The rumors continue, as Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times gets the..ehm...scoop that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers think the New York Jets are asking too high a price for Darrelle Revis. This shocking news was brought to you by Captain Obvious. Here's a fact on negotiations: if two sides agree on a price, a deal gets done. The fact that the deal is not yet done means the two sides do not agree on the price. SHOCKING.
As it stands, the Jets are asking for the Bucs' 2013 first-round pick, as well as a third- and fifth-round pick per Stroud and every other report over the past few days. To be honest, this price sounds about right to me. Yes, Revis is coming off a knee injury and he has only one year left on his contract -- but he's the best cornerback in the NFL when healthy, and the Bucs can try to combine those three picks all they want -- they will never come up with a talent remotely close to Revis. Unless they get obscenely lucky, that is.
Whether or not the price is fair is pretty much irrelevant, though, as is the silly notion of "leverage" people keep throwing about. Neither team has any leverage, because they can both walk away at any time and move on. Both teams want to get a deal done, but the sky is not coming down on them if they don't. The Jets can dangle Revis in front of other teams, try to re-sign him anyway, or just have him play the 2013 season and then collect a compensatory pick in 2015. After all: it's not like having Revis on your team for a year has no value. When either team can walk away at any time, the question isn't who has more "leverage". It's just whether the two teams are satisfied with the price they're paying and getting, respectively. That's the only question remaining.
And, quite frankly, I can't see this trade falling apart over a fifth-round pick. The Buccaneers have reportedly already offered their 2013 first-rounder, and per Stroud the Bucs are worried about giving up three draft picks. I can understand that -- but they're not passing on Revis because of a fifth-round pick, or even a third-round pick. If the trade is going to happen it will have to happen by Wednesday of next week so the Bucs can examine Revis, so keep an eye on that date.
In the end, this is clearly just another bit of negotiating through the media. Both the Jets and the Bucs are using the media to leak information selectively to influence the negotiations. The Bucs have managed to keep a bunch of contract signings secret for several days this offseason and they may be the most secretive franchise in the NFL. This kind of information does not leak if they don't want it to be known outside the building. So take this information with a heaping mountain of salt.