Or at least that’s what I’ve been hearing.
Fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are taking to the streets (sounds better than forums) to express their disappointment and frustration with the malaise of Tampa’s front-office. In a free agent class that boasts a deep collection of serviceable cornerbacks, the Bucs have yet to acquire–or even show legitimate interest in–any of these players. Such a move would seem like a no-brainer when we consider the abomination that was Tampa’s pass-defense in 2012. How could they not bring in anyone? Such a thing cannot go a whole off-season without being addressed, right?
It would seem that none of these free agents were in the primary plans of GM Mark Dominik and Head Coach Greg Schiano. They had their eyes on something so much more: Darrelle Revis. The much-maligned Jets CB is being shopped by new GM John Idzik, despite reports that say the contrary. The cash-strapped Jets have to unload the All-Pro defender before they lose him to free agency in 2014 and gain no compensation in the process. Dominik has taken a man-crush-level interest in acquiring Revis, whilst maintaining that the Bucs will not give up this year’s 1st round pick to do so. Idzik responds with his best–albiet weak–version of a poker face; saying there are “other options” outside of trading Revis. Fans, pundits, players, and their mothers all saw through this facade and a trade now seems imminent.
Sources are saying the trade could be done as soon as March 17th at the Annual Owner’s Meeting in Phoenix. This would not surprise me one bit. The longer the Jets holdout, the more leverage they lose in dealing Revis: The Bucs have contingency plans in place involving lower-level free agents and draftees to remedy their defensive woes. The Jets can only holdout for so long, before the Bucs lose interest and the Jets lose compensation.
So, instead of overpaying some middle-of-the-pack cornerback–a la Eric Wright–Dominik and Co. are aiming to acquire the cream of the crop and are willing to pay him accordingly. I really do want to ignore all this talk about Revis’ ACL, but it is unavoidable. The inevitable also rears its head in the form of comparisons to last season’s miracle of modern medical science (or divine intervention, your choice): Adrian Peterson. The truth lies in between: We should not expect that Revis will revert to All-Pro form immediately after this injury, nor should we expect him to fade away and become a story of what could have been. What we do know is that given ample time to recover and the right situation (i.e. a healthy contract extension), Revis won’t be mistaken for some scrub and we will all look back and wonder how Dominik was able to pry the best cornerback in football away from Gotham.
The bottom-line here is that fans should have faith in their team’s officials. Before Bucs fans start rioting in the streets, understand that these things take time. Instead of settling for average talent, your team has decided these free agents aren’t good enough for your program and have chosen to achieve something greater than mediocrity.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
By PFC Writer Nathaniel K.