Cornerback Darrelle Revis finished off the 2016 season with 53 combined tackles but had just one turnover (an interception), which came in the final week of the regular season.
All year, the 31-year-old corner dealt with questions about his inconsistent play and effort. He has three years left under his current deal and would not become an unrestricted free agent until 2020, when he is 34.
So, should he stay or should he go?
Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
By his own admission, Darrelle Revis isn't the player he used to be, but he contends the team should "treat him with class" as they assess what to do with him next year.
A once-unthinkable Revis pay cut seems possible,and the team is also weighing up the merits of moving him to safety, but could this be where the Revis/Jets saga comes to a conclusion?
The case for retaining Revis:
- Revis was much better over the second half of the season, perhaps suggesting he's started figuring out how to compensate for his decreasing athleticism.
- There have been several veteran cornerbacks who have successfully extended their career with a move to safety and Revis' experience and positional sense would be useful attributes in making that transition.
- The net cost of finding an adequate replacement would likely exceed the cost of retaining him once dead money has been accounted for.
- It seems almost inevitable that he'll join a rival team and perform well, possibly with the Jets playing most of his salary in the first season.
The case for letting him go:
- A repeat of his 2016 performance wouldn't come close to warranting the $8 million (minimum) he'd earn even under a restructured contract.
- Despite his reputation as a mentor and role model for young cornerbacks, the entire Jets secondary seemed to regress in 2016.
- Revis has been struggling in off-coverage and as a tackler, which would hurt his chances of successfully transitioning to safety.
- Although Revis is guaranteed $6 million, releasing him gets the Jets off the hook for a $2 million roster bonus.
- The Jets also have salary offsets, which would get them off the hook for at least another $1 million once he signs elsewhere and maybe even the full $6 million if he signs for more than that with his new team.
As great as Revis was in the past, he's actually been traded once and released twice since his ACL tear in 2012. Even if he is willing to restructure his contract downward, it still seems too rich for a player whose performance has been poor and his desire questioned.
Even if he can extend his career by moving to safety, it seems unlikely he'll be a part of the team's long-term future, so the logical move would seem to be to let him go, remove the distraction and save what money they can. I expect the team is still torn on this decision, though.
Nick Mangold missed half of the season through injury. Did the Jets cope well enough without him to considering letting him go?