The New York Jets: How a Bad Team Stays Bad

If you are a New York Jets or a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, everywhere you look you’ll see and hear that the Bucs got the "deal of the century" and the Jets have been "robbed blind" by the trade of Darrelle Revis for just a first and a third round pick (conditional, but the chances of Revis not being on the roster at the start of the 2014 season are near zero). While it is undoubtedly a very good deal for the Buccaneers to make, and one they simply had to make, it does not necessitate that it's automatically a bad deal for the Jets.

Mike Mayock said the Jets have not been fairly compensated for the loss of Revis because he doesn’t "see how you can be fairly compensated for someone who is this good at one of the toughest positions in football." That is a fair comment and chances are, even if they get their pick of corners with the 13th pick that they have just acquired, they will not get a player who is as good as Revis has been for them over the last few years.

Despite being a fair comment, though, it is just the sort of comment I would expect from a draft and collegiate specialist reporter. That is because this deal is about more than just the ability of Revis and what he brought to the Jets. It is a deal that might not be fair on a purely on-field standpoint, but becomes a lot better for the Jets when viewed within the professional framework of the NFL.

The Jets currently sit in what is commonly known as "cap hell" due to the long-term contracts they handed out during their AFC Championship game runs. They are now faced with adding players left, right and center while still having very little room to play with and more holes on their roster than a Swiss cheese (which is why there is a new GM in New York). As a result, they were never going to be able to offer Revis a contract like the one he has just signed in Tampa.

Therefore, the Jets were left in a situation where they either waited this season out (one in which the Jets are not going to win anyway) and got a third round compensation pick for him, or go and make a trade to see what they could get for Revis to completely revamp a roster that, as mentioned above, has more positions they do not have to upgrade than those they do.

What the Jets had going forward were two picks high in the first round, with a chance to nab a talent they did not expect to fall out of the top ten. In fact, with careful negotiation and a willingness to trade both current first round picks, they could’ve ended up with maybe four or five picks in the top sixty.

Even if there were no takers for the draft pick, they still had the opportunity to pick two players that would help them at several positions. Even with Revis gone, there was a much greater need than cornerback, namely: wide receiver, running back, offensive line (all of it) and a need for some pass rush from outside.

What they should not have done was attempt to replace Darrelle Revis, because that is frankly impossible, or take a new quarterback when the team has so many other pressing needs and there are five of six quarterbacks in the 2014 draft better than any in 2013.

So, what did the Jets do?

They took a corner in the first round, meaning that Dee Milliner will spend his entire career being compared to a possible Hall of Fame corner, a stigma that could mentally ruin a talented young player. To compound this, they then went and took a quarterback while ignoring the huge need to replicate the pass rush that was the entire reason for the Jets' success in their recent years.

That is how bad teams stay bad. Sure, they took three offensive lineman and made another very successful trade to bring Chris Ivory in to attempt to re-energize the running game, but by waiting as long as they did, they simply did not get the talented lineman that were out there in the first and second round.

Simply put, the only thing that the Jets did right was to add a dominant defensive tackle to anchor the unit. But there is only so much Sheldon Richardson can do without a pass-rush to help him.

By trading Revis, new GM John Idzik had put himself in a position to add at least four long-term starters to move on from the end of the Revis era and start to build the "John Idzik Jets." Instead, they have ended up likely having only two guys, Richardson and Milliner, who will be starting for the team in five years' time.

Opportunity wasted. Hence, a bad team stays bad.

By: Steve Moore
Twitter: @Steve_Moore1988

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