The offseason has yet to start, but it looks as if it will be an exciting one, especially if your team is in the need of a top notch corner such as the Lions. Many Lions fans are already demanding that the Lions address the secondary with their first round pick, but with news breaking that Darrelle Revis could potentially be traded this offseason, many Lions fans are wondering if the Lions could fill that need with Revis.
Aug 26, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) during the second half of their game against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Jets 17-12. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Lions are virtually in salary cap hell with three players taking on half of the allotted salary cap, but this could be a bit misleading. The Lions have 22 free agents and they have the ability to extend Matthew Stafford’s contract to free up a significant amount of cap space. Of the Lions’ biggest free agents, Chris Houston, Cliff Avril and Louis Delmas, it’s likely only two of them are re-signed based on what the Lions are willing to spend. That could free up some cap space compared to what they spent last year. Finally, the Lions have the option to cut underperforming veterans such as Kyle Vanden Bosch to save even more money.
If the Lions wanted to take a chance on Revis, they could probably afford him. But that would come at a cost beyond what is sent to the Jets and the money devoted to Revis. It would also significantly limit the Lions ability to be active in free agency, including retaining their own players set to become free agent.
Then there is the fact that Revis is only under contract one more season and his contract nullifies teams abilities to use the franchise tag on him. Let’s not forget that Revis is coming off an ACL tear and might not be the player he once was. Do the Lions really want to take a gamble on another injured player?
Finally, what would the Lions trade in exchange for Derrelle Revis?
It is unlikely the Jets and Lions could agree on a player to send to New York to facilitate a trade. That leaves the Lions with the possibility of dealing 2013 and/or future draft picks. The Lions should be reluctant to give up their most powerful tool in acquiring talent at an affordable cost, especially since they don’t have much wiggle room under the salary cap.
With that said, there is one more option that could work great for the both the Lions and the Jets, but it may be unrealistic.
Cliff Avril is set to hit the free agent market this offseason and Revis looks as good as gone the next offseason. Would the Lions attempt to re-sign Avril with the intention of flipping him to the Jets for Revis? It would be a risky move and might be too far outside the box for the Lions to seriously consider. However, the needs and desires of each team seems to line up with this scenario.
Both teams certaintly don’t want to lose key players in exchange for nothing. Both teams have top 10 picks which gives each team a great chance of adding high quality talent at other positions if they need to. This could be a great opportunity for both teams to get what they want.
What do you think Lions fans, would Revis, the best cornerback in the game, be worth the certainty of losing Cliff Avril and potential draft picks? Personally, I’d be thrilled if the Lions acquired Revis as long as everything checked out medically. It would probably take Cliff Avril and as high as a third round pick to make the deal happen, but the deal would immediately make the Lions secondary a top unit with Chris Houston (assuming he’s re-signed), Louis Delmas (assuming he’s re-signed), and Darrelle Revis, all proven playmakers.