Determining Darrelle Revis' trade value
Yes, we’re spending a good deal of time here discussing a trade that ultimately might not happen, but there seems to be enough momentum behind moving Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis that the notion is worth talking about.
Today’s installment: What’s he worth? If the Bucs or any other team elected to strike a deal for the NFL’s best cornerback, what should the compensation be?
There is no blueprint for this kind of deal because these kinds of trades almost never happen. Rarely does a player of Revis’ caliber change teams, and a potential Revis deal is further complicated by other factors (namely his recent knee surgery and the complications related to his contract).
But let’s say a team is determined to make a deal. Teams always look for comparable scenarios to draw comparisons, and there are a handful that might apply here.
Here’s a look at some blockbuster trades in recent years and how they compare to a potential Revis deal:
- Champ Bailey (2004): The Broncos sent running back Clinton Portis to the Redskins for star cornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round pick. This was one of the bigger trades you’ll see, but it’s also one of the rarest. NFL trades rarely involve swaps of superstars like this one. Any Revis trade is very unlikely to resemble this.
- Eli Manning (2004): The Giants executed a draft-day trade to pry Manning away from the Chargers, who had just selected him with the first overall pick. It was costly: The Chargers got the Giants’ fourth overall choice (Phillip Rivers) and a third-rounder, in addition to first- and fifth-round choices the following year. A key difference between this and a Revis trade: Manning is a quarterback, which is always pricier. By the way, Manning has two Super Bowl MVP trophies.
- Jared Allen (2008): Kansas City traded Allen to the Vikings for the No. 17 overall pick, two third-round picks and a sixth-round pick. The Chiefs also sent a sixth-round pick back to Minnesota. The Vikings, at the time, were viewed as having overpaid, but Allen has been wildly successful with 74 sacks in his five seasons with Minnesota. This is probably the best comparison to a Revis deal.
- Jay Cutler (2009): In another rare trade involving key players, the Bears sent quarterback Kyle Orton, two first-round picks and a third-round pick to the Broncos for Cutler and a fifth-round choice. The Bears have managed to be competitive despite losing those valuable picks, while Orton was so successful the Broncos drafted… Tim Tebow? Not sure how to feel about this deal.
- Julio Jones (2011): The Falcons forked over a ransom to the Browns but got stud receiver Jones in a draft-night deal. Atlanta swapped first-round picks with Cleveland (the Browns had No. 6, the Falcons No. 27) and gave up second- and fourth-round picks in 2011 and first- and fourth-round picks in 2012. Jones should be one of the NFL’s best players for years to come.
As you can see, none of these are great comparisons with a Revis trade, but hopefully this gives you a little bit of a reference point for what it might take.
Important things you must keep in mind, as stated above, are the facts that Revis’ knee is a mitigating factor (drives the price down, in my opinion) and his contract demands are going to scare off more than a few potential suitors. That constricts the market for his services and, theoretically, lessens his value.