL circles as the best defensive player in the league. The only way to combat an increasing passing-style NFL is to have the top defensive cornerback, which is Darrelle Revis (even coming off an ACL injury).
It has been rumored that the Chiefs could offer the #1 pick to the Jets for Revis’ services, However with the Chiefs already trading their 2nd round pick to the Niners for Quarterback Alex Smith, it is unlikely that they would move the 1st two picks in the 1st two rounds.
If the Jets do trade Revis it will be for multiple draft picks to fill their team needs.
So who could be possible suitors for Darrelle Revis?
San Francisco 49ers: The Niners have cap space, the pieces needed to trade for Revis, and can afford losing multiple draft picks. Also, by acquiring the Chiefs 2nd round pick (34th overall) the Niners have exactly what the Jets are looking for in return for Revis. In Addition, the Jets would rarely see Revis on the field being that the Niners are in the NFC.
On another note, the Niners have been in the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl the past two seasons, I can’t foresee any reason why Revis would not want to sign long-term.
Denver Broncos: John Elway is in a win-now mode with Peyton Manning at the helm. Obviously, Elway is not afraid to make a splash in free agency as he acquired the biggest risk or reward free agent in NFL history with Peyton Manning.
With a young promising corner in Chris Harris to pair with Revis the Broncos could have one of the best secondaries in Football.
Also, Champ Bailey would most likely move to Free Safety with the acquisition of Revis which is an upgrade over their current Free Safety Jim Leonard.
I’m pretty sure Champ Bailey or Revis won’t get beat in the last 30 seconds of playoff game with a 70 yard touchdown pass.
Teams such as the Bills and Patriots have also expressed interest in Revis. Unless John Idzik believes his team is still playing in the NFC West, I see this as impossible (especially with the Patriots). I’d consider a Bills offer if it included their entire draft (Ricky Williams ring a bell?).
Tampa Bay Buccanners: The Bucs showed last off-season that they are also willing to make a splash in free agency. They have the cap space and unlike the teams I have mentioned above, they have a HUGE need at the cornerback position. Also this would also be a good suitor being that the Bucs are an NFC team.
However, there is one team I feel like would be a great fit for both sides and is my personal dark horse to acquire Revis.
That team is the Detriot Lions.
Imagine the Lions pass rush with a shut down corner of Revis’ caliber?
Also, if you look at the Lions major needs, they are solely on the defensive side of the ball. Their #1 major need is a shut down cornerback, and who better to fit that need than the best one in the NFL, Darrelle Revis.
The Lions have the #5 overall pick in the draft, I know it sounds crazy that the Lions would trade their #1 pick for Revis. However, Alex Smith was just traded for the 34th overall pick. Revis’ value surpasses Alex Smith’s value by a long shot and if you’re the Lions your one major need is filled with this trade.
The clock is ticking down on the Jets to make a decision on what to do with their franchise player. Another thing that should be taken into consideration if you’re in the Jets front office is that Revis CAN NOT be franchise tagged next offseason.
This reminds me exactly of the LeBron James situation in his last year in Cleveland. It is either get something for Revis or risk watching him walk for nothing, which is the something the Jets franchise CAN NOT have happen. They are too desperate for depth and young talent that they can not let their one major trade piece walk.
I hate to admit it, but the writing is on the wall, it is time to move Darrelle Revis.
Thank you for reading!