With the Knicks and Nets winning their first playoff games and the Yankees and Mets both over .500, it would seem that New York is on the verge of a happiness explosion. But I’m bummed out. The best football player in New York, maybe the best defensive player in the league and perhaps the best second best player in Jets history (after you know who) is gone to the Tampa Bay Bucs, and it just doesn’t seem as if we got enough for him.
How good was Darrelle Revis? Well, I saw a stat on ESPN that I’m too depressed to check on the particulars of, but basically it’s this: In the 79 games that Revis played since coming to the Jets in 2007, he “defensed” — broke up or intercepted — 97 passes, one less than the guy who led the NFL in the category and played in many more games than Revis (who was pretty durable before missing 14 last year with a torn ACL). In other words, from 2007 till now, no defensive back in the league has been as good as Revis at defensing passes.
That’s why I’m tired of hearing that Mike Lupica-inspired argument that Revis isn’t an “impact” player like Lawrence Taylor. In his own way, Revis has been as much of an impact player as anyone in the league since 2007. And what did the Jets get back for him? The 13th pick in the first round of the NFL draft. That’s something, but what do you think the odds are that whoever the Jets get is going to be as good at his position as Revis? I think they’re pretty long.
Offering the rationale New York teams use for jettisoning its best players, the Jets argue that they have created room under the cap space, $12 million for the 2014 season. Does that make you feel better? Is that going to make suffering through a 4-12 season this year worthwhile? And if 4-12 sounds pessimistic, consider that you can already pencil in a loss in the opening game on September 8 when the Jets host … you guessed it, the Buccaneers.
Yes, I know, the Jets are in a rebuilding cycle. They’ve been in a rebuilding cycle for the last 40-odd years. Every time the master plan breaks down and they have to start from scratch, it’s justified by front office people telling us they’re in a rebuilding cycle. To paraphrase Clemenceau on Brazil, the Jets are the team of the future. And always will be.