By Kristian Dyer
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After just a handful of hours at the Jets’ facility on Thursday, newly-appointed general manager John Idzik was already proving to be the antithesis of his predecessor, in no ways more than his non-handling of the Darrelle Revis trade talk.
Idzik wouldn’t comment on the issue, saying that he hasn’t had a chance to vet the roster. It wasn’t exactly an endorsement of one of the game’s top players on the defensive side of the ball or his future with the team.
Not only did the Jets have to unfurl Idzik as their latest savior, but they also had to deal with questions about a report that broke the day before that said the Jets are open to trading Revis. Scratch the surface and the report seems to be bunk, especially considering that Revis is the team’s best player. And even after a knee injury shelved him for three-quarters of last season, he should return to be among one of the most feared defenders in the league. The very thought of trading Revis has led to a revolt among Jets fans who can’t imagine life without their team’s best player.
In fact, his mentality in all of this is very much like the Patriots, the Jets’ rivals to the north. Thursday marked Idzik’s first step in creating the “Jets Way.”
The ideal situation would be to see Revis retire as a Jet, but Revis has proven to be anything but ideal in his six years with the team. New England makes the tough choices that, in the past, the Jets have been reluctant to make. They’ve caved into star power and personality rather than being shrewd. They have built a team based on names, and now it is a team that lacks a future.
What may keep Revis from going up in the Ring of Honor as a lifelong member of the Jets is his propensity for holding out, something that has already happened twice in his career. Revis could be set to bolt next year, and the Jets would be foolish not to try to recoup some value from him if his initial demands are not reasonable.
Call it taking a page from the Jets’ biggest rivals, the pesky Patriots, who always seem to make the right moves. The Patriots have learned that tough decisions must be made with regard to star players, and that they can’t keep everyone given a tight salary cap. They’ve had to let marquee players walk in the past, and look no further than this offseason, when Wes Welker will likely not be retained despite a career that was intertwined with the “Patriot Way.” Now the Jets, in a tight salary-cap situation, might need to make a similar choice with Revis.
It is, for Jets fans, an especially tough thought to come to grips with in that a Canton-bound player drafted by the team might not finish his career with the Jets. But if Revis decides after next year that he wants another big payday, then the Jets will be left with no Revis and no compensation were he to depart via free agency.
The Jets haven’t made the tough decisions in the past under former general manager Mike Tannenbaum, which forces Idzik into this impossible spot. Over the past three seasons, the team has shored up much of its core by signing D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Santonio Holmes, David Harris, Antonio Cromartie and even Mark Sanchez to long-term deals. This is a top-heavy roster with an alarmingly thin amount of young talent coming through the ranks.
In an ideal world, the Jets would gladly keep Revis — an elite defender — but now they might not be able to afford to do so without mortgaging their future. And given Revis and his long-term demands, the Jets might not be able to better the rest of their team and add talent and depth on both sides of the ball.
It is a tough decision and one that will likely determine how successful Idzik’s tenure in New York can and will be. If he can make this the Jets’ “Herschel Walker moment” where they infuse their roster with young talent, then the Jets will come out ahead despite parting ways with the franchise’s most accomplished player of the past decade.
It would be a very Patriots move if true, and one step closer to supplanting New England atop the division. It would finally be the “Jets Way.”
The majority of Jets fans seem to be opposed to Revis being traded. State your case why you think he should be traded…