Darrelle Revis trade impacts Buccaneers, Jets, 2013 NFL Draft
Darrelle Revis' uncertain situation reached its seemingly inevitable conclusion on Sunday, as the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to a trade that will send Revis to Tampa Bay for a pair of a draft picks.
The deal includes the Buccaneers' first-round pick in the upcoming draft (No. 13 overall) plus a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft (that pick becomes a third-rounder if Revis is on the Buccaneers' roster as of the third day of the 2014 league year). Tampa Bay also announced that it had agreed to a new six-year contract with Revis, reportedly worth $96 million -- his previous contract was set to expire after the 2013 season.
The only hiccup that lingered Sunday was Revis' physical in Tampa Bay, which apparently went off without a hitch. The 27-year-old Revis missed 14 games last season after tearing an ACL, so Tampa Bay wanted to ensure that he'll be ready for the start of the year before pulling the trigger on such a blockbuster move.
Here's a closer look at the fallout of Revis' move from New York to Tampa Bay:
What it means for the Buccaneers
First and foremost, Revis' arrival should mean that the Buccaneers will be able to improve on a pass defense that was the league's worst last season, allowing just shy of 300 yards per game. Though it remains to be seen how well Revis will bounce back from his serious knee injury, he was the NFL's premier cornerback prior to that setback.
The Buccaneers traded Aqib Talib to New England last season, then recently lost E.J. Biggers via free agency. Ronde Barber, a member of Tampa Bay's secondary since 1997, has not yet re-signed and may opt for retirement.
So, Tampa Bay needed to add some bodies, one way or another. The expected trade for Revis comes on the heels of Tampa Bay signing safety Dashon Goldson away from San Francisco. Assuming "Revis Island" reopens and the four-time Pro Bowler can lock down the opponent's top weapon, the Bucs should have a lot more freedom to turn the rest of their defense loose.
Revis should be particularly useful in an NFC South division that's loaded with offensive talent. He'll likely draw the assignment to cover Julio Jones or Roddy White against Atlanta, Steve Smith when the Bucs play Carolina and Marques Colston when New Orleans is the opponent.
Financially, as mentioned above, Tampa Bay handed Revis $16 million per season, though with no guaranteed money. That figure basically matches the six-year deal Mario Williams received from Buffalo (though that included $50 million guaranteed) and would place Revis is a stratosphere mostly reserved for quarterbacks -- Eli Manning signed a contract that averaged about $15.2 million back in 2009. But the Buccaneers currently are sitting on more than $30 million in cap space for 2013, so Revis' demands are doable.
What it means for the Jets
The obvious result is trading Revis removes the Jets' best player off their roster. Of course, stranded in salary-cap misery (thanks in no small part to the hefty contract extension Mark Sanchez signed last year), the Jets would have been hard-pressed to keep Revis around beyond 2013.
John Idzik, then, probably deserves a pat on the back for getting as much trade value in return for Revis as he did. That's doubly true considering that there did not appear to be any other teams in the mix here, leaving the Buccaneers essentially bidding against themselves.
The loss of Revis puts the onus back on Antonio Cromartie to hold the No. 1 cornerback spot. He stepped in and filled that role admirably in Revis' absence last season -- Pro Football Focus graded him out as the third-best Jets defender for 2013, behind only Muhammed Wilkerson and Mike DeVito. Kyle Wilson, who joined the starting lineup following Revis' injury, likely will be pegged (for now) as the No. 2 CB.
It also is fair to assume that the Jets will look to add a cornerback or two via the draft, possibly with one of their two first-round picks (No. 9 and the Bucs' acquired spot at No. 13).
Completing this deal prior to June 1 costs the Jets a $!2 million cap hit, but it frees the Jets of any additional Revis-related salary issues in 2014.
What it means for the draft
By dealing away the 13th pick, the Buccaneers would not have any selections until No. 43 overall. New York, meanwhile, would own three picks before that spot: Nos. 9 and 13 in Round 1 and the eighth pick in Round 2 (No. 39).
How the Jets approach that trio of selections is anyone's guess. They could use one of those picks to add a cornerback -- Dee Milliner, Xavier Rhodes, Desmond Trufant or any CBs available at No. 39 could not replace Revis totally, but the chance is there for the Jets to pick up a very talented player for their secondary.
The Jets' also would like to improve their offensive line, pass rush and playmaking capabilities. So, any of the big three offensive tackles (Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Lane Johnson) could be in play if they get to No. 9, as could defensive ends like Barkevious Mingo or Ziggy Ansah.
And the wild cards in all this are the Jets' needs are receiver and quarterback. Would they consider WRs Tavon Austin or Cordarrelle Patterson in Round 1? Or, in a more headline-grabbing move, could they take a chance on a QB like Geno Smith, Ryan Nassib or E.J. Manuel? Though Revis' departure clearly weakens the Jets' defense for 2013, they have the chance to add three impact players early, in addition to more flexibility in the '14 draft.