Breaking Down Darrelle Revis' Trade Prospects

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Breaking Down Darrelle Revis' Trade Prospects
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The month of April kicked off with a merry-go-round of trades involving quarterbacks in the NFL, with Matt Flynn traveling from Seattle to Oakland, Carson Palmer going from Oakland to Arizona (maybe), and Colt McCoy going from...

OK, so no one cares where Colt McCoy went.

However, the trade that football fans have been waiting for still has yet to materialize, and for now at least, cornerback Darrelle Revis is still a member of the New York Jets.

There has been countless speculation as to where Revis, who missed most of the 2012 season after tearing his ACL, could wind up, so let's take an updated look at four potential scenarios, ranked in ascending order of the likelihood they'll actually happen. 

 

Scenario No. 1: A Trade to a Super Bowl Contender

Since Darrelle Revis trade rumors began swirling, his name has been linked to a number of teams with Super Bowl aspirations, from the San Francisco 49ers to the Atlanta Falcons to the Denver Broncos. In a perfect world, any of those teams would love to have a shutdown corner of Revis' caliber, a player who topped Pro Football Focus' rankings at his position the last full season he played.

With that said, this isn't a perfect world. Each of those teams has also denied having interest.

The main reason for that is the main reason for everything that happens anywhere ever. Money.

Darrelle Revis, whose contract expires after the 2013 season, is believed to be looking for an extension that will pay him north of $15 million a season. As great a player as he may be, as the following chart shows most of the teams that have been linked to Revis just don't have that sort of salary cap space.

Add to that the fact that lower picks from contending teams aren't as attractive to the Jets as some of the other scenarios listed here, and it looks like Revis will have to help make his next team a contender rather than arriving at a ready-built one. 

 

Scenario No. 2: A Trade to the Philadelphia Eagles

On its surface, this would seem to be a deal that makes sense for both sides. With all due respect to Bradley Fletcher, the Philadelphia Eagles need an upgrade at one of their cornerback spots, and the Eagles have the cap space to absorb a fat extension for Revis.

The willingness to absorb that extension, however, may be another story altogether.

There were originally reports that Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman was "crunching the numbers and putting together an offer" for Revis' services, but Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer later reported that the Eagles had pulled out of the Revis sweepstakes.

Granted, nothing's over until it's over, but it would appear that after the Nnamdi Asomugha megadeal turned into a megabust, the idea of signing another cornerback to a huge contract that would also potentially cost them the fourth overall pick in April's NFL draft is too rich for the Eagles' blood. 

 

Scenario No. 3: Revis Remains with the Jets

With every passing day that Darrelle Revis remains in New York the odds increase, albeit slightly, that the end game of this whole saga will be Revis playing out the final year of his contract as a member of the Jets before becoming 2014's top free-agent prize.

In fact, as recently as March 22, head coach Rex Ryan insisted to Jane McManus of ESPN New York that the Jets were not actively shopping their best defensive player.

I believe that the Jets, I know and I've always said it, we're not actively looking to trade Darrelle. Wherever this is coming from, I don't believe it's coming from the New York Jets. Does that mean he's going to be traded or not? Hey, that's just speculation.

If the Jets haven't been shopping Revis, they might want to start. If they have been, they might want to try harder.

The more time that passes, the more teams that have pulled out of the running (at least publicly) for Revis. That isn't going to help increase the haul that the Jets receive in return for Revis.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

It also doesn't help that the other 31 teams in the NFL know just as well as we do that the odds of the Jets extending Revis' contract are slim to none. They're a rebuilding team stuck in a mess borne of bad contracts handed out by former general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated stated Monday that "I'm hearing [Jets owner Woody Johnson] is categorically against extending Revis."

In other words, the Jets are selling (or not) in a buyer's market, and that's not a situation that's going to reverse itself. 

 

Scenario No. 4: A Trade to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

However, that doesn't mean that a deal isn't going to happen, and the one that's by far the most likely to occur would see Revis shipped to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As King reports in a separate piece for Sports Illustrated, the return for Revis could be quite high, especially if the Jets are willing to be patient before they receive it.

If the Jets are willing to take both picks in 2014, Tampa Bay would likely deal its first- and second-round picks for Revis, even though the Bucs are not sold that he can come back and be 100 percent after 2012 knee surgery.

It isn't hard to see why the Buccaneers want to acquire Revis. In 2012 Tampa Bay ranked first overall in run defense, allowing fewer than 83 yards a game. Against the pass, though, they were a sieve, allowing more yardage through the air than any team in the NFL.

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Revis presents the Buccaneers with a unique opportunity to fill a glaring hole with a player that, when healthy, is arguably the best in the National Football League at what he does.

There's a catch though, and that's really the only thing that's stopped this deal from already being done.

The Jets want Tampa Bay's first-round pick (13th overall) in the 2013 draft. They don't want to wait. The Buccaneers, on the other hand, want to wait a bit and see what might be available to them with that pick before pulling the trigger, at least according to Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune.

At some point, however, one side of this standoff is going to blink. Either the Jets are going to decide that Tampa's 2014 package beats a blank, or the Buccaneers are going to decide that the rookie they'd pick at 13 isn't going to make the sort of impact that Darrelle Revis will for the team.

Barring an unforeseen last-minute suitor (which is always possible), all indications are that Darrelle Revis will be playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013 and beyond.

That's not going to please Drew Brees, Cam Newton, or Matt Ryan. It is, however, going to make the NFC South a lot more interesting.

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