With increased speculation that a trade between Tampa Bay and New York involving Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis could happen in the week leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft, PewterReport.com’s Scott Reynolds examines 24 reasons why the Buccaneers should pull the trigger and acquire No. 24 from the Jets.1.
The Bucs know the Jets have to trade Revis. Because of a contract stipulation, the Jets cannot franchise him past the 2013 season, and there has been no indication that Jets owner Woody Johnson wants to pay Revis anywhere close to his asking price of $15 million per year. First-year New York general manager John Idzik can’t risk losing Revis after the 2013 season and getting only a compensatory pick in 2014 in return. That’s a fireable offense for losing a Pro Bowler that is considered to be the NFL's top cornerback.2.
The Jets can’t afford to have the Revis situation become a distraction this offseason. Between Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez, the Jets already have enough distractions for the New York media to write about. The fact that head coach Rex Ryan is on the hot seat this year is a clear indication that the Jets need to become a focused team in 2013.3.
The Buccaneers have a desperate need at the cornerback position. The team traded away last year’s starter, Aqib Talib, and was disappointed in fellow starter Eric Wright, who only got the chance to stay at a reduced price. The Bucs need a major talent infusion at cornerback and Revis, a five-time Pro Bowler, is considered to be the best in the NFL.4.
There isn’t a single cornerback in the draft better than Revis in terms of talent. There won’t be a better cornerback available with the 13th overall pick – not even Alabama’s Dee Milliner. Is a first- and second-round pick too much of an investment in a Pro Bowl cornerback? Absolutely not.
Revis brings experience and his addition would not force the Bucs to start a rookie at cornerback. Acquiring Revis would give Tampa Bay two veteran cornerbacks, and possibly three if Ronde Barber returns to play nickel cornerback in 2013.6.
The Bucs have the salary cap room (north of $32 million) to pay Revis top dollar – even if that means $15 million per year. That’s why the Bucs are the only team interested in Revis and negotiating with the Jets to acquire him. Not many teams have the cap room to take on a huge contract, which is why Revis is not in huge demand.7.
Revis’ agents are the same as those who represent Pro Bowl wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Bucs general manager Mark Dominik has a good rapport with Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod and can ably negotiate a big, fair deal for Revis that will as cap-friendly as possible while meeting the Pro Bowlers’ demands.8.
With a big contract, which Revis has been wanting for years in New York, the Pro Bowler won’t complain about money while making between $10-$15 million per year. A big money contract should keep Revis happy and in training camp without holdouts for years to come, which should give head coach Greg Schiano some peace of mind.9.
Tampa Bay plays a lot of press coverage with their cornerbacks, and Revis is one of the most gifted defenders well versed in press technique. Revis is physical for his size and would give defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan and assistant Bob Fraser the ability to be more flexible and take more chances with safeties Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron.10.
Not only is Revis a cornerback, he is a shutdown cornerback. He has the ability to simply take away star wide receivers in the division, such as Atlanta’s Julio Jones or Carolina’s Steve Smith, whom the Bucs face twice a year in the NFC South. 11.
The NFC South is a quarterback-rich division with the likes of Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton. The NFC South teams, especially New Orleans and Atlanta, are pass-heavy in terms of their offense. The Bucs can expect to see 40-plus passes every time they play the Saints and Falcons, and possibly the Panthers, too. That puts a premium on having talented cornerbacks on Tampa Bay’s roster.12.
Barber, Tampa Bay’s legendary defensive back, would love to play alongside Revis and has gone on record supporting the idea of a trade. Revis could learn a lot from being around Barber, and if the Bucs acquired the Jets Pro Bowler, it could help sway Barber’s decision to return for another year.13.
Acquiring Revis makes starting cornerback Eric Wright better. With Revis drawing the opposing team’s best receiver, it allows Wright to match up better with opponents’ No. 2 receivers. Wright could benefit from the addition of Revis the way Mike Williams benefited from Tampa Bay signing Jackson in free agency last year.14.
Trading for Revis makes Tampa Bay’s secondary a team strength instead of a team weakness. A secondary that features two Pro Bowlers in Revis and free safety Dashon Goldson, in addition to former first-round pick Mark Barron, who should be better with a year’s worth of experience under his belt, Wright and another corner – possibly Barber or a high 2013 draft pick – is suddenly a formidable lineup.15.
Revis would improve Tampa Bay’s receiving corps in practice. Having a stellar cornerback such as Revis cover the likes of Jackson, Mike Williams and the other Bucs receivers on a daily basis will only make the team’s receivers better and battle-tested for the 2013 regular season.16.
Not only would Revis help Tampa Bay’s receivers in practice, he would also help quarterback Josh Freeman, who is entering a big contract year. By challenging Freeman with tight coverage in practice, he can help the team’s fifth-year quarterback learn to throw into tighter windows to avoid interceptions.17.
There is nothing like stellar cornerback play that can help out a team’s pass rush. The Bucs defense ranked near the bottom of the NFL in sacks and Tampa Bay’s defensive line could use the opportunity to get more coverage sacks with Revis taking away one half of the field. Coverage sacks were few and far between in Tampa Bay in 2012.18.
Revis should fit into Tampa Bay’s locker room quite well as he has familiarity with new special teams coach Dave Wannstedt and safeties coach Jeff Hafley. Wannstedt was his head coach at Pittsburgh and Hafley was the Panthers’ secondary coach. 19.
Revis was a team captain in New York, and Dominik and the Bucs love acquiring team captains and put a premium on leadership. With Barber possibly not returning in 2013, the Bucs – especially at the cornerback position – could use another leader in the defensive backs room to go along with Goldson.20.
Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum recently praised Revis for taking an interest in helping New York’s practice squad players. Revis is a person of high character, who has been mislabeled as arrogant and greedy. He could be an excellent role model for young Buccaneers if he were to continue that practice in Tampa Bay.21.
Revis has a couple of years worth of playoff experience, which is something the Bucs locker room lacks. Only a handful of Tampa Bay players have played in the postseason, and most of them are newcomers from the past year or two, such as Jackson, Goldson and Pro Bowl left guard Carl Nicks. Revis adds to that list of playoff-tested Buccaneers.22.
Revis has something to prove, and it’s always smart to acquire driven, motivated players. Revis would come to Tampa Bay wanting to prove to the Bucs, the Jets and the rest of the NFL that he is worth the amount of money Dominik would bestow on him. The player nicknamed “Revis Island” is also coming off a torn ACL that cost him most of the 2012 season. After seeing a star player like Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson bounce back with a 2,000-yard rushing season, the competitive Revis would want to come back strong, too.23.
The Bucs need help selling season tickets, and nothing helps drive ticket sales like star power. Trading for Revis would generate a real positive buzz among Bucs fans for all of the reasons mentioned in this article. It’s doubtful that his presence alone would create sellouts at Raymond James Stadium, but adding Revis will undoubtedly help sell some tickets.24.
If Dominik is successful in orchestrating a trade for Revis this year, it’s another feather in his cap in terms of acquiring Pro Bowl talent. Dominik, who is on the hot seat in Tampa Bay this year, will have successfully brought three Pro Bowlers to the Bucs in Revis, Jackson and Nicks over the past two offseasons, in addition to drafting a Pro Bowler in running back Doug Martin, and future stars in Barron and linebacker Lavonte David. Dominik has all the motivation to work with Idzik, his former Tampa Bay colleague, and make this trade happen.
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