Less than a year after trading for him, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to unload Darrelle Revis.
The team wants to get out from under his $US16 million salary cap figure, either via a trade or an outright release, according to widespread reports.
It’s a sizable disaster for Tampa. They wasted a 1st-round pick and spent ~$16 million in 2013 salary for 16 games of Revis, who was still not quite himself because of an ACL injury.
It highlights just how perfectly the New York Jets handled the Revis trade last year.
Here’s the final tally on the trade:
Buccaneers got: Darrelle Revis (one season)
Jets got: Sheldon Richardson (13th-overall pick). 2014 fourth-round pick
The Jets had to trade Revis because he was going to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, and it would have taken a cripplingly huge contract to keep him.
Usually the knowledge that a team has to trade a player takes away leverage, and forces them into a cents-on-the-dollar move. The Jets managed to avoid this trap, turning Revis into an affordable, long-term asset while also eliminating the risk that his injury issues posed going forward.
They traded him at the perfect time. If they waited until the fall, other teams would have seen what post-injury Revis looked like. If they had tried to traded him in August of September other teams would have just waited to sign him in 2014 free agency instead of giving up valuable assets in a trade.
It also helps that the Jets hit a home run on the 1st-round pick that they got from Tampa. Sheldon Richardson one NFL defensive rookie of the year. He and Muhammad Wilkerson give the Jets an elite unit that they can build on for years to come.
This should be the blueprint for how to handle a want-away star player. Shop him around early while he still has value, and pull the trigger when you get what you want.
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