On Monday, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Buccaneers were open to trading Darrelle Revis, a player Tampa Bay has been accused of misusing since he joined the team last year.
Unfortunately, at least for the Bucs, Revis’ contract makes him almost impossible to unload. Revis is set to make a base salary of $13 million every season from 2014 through 2018. That’s a huge salary for a player that was unable to make a huge impact on the Buccaneers defense in his time with the team.
Because of his salary, only a handful of teams could even afford to make a play at bringing Revis on board. Teams like the Browns, Raiders or Jaguars could make the move, but they’d have to know they’re getting a player that could shut down any receiver he’s covering. When compared to Richard Sherman’s base salary of $1.389 million, Revis’ price tag seems unrealistically high.
In fact, the only way a team would decide to part ways with such a large check would be because that team’s front office believes Revis can command more money on the open market, something that’s extremely unlikely, but not completely out of the question. Because the Buccaneers are almost certainly going to cut Revis regardless, the actual trade cost would be very low, and Revis’ new team would immediately have a contract in place for several years to come.
So, does a team that needs a shutdown cornerback and is willing to pay big money for one actually exist?
Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk reported on Tuesday that the Browns were mulling over a potential trade offer that would bring Revis to Cleveland. The move has the potential to strengthen an already solid defense. In addition, the move would prevent Revis from reaching the open market. In many places, that wouldn’t be a big deal, but let’s face it. Does a player in the prime of his career and at the top of his position really want to go to Cleveland? Probably not.
Ultimately, the Browns have to make a philosophical decision. Their offense needs a complete overhaul, and investing more money in their defense won’t help them put up many extra points on Sundays. On the other hand, a strong defense will keep them in more games down the road. At some point, they have to address their offensive problems with changes across the board, and that’ll take a big chunk of money to do it the right way. The question then becomes, could the money they could be spending on bringing Revis in be spent better elsewhere?