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As we move on, it's becoming increasingly clear that the New York Jets will move their star cornerback. The question is just: when.
All we talk about here is Darrelle Revis. There's a very good reason for that: the Buccaneers are exceedingly likely to land the coveted superstar in a trade. It simply makes too much sense, there are too many reports suggesting the Jets want to trade Revis, and too few suggesting otherwise. In fact, I can't thinkof a single report saying that the Jets really don't want to trade Revis. That, essentially, is Peter King's reasoning too.
I think when I see headlines about the Jets keeping an open mind on whether or not to trade Darrell Revis, I am heartened that they have not lost their minds. Then I think: They're just saying that. There's far too much smoke out there, and far too little whispering to sources off the record that Revis is going nowhere, for me to believe they aren't desperate to move him. Mistakenly, of course.
Gary Myers of the New York Daily News certainly thinks the Jets made it clear that they want to deal the cornerback, too. Owner Woody Johnson told him that they couldn't build a team around Darrelle Revis, that it was about the full 53-man roster, not one player, and that if the price was right he would be gone. It doesn't get much more clear than that, and all of this feels like a prelude to a trade.
In an interesting note, it seems most of the New York media is opposed to trading Revis. You don't trade your best player, is their argument. Except teams do exactly that -- and blockbuster trades are at times effective. The Herschel Walker trade is even mentioned by Myers, but other trades that were likely beneficial for the trader include trading away Keyshawn Johnson and Sean Gilbert (Revis' uncle).
In each of those cases, the team trading away its star player got more in return than the team trading for the player got out of it. Of course, there are plenty of examples of things not working out all that well. Do you think the Chiefs are happy they traded away Jared Allen?
And there are plenty of mixed results, too. What about the Broncos trading Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, for instance? Champ Bailey for Clinton Portis? Trades of this magnitude are all unique and need to be examined on its merits. I can see why the Jets, who are about to embark on a lengthy rebuilding process, would want to trade away Revis. I can also see why the Buccaneers feel Revis could push their defense into higher echelons. If this trade happens, only time will tell which side got the better part of his trade.
Questions to answer
The question the two sides now have to answer is when will this trade happen, and at what price? The latter question is impossible to answer at this point. The Bucs reportedly don't want to trade away their 2013 first-round pick, while the Jets covet that pick. That's something that will be solved in negotiations, and it's impossible to predict which side comes out on top.
We can at least say something on the when of this trade, though. Deadlines spur action, especially so in the NFL where many deals are last-minute. And the Buccaneers and Jets have a few artificial deadlines set up for themselves.
- Deadline number one: Wednesday, March 20. The owners' meetings runs this week and ends on Wednesday, and both the Jets and Buccaneers (as well as every other team) are present. With a lot of decision makers in the house, this is the perfect time for a lot of face-to-face negotiating and getting a deal done. That's the short-run deadline.
- Deadline number two: April 24. This is the day before the draft. Once the draft starts and the Buccaneers have used their first-round pick, that pick will obviously be off the table. If the Jets want to get some 2013 draft picks out of this deal, they must deal Revis before the draft starts. In addition, if the Bucs don't have clarity on Revis before the draft starts they may just move on and fill their needs in the draft.
- Deadline number three: May 20-22. This is the date of the annual spring league meeting. It's a deadline for the same reason that this Wednesday is a deadline: owners and GMs will be gathered in one spot.
- Deadline number four: June 1. Although the cap hit involved here really doesn't matter, it's a date the two sides can work towards. And that always helps. May 22 is a much more natural deadline, however.
- Deadline number five: Roster/workout bonus dates. Darrelle Revis has $2 million in roster and workout bonuses left this season. The Jets will want to get Revis off the books before they have to pay those, although it isn't absolutely necessary.
- Deadline number six: Training camp. Without Revis in the building, your entire defense changes. In fact, the Bucs will have added a number of cornerbacks if by this time
- Deadline number seven: Start of regular season. If the Jets are still trying to trade Revis at this point, his price will have fallen massively. The Jets will have little leverage, while the Bucs will have moved on under the assumption that they don't have Revis.
- Final deadline: November 2. This is the trade deadline, I think. At least the trade deadline is in Week 8 of the regular season, and this is the Saturday of week 8. If Revis isn't traded by then, he cannot be traded and will be a free agent in 2014 after serving out his contract with the New York Jets.