What do the Jets do With Revis?: By Ethan Marshall

Darrelle Revis’s arrest last week came as a shock to the football world.  Since being drafted by the Jets in 2007, Revis had been a good teammate on the field and a model citizen off the field.  Unfortunately for Revis, his first incident off the field may result in the end of his hall of fame career.

Revis was involved in an altercation at a Pittsburgh bar last Sunday.  It is believed that Revis attacked two men, knocking them unconscious.  It has also been reported that when a witness attempted to film the incident on his phone, Revis took the phone and threw it on the street.  Revis was charged with aggravated assault, robbery, terroristic threats, and conspiracy stemming lat Thursday.  Revis turned himself in to the authorities on Friday.

With Revis facing possible prison time, the NFL, as well as the Jets, need to make a decision on Revis.  It’s safe to assume Revis will be suspended to start the 2017 season, but for how long remains to be seen.  As for the Jets, they should be discussing whether or not to let Revis go.  Revis was a shadow of his former self in 2016, leading to wonder whether or not the Jets would end up letting him go before the end of the season.  The man who was once feared by all quarterbacks and wide receivers in the league was constantly picked on last season.  He’s not the same player that held Reggie Wayne to one catch for one yard in the 2010 wild card game against the Colts.  At one point last season, when Revis was asked about his poor play, the 31-year-old responded simply with “I’m old.”

There were even talks of moving the star cornerback to safety for the 2017 season.  With this incident, the Jets may just decide to end their relationship with Revis.  Revis is owed $15.3 million next season, but only $6 million of that is guaranteed.  The Jets would save $9.3 million if they decide to cut him.  Another option for the Jets could be to attempt to negotiate with Revis in restructuring his contract.  If the Jets do end up cutting Revis, it would seem likely that he may consider retiring.

If Revis does get cut by the Jets due to this incident, and if he does decide to retire, the career of one of the greatest cornerbacks will come to an end in less than ideal circumstances.  As Revis prepares for his trial, he may be more willing to take a pay-cut if it means staying with the Jets.  Nobody wants their career to end like this.  Revis may want to restore his public image before calling it quits.  Right now, he needs the Jets more than they need him.  He’s going to have to be very flexible if he wants to have a chance to stay with them.


Possible QB Solutions for the Jets

Going into the 2017 offseason, the Jets will likely be in search of a quarterback through either free agency, the trade market, or even the NFL draft.  There are multiple options the Jets have to be their starting QB next season.  One key factor that could effect who they go after on the trade and/or free agency market would be what the organization thinks of Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.

Petty was given the role of starting QB in the middle of last season due to the poor play of Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Behind an offensive line mainly composed of backups, Petty struggled and was constantly under pressure from opposing teams.  He ended up throwing for 809 yards, with 3 touchdowns and 7 interceptions before his season was cut short due to a chest injury suffered in a loss against the Dolphins.  While there were a few times in which Petty seemed to show some potential in games, he doesn’t seem like he is ready to be the Jets starting QB next season.  He has trouble reading the defense, doesn’t seem to scramble enough to allow time for his receivers to get open, and has a lot of trouble when under pressure.

We never got a chance to see Christian Hackenberg play in the 2016-17 season.  Reports from the Jets coaching staff said that while he has potential to be a very good QB, he isn’t ready to take snaps in an NFL game yet.  Like Petty, the Jets must soon decide whether or not Hackenberg will be the QB for the franchise in the near future.  One worrying sign is a recent report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter saying that he was told by an anonymous coach for the Jets that Hackenberg had regressed during the season.  Other sources have said that Hackenberg had been struggling during practice when taking his reps.  Regardless of what kind of player he turns out to be, it doesn’t seem as though Hackenberg will be ready to be the Jets starting QB next season.

There are a couple players that may be on the trade market that I feel the Jets should pursue.  The first player is Tony Romo.  He is likely to be moved this offseason, considering the strong performance by his replacement, Dak Prescott.  There have been rumors of the Jets willing to offer Sheldon Richardson for Romo.  Romo will be 37 years old in April, is prone to injury, and is making around $18 million annually through 2019.  However, he has still shown that when he’s healthy, he is still a very talented and intelligent QB.  The Jets need to ask themselves whether or not he is worth the money and risks.  They could also hope for the Cowboys to release him if they can’t find any trade to their liking.  This would allow for the Jets to get him at a much cheaper price.  The other QB I feel the Jets should consider trading for is Philip Rivers.  Rivers is still putting together strong numbers for a San Diego team that has been so bad that they lost to the Cleveland Browns.  At this point, San Diego is in a state of rebuilding.  The Jets could offer some draft picks for Rivers.  Like Romo, Rivers is owed a lot of money over the next few years.  His average salary is $20,812,500 through 2019.  Rivers will be 36 years old in December.  However, unlike Romo, Rivers isn’t as prone to injury, making him a little more appealing.

On the free agent market, the one name that sticks out to me is Kirk Cousins.  He is coming off of a strong season with the Redskins, in which he threw for 4,917 yards, with 25 touchdowns and a completion percentage of 67%.  He is much younger than Romo and Rivers, turning 29 in August.  The problem the Jets face with Cousins is that he will be a hot commodity, allowing for his price to rise.  The Jets would have to be committed to having Cousins as their starting QB for the long term.  This would basically mean giving up on Petty and Hackenberg.

Since the 2013 draft, the Jets have drafted 3 quarterbacks in the early rounds.  These players are Geno Smith, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg.  If the Jets use their 6th overall pick on a QB in the 2017 draft, it may be on one of three QBs.  In the unlikely event that they haven’t been drafted yet, the Jets may choose either Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina or DeShone Kizer of Notre Dame in the first round.  So far this season, Trubisky has thrown for 3748 yards, with 30 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions.  Kizer has thrown for 2925 yards, with 26 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.  If these players are already off the table, the Jets may want to consider Deshaun Watson of Clemson.  Watson has thrown for 4173 yards, with 38 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

Just by seeing how many quarterbacks the Jets have drafted in the early rounds in recent years, one can see how much of a gamble it is for an organization like the Jets to put the faith of the franchise in the hands of a young quarterback straight out of college.  Many talented college quarterbacks have failed in the NFL.  In their desperation for a sustainable QB, the Jets could very well use their first round pick to draft their 4th quarterback in the last 5 years.  If it comes to this, both the fans and the organization will hope that the 4th time is the charm.

Jets 2016-17 Season Retrospective

The 2016-17 New York Jets season was one to forget.  Coming off an impressive 10-6 season in 2015-16, there were high expectations from the fans for a playoff birth.  While they lost Damon Harrison to the Giants, the Jets were able to lock up Muhammad Wilkerson for the long term and eventually able to re-sign QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was coming off the best year of his career, after a lengthy standoff.

Unfortunately for the Jets, injuries and poor performances contributed to a disappointing season in which the team went just 5-11.  Future Hall of Famer Darrelle Revis began to show his age, constantly getting beaten by the receivers he was assigned to shut down.  He performed so badly that questions arose as to whether or not he would soon retire.  By next season, we could very well see Revis move from cornerback to safety.  Muhammad Wilkerson, coming off arguably the best season of his career in which he registered 12 sacks, struggled to stay healthy and effective throughout the 2016-17 season, registering just 4.5 sacks.  Perhaps the biggest culprit for the disappointing Jets season was Ryan Fitzpatrick.  After being acquired by the Jets in a trade with the Texans in the 2015 offseason, Fitzpatrick was promoted to the team’s starting QB when Geno Smith got his jaw broken by then-teammate I.K. Enemkpali during a dispute over money.  Fitzpatrick ended up throwing for 3,905 yards and a franchise record 31 touchdowns.  After a long holdout last offseason, Fitzpatrick and the Jets finally reached an agreement on a 1 year, $12 million contract on July 27, 2016.  However, Fitzpatrick struggled in the 2016-17 season, especially after losing one of his favorite targets, Eric Decker, for the season after just 3 games due to a shoulder injury that required surgery.  In the 2016-17 season, Fitzpatrick threw for just 2,710 yards, with 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

Due in large part to Revis’s regression and Wilkerson’s poor season, the 2016-17 Jets defense regressed mightily throughout the season.  After being ranked as the 4th best defense in the NFL in 2015-16, the defense dropped to 11th.  The Jets went from 30 takeaways, tied for third in the NFL, to just 14, tied for last in the NFL.

As poor as the season has been for the Jets, there have been some strong performances by a few players.  Bilal Powell and Quincy Enunwa seemed to be the best performers this past season for the Jets on the offensive side while Leonard Willams continues to show promise for the Jets defense.  As the season went on, it felt as if Powell was used more often.  While he did show in the 2015-16 season that he could do a good job as a receiver from the runningback position, he also showed that he could run the ball too in 2016-17.  While he only had 131 rushing attempts, he ran for 722 yards, giving him an average of 5.5 yards per carry.  He also tacked on 58 receptions for 388 yards.  He would end up scoring a total of 5 touchdowns for the Jets.  Powell could very well be a huge threat for opposing defenders in the near future thanks to his improving ability to run the ball as well as getting open for passes and turning them into big gains.  Quincy Enunwa seemed to be much more dangerous early in the season, when the Jets still had Decker.  Regardless, Enunwa still had a very good offensive season for a lackluster offensive team.  He totaled 58 receptions for 857 yards, reaching the endzone 4 times.  Assuming Decker and Marshall are back and healthy next season, and the Jets find a decent quarterback, Enunwa would present a huge threat to an opposing team’s defense that may overlook him for Marshall and Decker.  Leonard Williams showed no signs of a sophomore slump in 2016-17.  Williams tallied 7 sacks this past season, while also forcing two fumbles.  While 4.5 of those sacks occurred in the first 5 games of the season, he nonetheless continued to provide pressure on the opposing team’s offense.  He has shown the ability to be extremely dangerous when he’s hot.  If Wilkerson can come back healthy and perform up to expectations next season, the Jets would have a powerful 1-2 punch on the defensive line.

There is still a lot of work to be done by Jets management over the upcoming offseason if they want a chance to be competitive next season.  Another option that management has is to just rebuild the team over the next couple seasons.  In the meantime, Jets fans need to follow their mantra: “Just Endure The Suffering.”