Now, the Bucs have to do whatever it takes to get a deal done.
Things crumbled between the Jets and Revis thanks to money. Tampa Bay won't allow a little cash to get in the way of landing the best cornerback in the NFL (just don't say that around Richard Sherman or Joe Haden).
According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Buccaneers are prepared to pay Revis his desired $12-13 million per year if the Jets agree to ship him to Tampa Bay.
Mehta says the only thing preventing the deal from becoming a reality is the Bucs' reluctance to surrender the No. 13 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft:
Sources have told the Daily News that the Jets want to trade Revis, who is rehabbing from season-ending ACL injury, if the price is right. The Buccaneers are the most serious suitor for the Pro Bowler, but the sticking point remains adequate draft compensation. It’s unlikely that the Buccaneers would part with their first-round pick (No. 13 overall) to land Revis.
The Bucs need to drop this line of thinking now in order to take the next step and become regular contenders.
For the Bucs, giving up the No. 13 overall pick is not a big deal, but the front office sure is treating it like one. The longer Tampa Bay waits to pull the trigger, the worse the deal for Revis becomes for the Bucs.
New York general manager John Idzik has a long-term rebuilding plan in place, and as ESPN reports, he is in no rush to trade Revis because he would prefer 2014 draft picks in return anyway:
The Jets are on a long-term rebuilding plan, and Idzik apparently isn't married to the idea of having immediate draft-pick compensation -- if he decides to move his best player, which is what many expect to happen. He's telling people he'd be content to wait for 2014 compensation, when he could use an extra No. 1 pick (and maybe other picks) to maneuver for a quarterback.
Therein lies the biggest problem for Tampa Bay. Even the Jets understand that the 2013 draft class is a weak one. Much more talented players are projected to be entering the league in 2014. The No. 13 overall pick will fetch a player about as talented as one that could fall to the early second round this year.
Think about it. Is there a can't-miss prospect at some of the major positions? Quarterback? Wide receiver? Running back?
The point is, the longer the Bucs hold back on giving up the No. 13 overall pick this season, the more likely it becomes the price will move to a first-round pick in the 2014 draft, which will be much more valuable in the long-run.
Right now, the Bucs are alone in the race for Revis and are even willing to pay him the ridiculous price per year despite the fact that he is still recovering from a torn ACL. Does it makes sense for the Bucs to miss out on Revis simply for a pick in a weak class?
The longer Tampa Bay holds off, the better the chances Idzik and the Jets can create a bidding war, especially when Revis is healthy enough to prove he is back to his normal self. At that point, the price could rise beyond a realistic point for the Bucs.
Tampa Bay needs to strike a deal now.
None of this even takes into consideration how much better of a position the Bucs would be in competitively with Revis on the roster. Even head coach Greg Schiano detailed how he would factor in and change things, per Mehta:
“Any coach will tell you if you can take away the No. 1 receiver on the football team, it’s going to make your job easier as a defense,” Schiano said. “Sure, they’ll go to (the) 2, 3 and 4 (receivers), but he’s No. 1 for a reason.”
Schiano is 100 percent correct. Think about what that does for Tampa Bay's shot at an NFC South crown each year: Steve Smith becoming a non-factor in Carolina. Not a peep from Marques Colston in New Orleans. Minimal production from either Roddy White or Julio Jones in Atlanta. All twice a season.
Not to mention the Bucs' cornerback situation is laughably bad at the moment. Eric Wright is expected to be cut (per Tampa Bay Times) thanks to suspensions last season and his unwillingness to a take a pay cut.
In other words, either the Buccaneers are afraid Revis' knee won't hold up or they think they'll be able to find a better player with the No. 13 overall pick (right).
Perhaps the front office has big plans for that selection; after all, it's an outstanding offensive lineman class, and that happens to be another major area of need. However, if that's the case, Tampa Bay can find a quality lineman in the second round who could come in and start.
It's not often a team has all the pieces in place to land one of the best players in the NFL, like the Bucs do now. It's also rare for a team in Tampa Bay's position to hold back on landing said elite player.
For Tampa Bay, the time is now. Give the Jets the No. 13 overall pick and a mid- to late-round selection and land the NFL's best cornerback. Injury and financial strain aside, Revis is a franchise-changing player who could single-handedly catapult the Bucs into contention when combined with the current roster.
The Buccaneers have no excuse to not give the Jets whatever it takes to bring Revis Island to Tampa Bay.
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