Elite? Yes. Irreplaceable? No.
Darrelle Revis and Vincent Jackson could be capably replaced by backups
One of the most surprising results Bill James found early in his research of professional baseball is the lack of impact individual players have on the success of their ballclubs. James was so shocked, he eventually created more than a dozen different ways to analyze individual player impact on team performance.
Every one of the studies came to the same conclusion: Most star players in their prime add an impact of no more than three wins a season. It takes a team effort to post wins and not even the best players can do much to change that.
The reason this message resonates is that there are two NFL stars -- Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets and Vincent Jackson of the San Diego Chargers -- whose recent OTA attendance status indicates they may believe they could be exceptions to this rule.
If that is their mindset, the metrics certainly don't back up the claim.
Darrelle Revis may be the best cornerback in the game, but the metrics say that the New York Jets might be just fine without him. For more details on the Revis situation, plus a similar analysis of the San Diego Chargers' WR position, you must be an ESPN Insider.