As of Saturday, the biggest question regarding the potential Darrelle Revis trade was whether the Jets and Buccaneers would finalize a deal before the draft or whether they would opt for an off-radar “agreement in principle” that would remain secret until the Bucs are on the clock with the 13th pick in the draft.
The teams have picked the first option. (Or, possibly, they tried for discretion and discretion already has failed.)
Either way, the cat is out of the bag — and it will be very difficult for the Jets to keep Revis if the Tampa doctors emerge from poking and prodding Darrelle’s knee with the same quacking sounds that the Dolphins’ doctors had for former Miami coach Nick Saban after getting a closer look at Drew Brees’ surgically-repaired shoulder.
That’s an unlikely outcome. The Bucs’ docs surely have inspected the medical records and MRI results before the teams struck a tentative deal on compensation. Tampa seems to be willing to assume the risk that Revis won’t be the same guy, once it’s time to get on the field and cut and change directions on a new ACL.
It’ll be interesting to see how that risk is reflected both in the trade terms, and in the player’s new contract. At a time when many assume that the deal will be worth more than $15 million per year, there are distinct rumblings that the numbers won’t be that high. Likewise, the Bucs could ask for an adjustment to the trade compensation in 2014 (or that gives a rebate of sorts to Tampa), if there are setbacks that limit the player’s availability in 2013.
For now, it’s clear that the Jets want to trade Revis, and that the Bucs want him on their team. The coming days will reveal plenty about the extent of the risk that Tampa will assume for the privilege of adding someone who, if healthy, ranks with the top defensive players in the league.