INDIANAPOLIS – As coach Rex Ryan grasps the fact that the New York Jets are apparently in the market to trade cornerback Darrelle Revis, he was likely hit with an overwhelming feeling:
He's a Dead Coach Walking.
As the Jets spent last weekend at the NFL scouting combine shopping Revis in passive-aggressive style (New York isn't calling anybody, but team management was all ears when multiple teams called to hold preliminary talks, according to sources), Ryan is now faced with what he must do to avoid the near-certain end of his tenure.
Does he go to owner Woody Johnson and demand that the team sign Revis to a contract extension in hopes of rebuilding his scattered defense? Or does he let the likely trade play out and hope that he can somehow turn around a team that will be led by quarterback Mark Sanchez?
Recently hired Jets general manager John Idzik declined to respond to calls from Yahoo! Sports on Monday, preferring to stand by his remarks from last Thursday. Idzik spent eight minutes at the combine that day trying to deflect questions about whether Revis would be traded. At one point, Idzik said, "With respect to Darrelle, we have always wanted him to be a part of the New York Jets."
However, Idzik has yet to call agents Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod to discuss parameters of an extension past the 2013 season, according to a source familiar with the circumstances. Revis can opt out of his contract after the upcoming season and the Jets can't franchise him at that point, making him eligible for free agency in 2014.
While that's enticing for Revis, who is coming back from a season-ending knee injury in 2012 and could become one of the league's top-paid players, it's also not necessarily what he wants. Multiple sources have said that Revis desires to finish his career with the Jets. Additionally, Revis' top sponsor, Nike, would like Revis to remain in New York, according to a source.
Revis' desire may not matter, though. Although Idzik has been in contact with Revis twice this offseason in an effort to quell any talk of a trade, word has quietly gotten around the NFL that the Jets are willing to part with him.
That appears to be part of a large rebuilding process that figures to last beyond 2013, when the team can finally part with Sanchez.
Two sources indicated this weekend that there is nearly zero market for Sanchez, particularly with a contract that calls for an $8.25 million guarantee this season.
"Unless there's something I don't understand, Mark is going to be there," one source said.
If the Jets parted ways with Sanchez after the '13 season, the question becomes who will be the coach to pick the next quarterback? Ryan, whose background is primarily on defense and has gone two straight seasons without reaching the playoffs, could be out of the picture.
The question for teams wanting to acquire Revis is whether they want to do it now or wait until later. Any team getting Revis would likely want to do an extension with him as part of the trade.
Revis is expected to fetch in excess of $16 million per year. That estimate is based on the eight-year, $132 million contract extension Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson and the six-year, $100 million deal Buffalo defensive end Mario Williams got. Each of those deals were done in the 2012 offseason.
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