The NFL is still six days away from the opening day of free agency. But as long as there’s a Darrelle Revis rumor floating around, this isn’t a week to get some rest before the busy pre-draft period begins.
The Revis saga has turned into a maelstrom of breaking news and misinformation. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the New York Jets were determined to deal Revis. Then, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News linked the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons as suitors.
Not only are the Falcons more interested in signing their own free agents to be, Mike Freeman of CBS Sports reported the Falcons were not interested in Revis. A source told Chris Mortensen of ESPN that the 49ers’ interest in Revis would barely register on a scale of one to 10.
Just so the teams linked to Revis weren’t the only flip-flopping aspects to this story, Revis told Michael Robinson of “The Real Rob Report” that it would be awesome to play for the 49ers.
You got to tip your hat off to them to what they did last this past year,” Revis said of the 49ers. “This is a team with a great coach—(Jim) Harbaugh—and great players on their team. They did it without me last year. So, for me, looking at their roster and their team, I would just be an addition to help them win that trophy. Would it be awesome? I mean, yeah.
Then, Steve Serby of the New York Post cited sources saying that Revis wanted to stay in New York and play with the Jets.
At this point it’s impossible to predict where Revis will land or if he’ll leave the Jets. But since speculation is driving this bus of late, let’s talk about the possibility of Revis landing in Tampa Bay to play for the Buccaneers.
On paper this makes a lot of sense. The Bucs were terrible last season against passing attacks and Revis is the best in the business at cornerback. But need isn’t the only issue involved with Tampa Bay trading for Revis. Here are a few other obstacles and how they could be solved so the Bucs could make a deal and relocate Revis Island to the west coast of Florida.
Revis might disrupt the Bucs’ locker room
It’s true; Revis hasn’t been a choir boy in regard to making noise at the expense of the Jets. He did his best not to attack Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow on ESPN but he did air dirty laundry and said the locker room in New York was in “disarray.”
Revis and the word “holdout” seem to be synonymous as the top cornerback is very vocal about his contract and willing to do almost anything to ensure he’s paid well.
There also has to be a worry about Revis, who would be the highest paid player in the Bucs’ locker room, stirring things up just because of his salary.
Solution: Greg Schiano
Schiano runs a tight ship and has enough control over Tampa Bay’s locker room to stave off any unruly behavior or jealousy about money. Schiano’s ability to calm the locker room would also be enhanced by more wins by his team, and adding Revis certainly could help there.
Revis’ current contract is filled with player options from 2014 to 2016. No team is going to make a trade for Revis without renegotiating his contract first—and Revis desperately wants to get paid.
Solution: The Buccaneers have the money to make Revis happy and have the tools in place to show Revis that they are a team that’s close to competing. If Revis can be convinced that Tampa Bay isn’t terribly far away from the playoffs, the combination of upside and a deep pocket book could lure Revis to Tampa.
Revis is fighting his way back from an ACL injury and Tampa Bay has to be worried that he won’t be the same cornerback moving forward.
Will Carroll of Bleacher Report mentioned that cornerbacks haven’t had the best history of recovering from knee injuries, but with his clean almost-injury-free past, there is “no reason to believe that Revis Island is now more hospitable to opposing receivers.”
Can the Bucs send a first-round pick and still win the draft?
Last year, general manager Mark Dominik and Schiano absolutely won the draft. Their first three picks were all more-than-effective starters and the moves made on draft day showed Dominik’s prowess.
But the Jets are going to want the Bucs’ first-round pick (at least) and with Tampa Bay’s huge need in the secondary can Dominik afford to give it up?
Solution: There’s a good chance the Bucs will use their first-round pick on a cornerback if they still own that pick in late April. But any cornerback in the draft that’s still around at No. 13 for Tampa Bay will be a lesser talent than Revis. Said in a different way, Revis could do more for the Bucs in 2013 than any corner in the draft, and it’s not even close.
For that reason, if Revis returns 100 percent (a big if at this point), he’s more than worth a first-round pick from the Bucs. But what else will Tampa Bay have to include?
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and statements were obtained firsthand.