Adding Darrelle Revis Still Not Enough for Porous Tampa Bay Buccaneers Secondary

Knox BardeenNFC South Lead WriterApril 21, 2013

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added safety Dashon Goldson in March and then made another huge upgrade Sunday by adding cornerback Darrelle Revis.

It’s been a busy offseason for repairing the Bucs defensive backfield.

Tampa Bay’s secondary was Swiss cheese last year, giving up a league-worst 4,951 yards through the air. Bringing in Goldson and Revis is a marked improvement, but it’s still not enough.

The long-anticipated deal where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade for Revis has finally gone through, the team announced after Revis landed in Tampa and underwent a physical.

The Bucs sent their 2013 first-round draft pick (No. 13 overall) and a conditional third- or fourth-round choice in 2014 for Revis, who signed a new six-year deal with Tampa Bay. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the deal is worth $96 million and he’ll make a flat $16 million each year.

The back end of Tampa Bay’s defense currently looks like this: Goldson and Mark Barron will play the safety positions and create one of the top tandems in the NFL. Revis will play on one side of the field with Eric Wright on the other.

If Revis fully recovers from his October ACL surgery, he could return to form as the NFL’s top corner and give Tampa Bay the Florida Gulf Coast version of Revis Island. Revis will match up well with any of the No. 1 receivers on the Buccaneers' schedule.

But Wright is going to get abused on the opposite side unless Tampa Bay does something else to upgrade its secondary.

Wright was ranked No. 83 in the NFL by Pro Football Focus in their advanced metric that measures the amount of times a cornerback gives up a reception in correlation with how many snaps he’s in coverage. Wright gave up a reception last year for every 8.9 times he is in coverage. The top 20 cornerbacks in the league ranged from a reception every 12 snaps to almost 17 snaps.

Wright played in just 10 games last season after being suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He was targeted 56 times by opposing quarterbacks and gave up 35 receptions for 510 yards. Wright picked off one pass and gave up two touchdowns.

It doesn’t matter how good Revis is on one side of the field. He’ll shut down one receiver just like everyone knows he can. But if a team has a quality second receiver, Tampa Bay is still going to bleed yardage through the air.

Just within the NFC South, look at the Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones and the New Orleans Saints’ Lance Moore. Both will cause matchup nightmares for Wright.

Tampa Bay is much improved with Revis, and this deal is a win for general manager Mark Dominik. But there’s still work to do in the secondary.


Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and statements were obtained firsthand.

Knox Bardeen is the NFC South lead writer for Bleacher Report and the author of “100 Things Falcons Fans Should Know & Do Before they Die.” Be sure to follow Knox on Twitter.