Rarely have the Green Bay Packers been serious players in trade rumors under general manager Ted Thompson, who typically treasures using the draft to build his rosters.
But according to one report, Thompson and the Packers may be one team interested in dealing for New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Mike Freeman of CBS Sports reported the story Friday morning, likening the league’s building trade interest in Revis to a “gold rush”:
Other teams highly interested, I’m told, are Denver, San Francisco, Buffalo (not happening — division rival), and even Seattle, which already has some of the best defensive backs in the game. One team also constantly mentioned by league sources is Green Bay, though the Packers, possessors of one of the best front offices in all of sports, usually don’t give up high-round picks.
Freeman also mentions strong interest from the New England Patriots, but rules them out as a possible trade partner because of the obvious division connection.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports initially reported Wednesday night that Jets owner Woody Johnson would explore options in trading Revis, who is under contract through 2013 but has a void clause in the deal that kicks in the following year. Internally, the Jets continue to worry about extending Revis past next season.
By dealing him now, the Jets can get maximum compensation for a roster beginning to rebuild under new general manager John Idzik.
However, while the Packers may have a level of interest in adding Revis—each of the 31 NFL teams should—the chances of Thompson outbidding the rest of the league remains relatively small. As the trade market fills, compensation needed from the Jets for Revis will increase, substantially.
More than likely, such a trade would include several high-round draft picks. It is very easy to envision the Packers’ interest in such a trade drying up rather quickly once the parameters of a deal reached such levels.
But even if Thompson could agree on some kind of compensation package for Revis, the current structuring of the Packers’ salary cap doesn’t appear capable of supporting another huge deal.
The Packers would need to find the money to get Revis under contract past 2013, which seems unlikely given the players (Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji) who are in need of extensions within the next 12-24 months. Thompson and V.P. of player finance Russ Ball would have to work miracles to get all four players new deals.
Revis, who turns 28 in July, is also coming back from reconstructive knee surgery. The operation was completed on Oct. 16, 2012, and he is expected to be ready for training camps.
Widely regarded as the best cornerback in the NFL, Revis has 19 interceptions and three All-Pro selections (2009, ’10, ’11) in his six-year career.