Darrelle Revis trade rumors: "Inevitable" Buccaneers and Jets get it done

Jeff Zelevansky

It's been a while since we had something on Revis to post about. But now we do, thanks to Peter King of Sports Illustrated. He thinks the trade between the Jets and Buccaneers for Darrelle Revis is inevitable. Which makes perfect sense when you think about it. Here's why Peter King is convinced a deal will go down.

The Jets are in deep think mode over the possible trade of the rehabbing Darrelle Revis. And though it's certainly tough to consider trading the best player on your team -- and it's a deal I wouldn't do; I would pay the man -- I think at the end of the day the Jets will do it at least two days before the start of the April 25 first round. (Can't be on draft day, obviously, because the Bucs will need to do a thorough physical exam before agreeing to the deal, which is likely to contain one 2013 draft choice.)
The Jets could do the right thing and satisfy Revis' long-term contract demands and have the best corner in the league (at least the best one east of Seattle, if Richard Sherman is to be believed) on their team through the rest of his prime. But no one sees owner Woody Johnson agreeing to pay Revis $15 million or so per year. Johnson, I'm hearing, is categorically against extending Revis. So let's extrapolate.
The Bucs, assuming Revis passes the physical, are willing to surrender a first-round pick and either a second- or a third- to acquire Revis. Those picks would either come both in 2013 or 2014, or one in each draft.
If Revis leaves in free-agency -- the Jets cannot franchise him after the 2013 season, by contract agreement -- the most the Jets would get is a likely third-round compensatory draft pick.
So what would you rather have, Jets fans:
• Revis on your team for one rebuilding season, getting the 97th overall pick in 2015, or ...
• Revis dumped for, say, Tampa Bay's first-round pick this month -- the 13th pick in 2013 -- and Tampa's second-rounder in 2014. If it's mid-round, that'd be the 48th overall pick in 2014.
One pick, 25 months from now, between the third and fourth rounds? Or two picks in the next 13 months, both likely in the top 50?

That's a lot of text to just say: it's happening. The core of the argument revolves around Woody Johnson, who doesn't want to pay Revis. Which is why they will trade him: they need to get something for Revis as an asset. Letting him walk and getting nothing in return would be absolutely criminal. And if the Jets let him walk in free agency, they may not even get a third-round pick in return depending on who they sign themselves. In other words: they have little reason to hang on to Revis.

Of course, we can draw one other conclusion from those facts. The Bucs could simply wait and sign Revis in 2014 when he's bound to hit free agency. So, why won't they? For one, it's clear the Buccaneers believe they can win now. They signed three premium free agents last season and added another this offseason to counteract biggest flaw on the team -- the secondary. Revis in 2013 is worth something, because this is not in any way a season in which they won't win. At least in the vision of Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano. They have good reason to think that, of course: they could simply be gone if they don't win.

Then there's the simple fact that if Revis has a choice of multiple teams next year, he may not choose the Buccaneers. The Bucs may get outbid, or a more attractive team with a bigger media market may swoop in and sign Revis.

But is it worth it to give up a first- and second-round pick for the right to sign Revis to a long-term contract now, rather than in a year?

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