When it was reported that cornerback Darrelle Revis is available in trade, the dreaming commenced all around the league — including Seattle.
The first (and probably best) thought is to dismiss the fantasy, which seemingly makes little sense for Seattle. But the Seahawks reportedly are among the gaggle of teams with at least initial interest in the former All-Pro cover man, so that makes it worth examining the possibility.
If the Hawks truly were interested, it would raise a number of questions: What would they be willing to give up in picks/players for a guy coming off an ACL injury? Would they be willing to pay him a $100 million deal with $50 million guaranteed? And then pay $10 million a year to Richard Sherman in 2015? Would such a move hinder their ability to improve the pass rush, which is the obvious priority this year?
It’s easy to see why Pete Carroll, who loves defensive backs, would be intrigued at the thought of pairing perhaps the two best corners in the league. The Seahawks also need to find a nickel corner who can help stop the underneath passes that burned them so much last season. Revis could slide inside on passing downs and help shut down short passing games, while Brandon Browner would step in on the outside, where he currently starts, and continue to manhandle outside receivers.
Adding Revis would lessen the desperation for a pass rusher — although the Hawks certainly would still need to address that need.
But would the Hawks want to commit so much money — about $22 million a year — to the cornerback position starting in 2015, when Sherman will be a free agent? It would seem a prohibitive cost, especially with the team also facing big contracts for Russell Wilson and Earl Thomas in 2015.
The cost for Revis this year would be very manageable — just $6 million. The Hawks are about $18 million under the salary cap, and they likely will add $2.3 million to that space by cutting receiver Ben Obomanu once he passes his physical (he was placed on IR with a wrist injury in November). They also would save $3.25 million if they managed to trade backup quarterback Matt Flynn.
So, even adding Revis would leave them with at least $14 million to spend on free agents. But there’s no getting around the fact that he would put a big dent in the team’s cap starting in 2014.
Of course, they could structure any new contract so Revis has to prove his health before getting the big money. They could create a big option bonus after the 2013 season that would activate the rest of the contract — or even put in two such bonuses in 2014 and 2015.
Then comes the question of what it would take to get Revis from New York.
Will anyone want to give up two first-round picks for a player coming off a torn ACL who reportedly will want a $100 million deal? Hardly. A first and third? Some team might go for that, but it’s still too high.
A prudent offer would be something like a second-rounder this year and a conditional pick in 2014 — perhaps as high as a first — that was dependent on Revis’ health and play in 2013.
Of course, the Seahawks have another option: Flynn.
The Jets seem to have given up on Mark Sanchez, and new general manager John Idzik apparently needs to find a new QB. Having come from Seattle, Idzik knows all about Flynn, who seemingly would be a good fit in new coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s West Coast offense.
The Jets reportedly are about $23 million over the cap and are stuck with Sanchez, who will count $12.9 million this year and would cost an additional $4.8 million in cap proration to trade or release. On top of that, they apparently are willing to take a $3 million hit to trade Revis.
But they still could accommodate Revis and Flynn’s $5.25 million salary by cutting wide receiver Santonio Holmes (saving $8.5 million), linebacker Bart Scott ($6.9 million) and QB Tim Tebow ($2.6 million) and reworking/extending contracts for linebacker David Harris and cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
Bottom line: It’s certainly possible for the Hawks and Jets to make a deal for Revis. But is it really a good idea for the Hawks to try?