A Jets fan has very few franchise players they can point to as an all time great. Joe Namath, Curtis Martin and Joe Klecko come to mind. Darrelle Revis is the first star defensive player that can be argued as the top cornerback in the NFL.
“Revis island” has contributed to Rex Ryan’s impressive defense since 2009. Due to his ability to cover the league’s top receivers Revis has been able to compensate for a declining defense over the years. Ryan assigned Revis to cover half the field in order to use other defensive players for blitzes or double coverage to cover up for the holes in the defense.
As arguably the best cornerback in the league Revis deserves to be financially rewarded as such. The problem is that while his value has been solidified across the league, his value within the Jets has fallen.
The Jets would have very little choice but to appease Revis’ with a new contract if the Jets had a defensive roster similar to the one in 2011. The roster had a lackluster squad across the safety, defensive line and linebacker positions. Amongst such players Revis would have leverage to force the Jets to maintain their most valuable defensive player.
The unfortunate situation for Revis is that the Jets roster has significantly improved this offseason that the talent on defense is no longer solely on the cornerback position. The Jets drafted North Carolina’s defensive lineman Quinton Coples to work alongside last year’s rookie Muhammad Wilkerson to improve the Jet’s pass rush. To address the declining linebacker core the Jets added Demario Davis and acquired several safeties in the draft and free agency to boost the defense.
While the Jets improving their defense as a whole is great for the team it is unfortunately devaluing Revis’ worth with the defense. With the defense line and linebackers more capable of creating pressure the Jets secondary no longer needs to cover receivers indefinitely. If the Jets defensive can reach the opposing quarterback exclusively with their line, and without using blitzes, then the Jets secondary can be in a better position to create turnovers. Last season this was a major issue because quarterbacks had sufficient time to read the Jets D and find the holes in the secondary.
Maybe that is why Revis is asking for a new contract because he sees his value with the Jets diminishing with the defense improving. If the Jets D proves to be dominant with this year’s acquisitions then Revis may see his value fall even further next year as he will be more expendable.
Personally, I think no matter how much the Jets defense may improve this season the Jets need Revis in order to reach an elite level. No matter how pressuring the front 7 of the defense can be, it is the secondary with Darrelle Revis that will capitalize on the plays. The line will initiate the pressure and the secondary will grab the turnovers.
However, the NFL market dictates the dollar value of Revis and he may soon become too expensive for the Jets at a time when the Jets defense may compensate for his departure.
Photo credit: NY Jets
I don't know. Sometimes it feels like my writing & thoughts are way off. Who knows if it'll help anyone or if it means anything.
Written by Nassau Jones