On a day the New York Jets shipped a star cornerback to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, do not rush to judgment, Jets Nation.
Darrelle Revis was the only player in the transaction today. But that will begin to change over the weekend because the Green & White acquired the Buccos' Round 1 selection (No. 13 Overall) and a fourth-round pick next year that becomes a third-round pick if Revis is on the Bucs roster the third day of the 2014 league year.
"Once we reached a point with Tampa and they presented an offer that we felt merited serious consideration, we discussed it at length internally, and we really ultimately came to the conclusion that this was the best thing to do for the Jets at this time," said first-year GM John Idzik.
There is a lot of value in those selections. Idzik has said the draft will be a lifeline for the Green & White, year-in and year-out. The Jets will be power players on Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall because they own the 9th and 13th overall selections in the opening round.
Let the building begin.
You may wonder if the compensation the Jets got for Revis was fair. In March, the Seahawks acquired the explosive Percy Harvin from the Vikings in exchange for first and seventh-round picks as well as a mid-round pick in 2014. So the Vikes got more for a healthy Harvin than the Jets got for recovering Revis, right?
All Round 1 picks are not alike. The Seahawks surrendered the 25th overall selection in the Harvin deal while the Bucs sent the 13th overall selection up north to NY in this Revis move. That is a huge 12 spot difference in the first round. Depending on the trade chart and the situation, a team might want a mid second-round pick and the 25th in order to move all the way up to No. 13.
Then we should remember what the Jets gave up in order to select Revis with the No. 14 overall selection in the 2007 draft. The Jets moved their 25th overall selection, a second-round pick (No. 59 overall, Ryan Kalil) and a fifth-round pick (No. 164 overall, Tim Shaw) to the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers also gave the Jets a sixth-round selection (No. 191 overall, Korey Hall) in the deal that allowed the Green & White to elevate their first round position by 11 spots.
The last time Idzik was a member of a personnel department that had a pair of first rounders? It was 2010 and the Seahawks cashed in with a pair of Pro Bowlers in LT Russell Okung (D1, No. 5) and S Earl Thomas (D1, No. 14).
But trace back even further than that. Ironically both Idzik and the man he finalized the deal with today — Tampa GM Mark Dominic — both worked in the Bucs personnel department from 1995-'97 when the Pewter Pirates collected six first-round picks. In April 1995, the Buccos drafted a Hall of Fame DT in Warren Sapp (D1, No.12) and future Hall of Fame LB Derrick Brooks (D1, No. 28).
Headed into Idzik's first draft as Jets GM, the Jets have quality and quantity. Both Idzik and senior personnel executive Terry Bradway highlighted the depth of this draft class and New York's AFC representative now has eight selections with the pair in Round 1 and one each in the following seven rounds.
Most recently in Seattle, Idzik took part in the drafting process of the following mid-late round finds: QB Russell Wilson (D3, No. 77), LB KJ Wright (D4, No. 99), CB Richard Sherman (D5, No. 154) S Kam Chancellor (D5, No. 133) and DT Red Bryant (D4, No. 121).
On their way to a championship in Tampa, the Bucs did damage beyond the first round. Probable future Hall of Fame CB Ronde Barber (D3, No. 66) was picked off the board in 1997 and Super Bowl XXXVII MVP Dexter Jackson (D4, No. 113) was a Bucs pick in '99. In '96, the Bucs got a Boilermaker bruiser in RB Mike Alstott (D2, No. 35) and then an excellent Cover-2 corner in Donnie Abraham (D3, No. 71).
With the 2 first-round picks, Jets fans hope they are looking at more of a 2006 scenario instead of 2008. LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson (D1, No. 4) and C Nick Mangold (D1, No. 29) have become durable Pro Bowlers and are two of the best at their respective positions in football. But the Jets missed early in 2008 with pass rush prospect Vernon Gholston (D1, No. 6) while Dustin Keller (D1, No. 30) was a productive receiving TE before departing to the Dolphins in free agency.
As the focus shifts to next weekend, pundits include OLB, S G, TE, WR and QB as Jets' needs. But with Revis Island now off the Gulf of Mexico, could that make CB an early target (ESPN Guru Mel Kiper says 'Bama CB Dee Milliner "could be the next Darrelle Revis") as well? One thing is for sure — the Jets have a myriad of options and the trading might not be done. This blockbuster won't be complete until next year when both of the selections become Jets.
When Darrelle Revis is healthy, he is a wonderful player. But there was a question as to whether the Jets and he would ever find common ground on a long-term extension. Revis, who has already held out twice, was entering the last year of his deal and the Jets had no franchise option. Watching the NFL's No. 1 CB walk away in free agency for compensatory picks would have been extremely difficult.
"We had some discussions with his representation, and it became quite evident to us that there was a substantial difference between Darrelle's view of his value and ours," said Idzik in reference to reaching a mutually acceptable extension.
While Revis' prowess is unquestioned, he is attempting to return to All-World form after suffering a Torn ACL in Week 3 meeting with the Dolphins. Revis was an asset to the organization and they listened — as they said they would — when the Bucs called.
"Darrelle as everyone also knows is in the midst of rehabbing a very significant knee injury — the first significant injury that he has had to deal with," Idzik said tonight. "So really until we see him through completion of rehab and playing without inhibition and playing the way we know Darrelle can play, there would always be a degree of uncertainty there."
Now that Revis is a member of the Pewter Pirates, it is up to Idzik and his staff to not only cash in early but add some mid-late round steals as well. We are only a few days away from one of the most anticipated drafts in Jets history.
"It was a decision that we deliberated on for quite a while because I know it's important to our fans, and it's important to us," said Jets Chairman Woody Johnson. "And we wanted to come up with a decision that was the best for the New York Jets, and that's the decision we arrived at. And I think it was the correct one."