COMMENTARY | The New York Jets' All-Pro cornerback is learning what many wide receivers have known for the last six seasons: Revis Island is a very, very lonely place.
After playing hardball with Jets brass for the last three seasons, the franchise has taken the unprecedented stance that enough is enough when it comes to their star player. Between the holdouts, contract demands, games missed and overall pouting, owner Woody Johnson and the rest of the brain trust in Florham Park have had enough.
The only place the Jets haven't shopped Revis around is on eBay. And if they don't get a nibble during NFL Draft weekend, they might even resort to that. At that point, Craigslist might even be in the cards.
Make no mistake: From his rookie year in 2007 through 2011, Darrelle Revis shut down a third of the football field single-handedly, allowing the other ten players on the Jets' defense to deal with the rest. No other player did that season after season. He wasn't just the best player on New York's roster; he was the best player in the entire league.
He knew it. The Jets' brass knew it, too. And Revis put Johnson, Rex Ryan, Mike Tannenbaum and everyone else on Revis Island when it came time to negotiate. They felt the pinch and caved, believing the team couldn't compete without their All-Pro corner.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the bank this time around. The Jets didn't blink. Maybe they realized that the team wasn't competing, with or without Revis Island on one side of the football field. Maybe they figured out that Franchise Quarterback money should go to a franchise quarterback, not cornerback. Maybe, just maybe, they finally had enough.
Whatever the reason, Woody and Co. started putting out the feelers. Pundits kept saying the Jets would be lucky to come away with 50 cents on the dollar in a trade. But the Jets -- who have maintained an asking price that includes a first-round pick -- have held firm. And why not? If they hold onto Revis for this season and he bolts, they get a third-rounder next season.
And still, the teams come a-callin'. The latest of the rumors has Revis settling in with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The rumored draft-day deal would send the cornerback down south for a first, a third and swapping of late round picks. That's a lot for any player, much less a superstar diva with a surgically-repaired knee.
There are still doubters among the Jets' faithful who believe parting with Revis is a fool's errand. Here's the rub against that thinking: He's gone no matter what the Jets do. The animosity the recent trade talks have conjured aren't going away. Revis will test free agency given the chance after next season, and the Jets won't be able to keep up once the offers start coming.
So now's the time for the Jets to pack their bags and end their time on Revis Island.
James Moffat has 10-plus years of journalism expertise, writing for daily print and online publications.
- Sports & Recreation
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- Darrelle Revis
- New York Jets