Darrelle Revis trade talk is all the rage right now, as the New York Jets reportedly are shopping the star cornerback. The San Francisco 49ers, flush with 15 picks in April's draft and in need of a secondary upgrade, were rumored to be interested, but that now doesn't appear likely. Which team should make a run at Revis, and what price should it pay?
Buccaneers have cap space and they need a cornerbackThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers made waves last year in free agency, signing a number of prominent players, including cornerback Eric Wright. The Bucs then drafted safety Mark Barron to beef up the back end even more. Yet still, they are searching for defensive backfield help a year later. Hello, Darrelle Revis.
Word is the Buccaneers are interested in bringing in a cornerback. They have cap space going forward, an up-and-coming team and a business-like approach where even a corner making more than everyone else wouldn't create problems in the locker room. Greg Schiano keeps them grounded.
Could it happen? It's so complicated that I'd be surprised at any team making a trade for Revis. But this is one of the few teams that could make it happen.
Eagles could make another bold move for a top cornerIt would be delicious for the New England Patriots to grab Darrelle Revis, but that would never happen. The Miami Dolphins also have the cap space, but the Jets will never trade in the division.
Let's roll, then, with the Philadelphia Eagles. They aren't afraid to be bold and they're about to get Nnamdi Asomugha off the books. The Lions, Falcons, Buccaneers and Colts also make some sense, but the Eagles make the most sense as a team aggressive enough to pull off a deal -- and a contract -- this massive.
Niners should pounce on Revis, like they did with Deion Sanders in 1994Darrelle Revis would command a large bounty of draft picks if he were completely healthy, but not coming off a devastating knee injury. Even in our post-Adrian Peterson world, where a knee injury seems about as benign as the sniffles, Revis still carries a lot of risk. But if you're the San Francisco 49ers, what choice do you really have?
Ideally, you wouldn't want to give up too much for Revis, but what if he's the final piece? It's so easy to draw comparisons between this situation and Deion Sanders hitting San Francisco for one championship run in 1994. The 49ers probably would have to pay more than they like, but being this close to a Super Bowl title, they almost need to do it.
Tampa Bay's a potential fit, but Revis won't be easy to moveThis is a tough trade to make for the Jets because of Darrelle Revis' contract demands, the knee injury and the limited cap space of many NFL teams. Add to that picture the low cost in cap space of first-round picks these days.
The Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots are division rivals, so you have to cross them off the list. Another issue with this trade: Teams that need corners like the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions are not going to give up a first-round draft choice when it is in the top 10 picks.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a potential fit. They need a corner, have cap room and could give up a first-round pick (holding the 13th overall selection). As to Revis' value, you could make an argument he is worth at least a first- and second-round pick. The last top-tier CB traded was Champ Bailey. The Washington Redskins traded Bailey and a second-round draft choice to the Denver Broncos for Clinton Portis.
Two NFC teams make sense: Vikings and BuccaneersSelfishly, I'd like to see the Jets trade Revis to the Seattle Seahawks for Matt Flynn, a draft pick and another player; not because I'm a Jets fan, but just because I'd like to see Revis and Richard Sherman as teammates. "This is MY half of the field and you stay over there."
So, who can do this? Once you look at salary-cap room, the list for Revis becomes short. Because he's not Tom Brady -- he wants $16 million a year. He wants the title of "Best and Highest Paid." So you're going to have to satisfy that if you want him. And not everyone has the cap room.
I don't think there's any way the Jets even deal Revis to an AFC team. Forget about within the division, they don't want to see him at all, ever, during the regular season or the playoffs. They'd have to be blown away to do that. Looking at the NFC, the Chicago Bears might have the cap space, but Revis would be a luxury, as they're already loaded at DB. There are two teams with enough cap room who could emerge: the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both are close to really contending -- and are conveniently pretty bad against the pass. (In fact, the Bucs fielded the worst pass defense in the league last year.) Each team has ample bargaining chips. If you're not willing to give up a first- and second-round pick for Revis, it's going to have to be a package of picks and a player. The Vikings could offer a second-round pick, Toby Gerhart and possibly a third- or fourth-rounder, which would give the Jets reason enough to do it. The Buccaneers have the draft picks, as well, and would also part with LeGarrette Blount. Between those two scenarios, if Minnesota picks up the phone and makes me the offer I just outlined? Revis is in purple by the end of the day.
Revis perfect for 49ers, Giants, Dolphins, Bengals ... and just about everyone elseLike listing ice cream flavors that taste good, there's no wrong answer in naming teams that'd benefit from acquiring the game's best cornerback.
First off, I don't buy that the 49ers are out just 'cause they say they are. Didn't they just bluff the Kansas City Chiefs into giving up a second-round pick for San Francisco's backup QB? And haven't we just watched savvy franchises like the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers magically create cap space by restructuring contracts? So yeah, the Niners can make it work if they really want to.
Besides them, though, Revis staying put in Jersey in a blue New York Giants jersey would make for a compelling story. Or how 'bout the Miami Dolphins? They've got the money and -- if they're serious about winning the AFC East -- the need to slow down Tom Brady (something Revis has done as well as anybody this side of the Giants' D-line). The Cincinnati Bengals have loot and a couple holes in their secondary. Adding Revis would immediately give them the AFC's best D (if they don't already have it). How 'bout the New Orleans Saints? Taking away Roddy White or Julio Jones twice next season might be enough for New Orleans to take away the NFC South crown. Colts, Lions, Titans ...
We could do this all day. Point is, Revis is the best player at his position. By a lot. He could be the difference in a deep playoff run for a would-be contender. That's gotta be worth $15 million, right?