REVIS: HEADED WEST?
February 28, 2013
In the last few days there has been highly conflicting information regarding the 49ers interest in trading for Jets All-Pro CB Darrell Revis. For a Super Bowl caliber team, there is a definite upside to the idea (i.e. Deon Sander’s signing back in the mid 90’s), but a trade for Revis has its potential problems.
At his finest, Revis is not only the premiere cover corner in the league, but among the best blue-chip players overall. He would be an immediate upgrade to a top-ranked defensive unit that was burned through the air in the playoffs. Whether Carlos Rogers was cut or moved to the nickel as a result, “Revis Island” shutting down half the field would make the secondary much more dangerous.
With an arsenal of 15 draft picks this season, the defending NFC Champions are one of few teams that have the ammunition to pull off this blockbuster trade.
Darrell Revis is only 28 and coming into his physical prime as a football player. If a reasonable long-term contract could be worked out, he would be extremely helpful over the next few seasons.
Coming off a season ending ACL injury, Revis could be a medical liability. Although Adrian Peterson showed that it’s possible to come back from knee injuries and play at a higher level, sadly that is not the case for the majority.
Having only played two games in 2012, Revis has made abundantly clear that he wants a contract making him the game’s highest-paid defender (roughly $16 million a season). Although the Niners could find the money, it would greatly hinder them from extending their own young playmakers such as QB Colin Kaepernick and WR Michael Crabtree.
The potential of destroying locker room chemistry is always possible when a big fish is added to a 53-fish bowl. For a team like the 49ers, which don’t overspend on free agents and who believe the best way to build is through the draft, making an outsider the teams’ highest paid player could cause a backlash.
IF NOT REVIS, THEN WHO?
There is a rich crop of free agent cornerbacks potentially hitting the market this off-season. If San Francisco opts out of the Revis race, these are the players who could upgrade their pass defense.
Sean Smith (Dolphins): Although inconsistent at times, Smith has great size to match up against the likes of Larry Fitzgerald. Only 25, he is among the best of the free agent class and will cost a pretty penny to add.
Brent Grimes (Falcons): Coming off a torn Achilles tendon at the beginning of the season, Grimes is certainly a big risk-big reward player. He’s got a tremendous amount of talent, but an injury like that could result in a decline of mobility.
Chris Houston (Lions): With a good chance of the Lions taking a corner in the top five of the draft, Houston is expendable. Although not elite, he is a solid defender and would be better than Chris Culliver.
Keenan Lewis (Steelers): Although not many interceptions on his career resume yet, Lewis is a solid CB and good tackler. At only 26, his best days are still ahead of him.
Adam Jones (Bengals): Jones’ checkered past could be cause for red flags, but with good skills covering the slot and great value on special teams, he could be a great fit for the red & gold.