By Max Luckan
Name: Darrelle Revis – CB – #24
Weight: 198 lbs.
Hometown: Aliquippa, PA
College: University of Pittsburgh
Experience: 7 years
Whether it’s free agency or the trading block, it’s very rare that franchise cornerstones become available for other teams to acquire in the NFL. So it was a surprise when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis was put on the trade block by the New York Jets this past offseason.
The Jets and Revis both felt that their relationship was irreparable over contract issues. This resulted in the Jets trading arguably the best cornerback in the NFL to the Bucs for the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft and a conditional future draft pick in return.
Revis has always been in the spotlight. In high school, he was named the 2003 Player of the Year by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. While attending the University of Pittsburgh, he racked up multiple awards. The Jets drafted him with the 14th overall pick in the 2007 draft and in just a few years, he established himself as a shutdown corner and one of the best in the league, all while playing in one of the biggest media markets in the United States.
But last season, looking to put his contract squabble, which, of course was highly publicized in New York and around the country, behind him, Darrelle focused on football. However, he had to deal with a concussion in the first few weeks of the season. Then against the Miami Dolphins, Revis’ biggest fear would come true: the Pro Bowl cornerback tore his ACL. The torn ACL forced Revis to miss most of last season.
With his future in limbo, the Jets didn’t want to commit another large contract for him. The Bucs swooped in, and after extensive medical research, were convinced that Revis would return to his old self with the proper rehab. Obviously, Tampa Bay Head Coach Greg Schiano and General Manager Mark Dominik knew there would be significant risk involved in any deal for Darrelle Revis, but they were willing to take that risk for a player with 19 career interceptions and 97 passes defended to increase a horrid defense.
Another interesting point that fueled a lot of the criticism about the Bucs’ decision to acquire him is that the 2013 draft class was particularly deep at the cornerback position. Thus, the question was essentially, why trade for a star player coming off a major injury when you can draft a young, cheap, and healthy rookie?
The answer essentially revolves around the fact that, it is unlikely that a player of his caliber ever becomes available again.
The Buccaneers and Darrelle Revis signed a deal that made Revis the highest-paid defensive back in NFL history.
“We’re thrilled. It’s rare that you get a chance to add a player of this caliber to your football team. That’s what motivated us,” Dominik said at the time of the trade.
And Dominik hit the nail right on the head. Despite the previous ACL injury, it is still so very unusual to see a top player traded while still in his prime, and the Buccaneers are looking to reap the benefits of that trade this upcoming season to compete in the ultra-competitive NFC South.
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Max Luckan lives in Tampa, FL and is a sports writer covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL. Luckan has been covering the Buccaneers for a few years now. You can find more of his work at Examiner.com.