Blair Miller > DEEP POSTS
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How The Buccaneers Bought Revis Like A Cellphone
With wanton disregard for the fact that TFQ had just opened Tampa Bay’s Draft Advent Calendar door earlier today, the Bucs went out and completed the long sought-after trade for Jets CB Darrelle Revis.
With this in mind, I’ll give you the skinny on the deal, and a brief amendment to each team’s possible draft strategies.
- Everybody knew that the Buccaneers weren’t going to deal for Revis without already agreeing on terms for a contract, and they immediately inked the former All-Pro to a 6-year deal worth $96 million. There are two amazing components that highlight this deal: 1) There is no guaranteed money in the contract. That’s right. Essentially, Revis is a pay-as-you-go deal. (I can’t take credit for that; it’s from Pro Football Talk, via Twitter). Basically, if Revis can’t return to his old self after tearing his ACL, Tampa Bay can just release him…cold as that would be. In this day and age when deals are often evaluated primarily on how much guaranteed money hampers a franchise – the cash for which often counts against the salary cap for multiple years – the Buccaneers signed a potential game-changer while avoiding that widespread financial liability. 2) New York is still on the hook for $12 million in dead money against their salary cap for Revis in 2013, proving that new Jets GM John Idzik is already failing before he’s had a chance to.
- Tampa Bay knows there is a risk signing that much money to a player who isn’t yet at 100 percent after reconstructive knee surgery. Hence the fully unguaranteed deal. On the other side, Revis is clearly betting on the ongoing state of his rehab. What’s more …
- The contract puts Revis on equal footing with Buffalo’s Mario Williams as the highest-paid defenders in the NFL. If Revis stays healthy the only negative I can see for Tampa Bay is that with Revis’ propensity for holding out (or at least threatening to) he could pressure Tampa Bay into a new deal with guaranteed money if he puts in one or two seasons of the old Revis.
- Tampa Bay acquired Revis from New York in exchange for this year’s No. 13 overall draft pick and a fourth round pick in next year’s draft that can change to a third rounder if Revis is on the Bucs’ roster on the third day of the 2014 league year. (It’s safe to say that both teams hope this happens.)
- According to NFL.com, the Jets are now the first team since themselves in 2000 to have two picks in the first thirteen spots of the draft. If you ask me, new Jets GM John Idzik has sent a serious vote of non-confidence in head coach Rex Ryan, essentially putting Ryan in a position to fail since the coach can’t execute his trademark defense without the reliable man-to-man coverage that Revis guaranteed. Add to that the fact that the loss of Revis and the two high draft picks all but signals a rebuilding process in New York, and the writing is on the wall for Ryan.
- With that in mind, I still think that New York will go for a cornerback in Round 1. At the risk of being simplistic, we can just transpose what I said about the Bucs at No. 13 vis-à-vis taking a corner earlier today: New York could take Alabama’s Dee Milliner at ninth overall, or wait until thirteen and opt for Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes, or my dark horse as a top CB prospect in this draft – Jamar Taylor of Boise State. With the other selection, expect the Jets to get a much-needed disruptive player for the defensive front seven. LSU LB Barkevious Mingo fits the Ryan mold (if, that is, Idzik is even keeping Ryan’s plans in mind anymore). DT Sheldon Richardson from Missouri would be a great addition to a D-line lacking in depth as well.
- As for the Bucs’ draft, it’s pretty tough to prognosticate whom they’ll favor with the 43rd overall pick. Call me nuts, but as awful as their pass defense was, they could always take another cornerback, should they choose. Another way to help out the DBs is with a pass rush, and after losing DE Michael Bennett in free agency, maybe one of those iffy rush ends/linebackers could fall to them in Round 2. As it stands, they’ve done a good job addressing their weakest link by signing Revis and Dashon Goldson.
One can’t help but notice one particular game on opening Sunday: Bucs at Jets. According to a tweet from NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington, Revis has made his desire to play in that game very clear to his new team, and Tampa Bay’s medical staff expects it to happen.