Last week, when the Jets pressed “pause” on the Darrelle Revis trade talks, some thought that another team or two could try to jump into the fray.
It didn’t happen.
In fact, it never happened. Per a source with knowledge of the process, it was always Tampa — and only Tampa.
That reality kept the Jets from getting more than a first-round pick in 2013 and a fourth-round pick in 2014 (which will become a third-round pick if he’s on the Tampa Bay offseason roster next year). It also kept Revis from getting anything more finite than a pay-as-you-go contract that promises him annual compensation of $16 million, with nothing guaranteed.
In the end, it was the best deal the Jets and Revis could get, because it was the only deal they could get.
“If we had the luxury of time, if we had the luxury of Darrelle not having been injured, not having gone through rehab, then I think things would be a lot clearer both from our standpoint and in the case of potential trade suitors,” G.M. John Idzik told reporters on Sunday.
He’s right. Only one team was willing to give up a first-round pick plus a 2014 selection for the hope that Revis will be back to his old self after ACL replacement. Only one team was willing to commit $16 million to him for 2013. (Though it’s not actually guaranteed, there’s no way he’ll be cut before Week One, when his $13 million base salary becomes guaranteed as a practical matter by the labor deal.)
Perhaps most importantly, only one team was willing to do a deal that, if Revis goes back to being Revis, will necessitate an adjustment or risk his third career holdout.
The thinking was that the next contract for Revis would have to carry enough guaranteed money to make him or his agents never complain again about his compensation. The Bucs instead have created a situation in which it’s highly unlikely that both sides consistently will be content with Revis earning total compensation that equates to $1 million per game.
If he plays poorly, the Buccaneers eventually will have to explore paying him less, or possibly moving on. If he plays well, the Bucs will have to brace for Revis wanting more.
Still, after blowing a first-round pick in 2008 on Aqib Talib and a third-round pick in 2010 on Myron Lewis, the Bucs will now gamble those same two picks on the chance that Revis will get back to form. If he does, and if he wants more money because of that, it’ll be a very good problem for the Buccaneers to have.