When the New York Jets traded superstar cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last offseason, they received a first round draft choice in the 2013 draft and conditional fourth round pick in this year’s draft. If Revis is on the Bucs’ roster on the third day of the league year, March 13th, then that fourth round pick becomes a third rounder. The Jets and John Idzik have been banking on that happening because, well, who would be dumb enough to give up a first round pick for Revis, sign him to a $96 million contract and then get rid of him after one year?
Apparently the Bucs might be that dumb. Revis was below par for the first couple weeks of this season as he worked his way back from a torn ACL, then he was unhappy for much of the season with Greg Schiano’s penchant for playing zone defenses. However, Revis still managed to have a strong season, and he was selected to the Pro Bowl. However, with the Bucs’ decision to hire Lovie Smith this offseason, it now appears Revis’ future is in doubt.
Smith, of course, runs a base Cover 2 defense, which requires cornerbacks to get a good jam at the line of scrimmage then cover the flats (that’s a really simple breakdown obviously, but you get the point). Cornerbacks in this scheme have to be extremely physical and very good tacklers. Revis can play in this scheme, but it is very far from maximizing his exceptional talents. Frankly, if Smith isn’t willing to adjust his schemes to suit one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, then he really shouldn’t be coaching this team. Smith has tried to assure fans that Revis isn’t going anywhere, but the trade rumors are still swirling.
There are two ways this can hurt the Jets. The first, of course, is the third round pick they assumed they were getting becoming a fourth. The second could be more damaging, however. One of the reasons the Jets were comfortable with this trade is that they would only have to play Revis once every four years in Tampa Bay. If Tampa trades him back to the AFC, or even worse, the AFC East, the Jets could be forced to face their former star and arguably the best corner in the league much more frequently. As you can see, the Jets are one team that is really hoping Revis doesn’t go anywhere.