The 2012 season had come to an end with rookie head coach Greg Schiano surprising the fan base with a 7 - 9 record, surpassing the 4 -12 record the previous year. The team sent three players to the Pro Bowl in DT Gerald McCoy, WR Vincent Jackson, and rookie RB Doug Martin. The defense possessed the top rush defense in the whole league. Michael Bennett was the owner of the most sacks on the team with nine total. Ronde Barber was playing his last year as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.
We all know what transpired since. We traded a 2013 first round pick (13th overall) and a 2014 fourth round pick (104th overall) to the NY Jets for a recovering from an ACL, knee injured Darrelle Revis. Then we signed Revis to a six year, $96 million contract for an average of $16 million a season.
For a fun exercise, if we did not trade for Revis, then what would you have done with the open CB position, the 2013 first round pick, and the fourth round 2014 pick? Just limit yourself to those options to add to our contemporary roster. Another condition: Michael Bennett is not available to you as it only pertains to Revis and his impact. Lastly, you cannot draft players already picked ahead of the 13th pick in 2013 or the 104th pick in the 2014 draft.
I would have gone after CB Keenan Lewis. He signed with the New Orleans Saints to the tune of five years for $25.55 million, or rather an average of $5.1 million. That is about $11 million less per year than Revis' contract.
At the 13th overall pick, with the loss of Michael Bennett, I think drafting DT Sheldon Richardson would have been more than apt.
For the 104th pick in the 2014 draft, center Bryan Stork was available by one pick. That would have added insurance to our offensive line.
In 2013, we went for splash despite the number of holes the organization had. I can write about that now in reflection. At the time, I was not too happy about trading for Revis when there were other options available to us, though none of them Revis. Via retrospect, the organization jumped the gun on being relevant with the big splash of 2013 of both safety Goldson and cornerback Revis. We often hear about building through the draft. Now here is your chance to see what deviousness you can come up with!
As for the Bucs and the "No Fly Zone", who would have thought that tag line would still remain true in a losing season... as the Bucs never got off the ground for the 2013 season.