NFL free agency begins March 12, and even though Darrelle Revis of the Jets isn’t a free agent, he’s still the most talked-about player in the NFL.
The Jets cornerback is entering the final year of his deal, coming off an ACL injury, and looking to get paid. (Also: Feuding with Richard Sherman of the Seahawks on twitter.)
The Jets, who have many needs, don’t seem to want to pay him. Is trading the best cornerback in football (turns 28 in July) an option? Seems so.
I floated the idea in January they ship him to San Francisco for a player (LaMichael James) and a few picks (since the 49ers had 14 of them at the time). That idea has gained traction this week with the Alex Smith trade to KC.
The 49ers now are sitting on 15 picks (five in the Top 93), the most ever for a team coming off a trip to the Super Bowl. Last year, San Francisco’s No. 1 pick couldn’t even get on the field. It would be Herculean task to sign even 10 players from the 2013 draft, barring a massive roster overhaul. Why tinker with something that isn’t broken?
So what’s the move? Package a bunch of picks to the Jets for Revis? Maybe offer the Chiefs or Jaguars a bunch of picks for the #1 or #2 pick hoping to land an impact defensive lineman?
Jason Cole of Yahoo floated the idea the 49ers could “rent” Revis for a year without giving him a long-term deal. Would Revis go for that to potentially win a Super Bowl, instead of playing on a Jets team that has a 6-10 look (right now, at least)? Nobody could possibly know the answer to that. Wednesday night, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen had “sources” tell him the 49ers weren’t looking at Revis “at this time.” What does that even mean? Just Wednesday? This week? Leading up to free agency? It means nothing, really. It almost sounded like a stall tactic. Then Stephen Curry went off, and the media moved on.
I’d say the most cornerback-needy teams in the NFL are the Lions (5th pick), Tampa Bay (13th pick), and Saints (15th pick). Mike Francesa, a New York radio host, has floated the Atlanta Falcons a few times, but they
don’t even have a first round pick (Julio Jones trade). draft until 30th. What else could they offer the Jets?
The Lions are just as dysfunctional at the Jets, and play in a tougher division. Why would Revis want to sign a long-term deal there? The Bucs are an attractive landing spot (Taxes! Team on the rise!) and so are the Saints (a Super Bowl contender if they get a defense), but the 49ers can just outbid them by saying, “we’ll toss in a few more picks.”
All signs point to the 49ers. The major hangup for the Jets has to be Rex Ryan. The trade would almost certainly end his stint in New York, unless he’s confident the team can draft impeccably, handle their business in free agency (might have to replace five defensive starters), and somehow have Mark Sanchez not the ball over 25 times for the third year in a row. Even then, getting into the playoffs seems near impossible at this point.