You can find plenty of reasons the Jets have turned into a circus, but contemplating the idea of trading Darrelle Revis isn't one of them.
While the timing of the news that the team will look into any deals involving their All Pro cornerback was a shock -- especially when it came out the day before new general manager John Idzik was introduced at a Thursday news conference -- the idea of a trade is absolutely worth considering.
There are several complicated factors at work here, so simply saying the Jets have to do whatever it takes to keep their best player for the remainder of his career is a nonstarter. Consider:
Revis has a year left on his contract and is scheduled to earn $6 million in 2013. After that, the team cannot place the franchise tag on him, a stipulation agreed upon in exchange for a guarantee that Revis would not hold out in training camp.
With two contentious holdouts during his previous contract negotiations, there is no reason to believe that Revis won't demand to be given the richest contract for any defensive player -- north of the $100-million deal the Bills agreed to with free-agent defensive end Mario Williams last year.
And perhaps the most important factor of all: Revis' health. Coming off an ACL injury, there's simply no way of knowing how he'll come back at age 28. Will it be like Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who had a career year after undergoing ACL surgery in December, 2011? Or will it be like Ravens cornerback Dominique Foxworth, who signed a $28-million deal with the Ravens in 2009, blew out his knee in 2010 and then hurt the same knee the following year? Foxworth is now retired at age 29.
In the age of the salary cap, there are some difficult decisions to be made, and this is one of them. And with a roster in need of major attention at several positions -- most notably at quarterback -- keeping a cornerback who's coming off a knee injury and is looking for a huge payday on his third contract is not the highest priority. Unless Revis is willing to make it work long-term for him and the team -- a best-case scenario and one Jets fans would certainly welcome -- the Jets are correct for finding out his value on the trade market and getting something in return before letting him get away in 2014.
Dennis Dixon as Kaepernick
In fact, he has one of the team's most important assignments in the days leading up to the game. Dixon will be playing the scout team quarterback, which means he'll be imitating the moves of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the dynamic dual threat in both the passing and running game.
"We're trying to give our defense the best look possible this week, so it's up to me to give them that," said Dixon, a former Steelers backup who joined the Ravens in 2012. "I've studied a lot of tape on [Kaepernick] so hopefully, I can help our team out."
Dixon played the role of Robert Griffin III before the Ravens faced the Redskins in a regular-season game in December. The Ravens lost, 31-28, in overtime, but did a solid job against Griffin before he was injured late in the game. The Ravens held a 28-20 when Griffin was hurt late in the fourth quarter.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen on his new offensive line coach, Tony Sparano, who was fired after one season as the Jets' offensive coordinator: "The thing that most impressed me about his time in Dallas, about his time there in Miami, is that he always had some tough football teams. That's the thing that I think he can bring to our team, to our offense, is a sense of toughness." Hmmm. No mention of the Jets?
Win or lose in the Super Bowl, there will be changes for the Ravens in the offseason. And it's not just Ray Lewis retiring. Safety Ed Reed is an unrestricted free agent and might not be back. And the team may not be able to keep its key free agents: linebacker/defensive end Paul Kruger, cornerback Cary Williams and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said coach John Harbaugh didn't come under any pressure from Newsome or team owner Steve Bisciotti to fire offensive coordinator Cam Cameron last month. "No, that wouldn't be fair to John," Newsome said. "John has to stand before his coaching staff and his players. If at any point do they ever think that he's overly influenced by Steve or I, then he loses his staff and his players. It has to be him."