By Ernie Palladino
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Now that the Jets have completed one of the dumbest transactions in their history, the question is, what's next?
We know what's next for Darrelle Revis. The now ex-Jet will head to the warm climes of Tampa Bay and find delirious happiness while collecting $96 million the Bucs will spread over the next six years. It's a number well above the sum Woody Johnson would have devoted to keeping the best cornerback in football, which apparently was zero. After all, this guy's not Mark Sanchez, right?
Then again, who is? It all makes sense in Woody World. Give a sinking quarterback all sorts of money and trade the best player on your roster. It's the Jets way.
That's in the past, though. The future involves whether or not John Idzik can turn the first patently stupid move of his general managership into one so savvy and smart that no one will ever question him again. Or maybe just one that gets his downtrodden team some immediate help. He received the Bucs' first-rounder, No. 13 overall, and for all intents and purposes, their third-round pick next year if Revis is on the roster after the beginning of the league year.
Finding some help -- a real playermaker regardless of position, is the only way to aid the Jets and their fans in moving on from Woody's mess. That first-round pick will pair up nicely with the Jets' original one at No. 9. Two picks in the first 13 isn't a bad way to start off a draft. But now it's up to Idzik and his staff to make them count.
Numerous draftniks have the Jets taking LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo at No. 9. He's an athletic guy who would probably fit right in with Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples to eventually create an all-first-round front. He's a dominant pass rusher, something the Jets could use in any case, and he gets to the ball carrier, too. The underclassman would need a little seasoning, however.
No. 13 is the big question. Offense or defense?
There's no right or wrong on this one, only good or bad. Either way the Jets go, they'll be right, since that team has more holes than a woodpecker-pecked tree. They can go just about any position -- even quarterback. Maybe grab West Virginia thrower Geno Smith if the Eagles don't take him at No. 4 or the Bills at No. 8. What's another QB among a positional depth chart of blown psyches, rickety old bodies, and borderline talents.
How about Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o? Ideal fit there. The media could interview his imaginary girlfriend about Rex Ryan's Super Bowl championship fantasies.
No? Then how about Georgia's outside linebacker Jarvis Jones? Go defense-defense because, again, that unit is riddled with so many holes that almost every position cries for attention.
If getting rid of Revis gives Idzik one advantage, it is that he now has at least one additional opportunity to reload the roster. Remember, too, that another trade involving bruising but fragile New Orleans running back Chris Ivory could be coming soon for a four or a five. That would take care of the backfield, putting Ivory and his career 5.11-yard per carry average in a starting role, with free agent pickup Mike Goodson behind him.
It's the rest of the team that needs help, and now Idzik has an extra high-rounder to find it.
He does need to be right, however. That's where the good and bad come in. Finding another stud could turn this into one of the best deals a Jets GM had ever pulled off. Draft a bust and people will look at this as one of the worst moves in the franchise's often-troubled history. Revis, you see, is not just another veteran. He's a star, a potential Hall of Famer.
For a team in desperate need of a public makeover, moving the best player on the roster paves the way for all sorts of criticism. If Idzik digs up Vernon Gholston instead of Joe Namath, he'll be pilloried, and probably unemployed before his contract expires.
So move on, Jets fans. Revis Island now sits along the Gulf Coast. Until Idzik proves otherwise in Thursday's first round, suffice to consider this trade the same way Revis' Pro Bowl cornerback cohort viewed it.
"It sucks," Antonio Cromartie told the New York Daily News.
It will continue to do so until further notice.
Who should the Jets take with their first-round picks? Sound off in the comments...
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