Rex Ryan Really Likes Darrelle Revis

Coach says he's the best Jet in history

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Revis and Ryan are a match made in heaven.

    If there's one thing to enjoy about the excruciating NFL lockout, it is the way the absence of any actual news allows us time for plenty of debates about things that really don't matter all that much. 

    We've had a chance to mull over Eli Manning's standing in the NFL firmament as well as the next employer of a soon-to-be 34-year-old ex-con wide receiver who was losing a step when he last set foot on a football field. Now, thanks to Rex Ryan, we've got a juicy question having to do with the Jets.

    During an appearance on the NFL Network, the perpetually shy Jets coach said that cornerback Darrelle Revis was more than just the best player on the current Jets roster.

    "One day we're gonna say that this is the best Jet in the history of the New York Jet franchise, I believe that. And I think we're gonna also see him in Canton one day," Ryan said.

    Were almost any other coach to say this about his player it would generate a modicum of reaction before everyone moved on to other matters. Just for the sake of comparison, Rick Carlisle recently said Dirk Nowitzki was one of the 10 best NBA players of all time and it made about as many headlines as the latest doings at the Lincoln High School student council meeting.

    This is Ryan, though, and that means his every word gives rise to intense scrutiny. We don't really have anything else to discuss about the gridiron right now, so let's jump into the fray. 

    Saying that Revis will wind up in Canton seems wildly premature -- Revis is just 25 after all -- but a look at history says that the best cornerback in the NFL over any meaningful period of time winds up in the Hall of Fame. While Revis wouldn't make it to the Hall if his career ended tomorrow, it isn't all that ridiculous to posit that he'd get there by sustaining his current level of play for a few more seasons.

    His place in the Jets hierarchy is even less controversial. Joe Namath and Don Maynard are the only current Hall of Famers who spent the majority of their careers with the Jets, Curtis Martin is sure to join them and then you've got pretty slim pickings.

    Looking at where Revis is right now, it is hardly ridiculous to say he'll be the most accomplished player to wear the green and white when all is said and done. He'll never have the impact that Namath did, but based simply on play this is a pretty reasonable if hyperbolic thing for Ryan or anybody else to say.

    If there's any umbrage to take at Ryan's comments, it would be that the cornerback has already made it clear that he's willing to use the coach's praise as an argument for holding out for better contract terms. Even that has an upside, however.

    Revis can't have a holdout unless they start playing football again and we'll make that trade over listening to another team owner arguing for an even bigger share of revenue.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.