Darrelle Revis seems to be on his way out in New York which has everyone in the NFL in a tizzy over where he will land. On the one hand, Revis has proven time and time again that he’s without a doubt the best cornerback in the NFL as he’s consistently put his performance where his mouth is and has flat out shut down some of the best wide outs in the game. On the other hand, Revis is coming off of a serious ACL tear and it’s not yet known how this will effect his future.
Adrian Peterson-laced optimism suggests that if Revis puts in the hard work this offseason, he’ll come back better than ever. However reality still suggests that Revis will come back good but having clearly lost a step in his game. But this isn’t scaring teams away from entertaining the idea of acquiring Revis, which brings up an interesting question: what is Darrelle Revis really worth?
Jets fans will jump to the conclusion that Revis is worth no less than a top draft pick, but history may indicate otherwise as Revis’ talent on the field isn’t going to be the only important factor in determining his trade value. In finding his true value, one must evaluate other trades that have been made involving top-tier players in recent years.
Take for example Jared Allen, who was a standout with the Kansas City Chiefs before landing with the Minnesota Vikings in a trade. At the time, the Vikings were blasted for overpaying for Allen as they sent a total of three draft picks including their first round selection to the Chiefs in exchange for the defensive end. However, that seems like a bargain given how much of a staple Allen as become in Vikings lore and he remains the only effective piece of the Vikings defense.
Two of the biggest trades in the last 10 years involved star quarterbacks as the San Diego Chargers netted a pretty profitable return in exchange for Eli Manning back in 2004. In giving up Manning to the New York Giants, the Chargers acquired Philip Rivers and draft picks that turned into Nate Kaeding and Shawn Merriman. The Chicago Bears pulled off a similar trade when they acquired Jay Cutler for picks the Denver Broncos absolutely botched. But regardless of how careless the Broncos were, the return on Cutler ended up being Kyle Orton, two first rounders and a third rounder (which turned into Mike Wallace but the Broncos traded the pick to Pittsburgh).
Obviously these trades don’t mean a lot to Revis since they involve players that aren’t cornerbacks but they do give you an idea of what it takes to trade top talent in the NFL.
Perhaps the best example of what Revis is worth involves the trading of Champ Bailey for Clinton Portis. However, in this trade Portis had more value as Bailey needed to be accompanied by a second round pick (which turned into Tatum Bell) to even out the deal for the Broncos. That being said, Bailey was at the time the best cornerback in the NFL and continued to be a shutdown defensive back through last season.
So basically, Revis’ value is all over the place but it’s on the higher end of all over the place. He’s not going to land the Jets a pair of first rounders or an elite running back but his value, even with an ACL injury, isn’t too far away from that.
We won’t know what his true value is until he’s ultimately dealt but while he is a top-tier talent, let’s not forget that knee injuries and expensive contract demands are not things teams willingly part ways with top draft picks for.