Revis deal intriguing but seems unlikely

Feb. 13, 2013

One recent report has mentioned the Packers as a dark-horse trade candidate for New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, and a subsequent opinion piece argued that general manager Ted Thompson should pull the trigger on a deal for the NFL’s premier cornerback

It’s a highly intriguing prospect, though anyone who follows the Packers knows to remain skeptical because it would run contrary to Thompson’s well established modus operandi, not to mention that Revis is coming off knee-reconstruction surgery last season.

In late January, Mike Freeman of said the trade market for Revis is turning into a “gold rush” and that the Jets are looking for a first- and second-round pick in return. The report said the Jets won’t get that much but suggested they could get a first-rounder plus one or two other picks for the 27-year-old cornerback.

The report listed several teams as being interested in trading for Revis, who is seeking a new contract: New England, Denver, San Francisco, Buffalo and even Seattle. The report dismissed the viability of the Patriots and Bills because the Jets won’t trade him to an NFC East Division rival.

Then the report said that “one team also constantly mentioned by league sources is Green Bay, though the Packers, possessors of one of the best front offices in all of sports, usually don’t give up high-round picks.”

Later that day, in a commentary on, Peter Bukowski argues that Thompson should make the move, that trading for Revis would have an impact similar to when the Packers signed Reggie White in free agency in 1993.

“Green Bay would have the best offensive and defensive player in football,” Bukowski wrote. “It isn’t hyperbole to suggest that the Aaron Rodgers/Darrelle Revis combination would be on par with the Brett Favre/Reggie White combination during Green Bay's run in the 1990s. It might even be better.”

The possibility is intriguing indeed. Revis is a difference maker in the full sense of the word, and though he’s not especially young at 27, he could have several excellent seasons ahead of him. There’s every reason to think Thompson and his scouting staff had to at least seriously consider the possibility of trading their first-round pick plus a lower-round pick or two for a player who changes games to the degree Revis has.

The reasons to remain skeptical, though, are Revis’ injury and his contract. He blew out his knee in Week 3 last season. By the time camp starts, he’ll be a little more than 10 months removed from surgery. Players often play well after ACL tears – look at Adrian Peterson – but teams have the actuarial tables that show ACL injuries often shorten or diminish careers because of arthritis and other issues down the road. This has to give Thompson pause.

Also, Revis is looking for a new contract, and it’s hard to believe anyone would trade for him unless it had worked out a contract extension in advance. He’s reportedly looking for a deal slightly better than defensive end Mario Williams signed with Buffalo last year, something in the neighborhood of $50 million guaranteed and an average $16 million a year or more.

Thompson already will have to extend the contract of quarterback Aaron Rodgers in that range of guaranteed pay, and $20 million or more on average per year, sometime in the next year. Outside linebacker Clay Matthews will be a free agent after next season and also will command a huge contract, probably sometime this year. Defensive lineman B.J. Raji also will be a free agent after the ’13 season and could get a lucrative extension before then.

In the end, it’s hard to see Thompson spending that kind of money on Revis, with all its trickle-down roster implications, on a player coming off a torn ACL. Revis also is a cornerback, which though a crucial position isn’t on par with a dominating pass rusher. But it’s also not hard to believe Thompson seriously considered the possibility.

Here’s the link to the original report:

And here’s the link to the opinion piece:

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