Revis' brand and why it has more value than his football ability
Pro sports is a business, and as fans, sometimes we lose site of this fact, focusing only only the player's ability and what it means to the team. The Revis topic has been discussed ad-nauseum, his value, his ability, whether he will come back from injury and be the same player, is he really worth 15 million per year, why would any team trade for it, why would the Jets not re-sign him, etc etc...
There are many sides to the argument from the Jets' fans perspective, trade now, Revis wants too much, get something for nothing, the Jets should re-sign, he's a cornerstone of the franchse. The team should trade and fast track re-tooling their roster, a CB is not worth franchise money. All valid arguments. Then there is the position the Jets are in, re-sign him, avoid the dead money of the contract if they let him play out his contract, and continue to build around him on the defense, or, trade him before he plays out his contract, and retool the rest of the roster with additional draft picks.
Bottomline, the Jets can go either way. The cap situation is overblown by the media as usual, and as usual, there are too many fans that buy into the TMZ reporting by the media. The Jets can easily re-sign him, even at the 14-15 mil per year and still build the rest of the roster, but the Jets don't need Revis, as much as Revis needs them, and as much as say a team like the Bucs need him, and here's why the Jets are in a position of strength that I don't think gets talked about enough.
Revis is worth the money he's asking for, because it's not just his ability as the top CB in football and one of the top defensive players in football, it's the marketing value he brings to a team. Let's also not mistake the fact that Revis and his team were able to develop that brand in the best market in sports, in New York. Revis knows this, but more importanly, other teams know this as well, including the Jets. The Jets don't need to sign a player like Revis because of his brand, they can move on to the next player, the team is already in the NY market.
A team like the Bucs however, are starved to improve the brand of the team, and a player like Revis instantly adds value to the brand, brings in a huge market and following, and puts TB back on the map from a player profile perspective. This is huge for a team like the Bucs, and this is why the Jets are playing out the situation the way they have. The Jets aren't just trading a player coming off of ACL surgery, but is still one of the top defensive players in football when healthy, the Jets, if they chose to move on from Revis, want to make sure they trade not only the player and get compensation to fast track the rebuild, they want the compensation for giving up his brand and the value he brings to the team.
The other angle is Revis' security, and the risk he has if he plays out the rest of his contract, another year of football, another year of possible injury. This more than anything plays into the urgency of Revis' team to push this now, rather than wait until next year. That is the beauty of what we are seeing with what is happening, and why this is dragging on. The Jets know this, Idzik knows this, Johnson knows this. Revis wants a new deal now, with the Jets, or a new team. The Jets know what Revis can bring to a team like TB, not just the player, but his brand, that is why we can't compare Revis' value from a player only standpoint, from a position only standpoint. We can't compare Revis, to a player like Harvin or any other big name trade that has happened, because Revis' brand trumps all of them, that is why compensation has to be significant from the Jets' perspective, that is why a team like the Bucs are so interested in Revis, not just because it is a fit, and the player, and the talent, but the brand, and the market that he will bring to a small market team like the Bucs.
Personally, I'm torn, I love Revis, but I can see how much sense this makes from the Jets' perspective. So, Idzik and the Jets should hold out as long as they can, and they have every bit of leverage to take this right up to the draft, because it's clear, the mission is to get compensation this year and next, and especially next year, but the Jets have a lot of leverage, and they also have Revis' agents as an ally, because they too are pushing for a deal THIS year, this helps the Jets, whether it is to re-sign with the Jets at a deal they deem acceptable and not in a way that will cripple their cap and future of the roster, or to push for a team to match the Jets' asking price in terms of compensation.