The Jets Should Move Darrelle Revis (to Free Safety)


Ah, the subject of Darrelle Revis again. I hate to keep coming back to this, but at the time of year when we ought to be talking about the Yankees and the Mets, the subject of what the Jets should do about Revis continues to grab headlines. Here’s Mike Lupica in today’s Daily News:

The Jets should want to move Darrelle Revis and Revis should want to be moved. There may be a great divide on how much money Revis is worth to a dreary, mediocre football team like the Jets right now, what he might be worth to them in the future. But there ought to be agreement from both sides on this: It makes a lot more sense to move him now, rather than later, if there are good offers on the table.

Uh, yeah, Mike …If there are good offers on the table. Maybe you could tell us what some of those offers are?

Lupica complains that the Jets are “without a single payer their fans really want to watch. … Please don’t say the player they want to watch is Darrelle Revis,” who is “someone whose primary goal is not to be thrown at or noticed much.”

May I suggest that the primary goal of a football team is not to provide the fans with players they “want to watch.” It’s to win football games. And someone like Revis, “whose primary goal is not to be thrown at” is precisely the kind of player a sensible football team starts with.

You cross off Revis’s area on a football field and it automatically makes the rest of the secondary better.

“And please,” Lupica continues, “don’t act as if the jets would be trading Lawrence in his prime, or Ray Lewis. The best cornerbacks who have played have never had the impact on a game [as Taylor or Lewis].”

Well, yes and no. Who had the most impact on the Green Bay Packers’ five championship teams in the 1960s? Herb Adderley, a Hall of Fame defensive back, or Ray Nitschke, a Hall of Fame linebacker? I think most people who saw the Packers in that era would say Adderley. Who had more impact on the Steelers’ four championship teams? HOFer Mel Blount at corner? Or either HOF linebackers Jack Ham or Jack Lambert? Did any Raiders have as much on Oakland’s winning teams as shutdown CB Mike Haynes?

Anyway, this may be academic, but let’s face it: Who is going to give the Jets what they really deserve for a player of Revis’s ability? The few winning teams who might be ready for a Super Bowl run if they acquired Revis are probably going to be too capped-up to afford him. And the mediocre-to-bad teams are not going to pay a lot of money for a defensive player at any position for the simple reason that they are not just one player short of turning things around.

No one at the Jets front office ever listens to me, but I’m going to suggest a solution to this problem that could work out best for all: Turn Revis from a defensive back into a free safety. Then he could be all over the field and opposing offenses would never know where he was going to show up. It would also give them more time for a return on their invenstment; a free safeties generally have a longer life than defensive backs.

That’s what the 49ers did with one of the greatest college defensive backs of the last half century, Ronnie Lott, when he came out of USC. And Revis looks to me like he could be as good as Lott.

Did Lott have the impact on the Niners that LT had on the Giants? Or Lewis on the Ravens? Well, Taylor and Lewis had two Super Bowl rings each, and Lott had four with San Francisco. Off the top of my head, I can’t recall the name of a single linebacker the Niners had in that period.


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