Every New York Jet fans' worst nightmare has just become a reality as All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis joined the reveled New England Patriots on Wednesday. No. 24 was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last offseason in exchange for a first and conditional fourth round draft pick when then-first year general manager John Idzik refused to pay the hefty price tag Revis' agents demanded for his services.
The Buccaneers released Revis on Wednesday and Bill Belichick and company wasted little time in sweeping in and snagging the five-time Pro Bowler.
Revis was a key cog in the Jets' consecutive runs to AFC Championship games in 2009 and 2010 and became a favorite of head coach Rex Ryan. After suffering a season-ending ACL tear in Week 3 of the 2012 season against the Miami Dolphins, the star cornerback's Jet career came to an abrupt and crashing halt.
While trading Revis was an unpopular move amongst a large contingent of the Jets' fan base prior to the start of last season, this week there was a growing sentiment that the Jets got the best end of the bargain by nabbing defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson with the No.13 overall pick they acquired in the trade with Tampa Bay. Richardson would go on to win the 2013 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, while the Jets fourth round pick was sent to New Orleans on draft day in exchange for power running back Chris Ivory.
When Revis inked a six-year, $96 million deal in 2013 with no guaranteed money, the Buccaneers protected themselves in case the defensive back suffered another serious injury or didn't return to top form. The former Jet was back at the top of his game in no time, but with head coach Greg Schiano handed his walking papers and Lovie Smith hired this offseason to lead Tampa Bay, Revis appeared to be the odd man out as the team released him without incurring a salary cap hit.
Meanwhile, the first day of free agency came and went with the Denver Broncos going on a spending spree adding former Patriots cornerback Aquib Talib, safety T.J. Ward and locking up former Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware on Wednesday.
New England refused to sit idly by and inked Revis to a one-year, $12 million contract with its sights set on agreeing to a long-term extension at some point this upcoming season. As the Jets continue to scour the free agent market for wide receivers and tight ends, Idzik and company will have to figure out a way to deal with "Revis Island" up in Foxborough.
With a nightmarish scenario unfolding for Gang Green, the front office will need to absorb the Patriots hay-maker and counter with a major signing if the Jets hope to remain relevant in the AFC East.