You've surely read the rumors by now.
As Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported yesterday, multiple teams have contacted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to gauge their interest in trading Pro Bowl CB Darrelle Revis.
Teams calling the Bucs to inquire about Darrelle Revis, and some rival execs believe he is ripe to be dealt at start of league year ...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 25, 2014
While the nature of those conversations are (more than likely) completely hypothetical at this point, and there are plenty of reasons why this notion sounds silly on the surface, let's take a look at a few reasons why the executives at One Buc Place should be willing to lend an ear to such incoming calls.
1. The Money
At $16 million, Revis' cap number for 2014 is twice that of all but five Buccaneers on the roster. There's no denying that Revis is still in the conversation for the NFL's best corner, but paying $16 million to one player, when the team has many other needs, is tough to swallow.
Considering the options likely to be available in free agency (especially at defensive end, where the Bucs have a huge need), combining that $16 million with the cap space they already have, would put the Bucs in position to make moves that could improve multiple positions.
2. The Draft Picks
When Revis was dealt to Tampa Bay, the Bucs sent their first-rounder last year (13th overall) and a conditional pick in this year's draft (3rd or 4th round) to the Jets. The Bucs are currently sitting on just five picks in this year's draft, which some have said looks like one of the deepest in years, in terms of the talent available.
The prospect of getting premium picks in return for Revis, combined with the aforementioned financial gain, should be enough to perk up the ears of the Bucs' decision-makers.
3. The Risk Factor
Not only would the Bucs be able to recoup some of the picks they're missing in this draft, they'd likely be able to get a better deal than the one that they made with the Jets to get Revis in the first place. Revis gave the Bucs a full season of high-level play in 2013, proving that he has returned to his previous form following his surgery to repair a torn ACL.
When the Bucs traded for Revis last offseason, he had yet to play a single snap on his surgically repaired knee, making the deal a calculated risk by Tampa Bay. With no such risk existing this year, there's no reason why the Bucs shouldn't be able to get more in return for Revis this time around.
4. The Leverage
When trade talks for Revis took place last offseason between the Bucs and Jets, it quickly became clear that Tampa Bay was the only true contender for Revis' services. That being the case, the Bucs were likely able to leverage the lack of other bidders in order to get the best deal possible.
Now that the tables have turned, the Bucs are the ones fielding incoming calls regarding Revis, and it sounds like there would be more than one horse in this race.
Also, the Bucs have the added bonus of not having the same sour relationship between Revis and the front office that was present in New York. That means that the Bucs have no real impetus to deal Revis for anything less than an offer that absolutely bowls them over.
5. The Scheme
The best players in the league are usually scheme-versatile, and Revis is talented enough to be an impact player in any defense. However, Lovie Smith's defensive scheme has relied more on zone coverage in the past, and shutdown, man-cover corners haven't exactly been a vital necessity to defensive success under his past regime.
If the Bucs were able to get a blockbuster deal in return for Revis, and then find multiple free agents and draft picks that are better-suited to play in the Tampa 2 defense, that could be another factor that makes such a deal make sense for Tampa Bay moving forward, even though The Tampa Tribune's Roy Cummings reports the following:
Said Lovie: "We’re primarily going to be a man team. Whether we win or lose is going to be based on how we play man coverage.''— Roy Cummings (@RCummingsTBO) February 26, 2014
Should the Bucs deal Revis?
Only they can make that decision, of course.
But there's no denying that there are plenty of reasons why at least entertaining offers makes plenty of sense from the Bucs' perspective. At the end of the day, Revis will likely still be a Buccaneer in 2014, but stranger things have happened, and a deal for him wouldn't be terribly shocking.