Sports Illustrated’s Peter King provided a behind-the-scenes look at how the Darrelle Revis-to-Tampa Bay trade went down in this week's "Monday Morning Quarterback."
The Jets and Bucs had worked out the trade details by Sunday morning, King wrote, and as we all learned by the afternoon, Revis’ physical was the final piece to the puzzle.
That morning, Bucs coach Greg Schiano told his general manager Mark Dominik: “If the physical doesn't go right, we're sending him home.”
But Revis never made it back to New Jersey. Instead, he was examined by “two Bucs doctors, including head team orthopedist John Zvijac and director of sports medicine Todd Toriscelli” and was ultimately cleared. Though confident Revis will once again be a shutdown corner, the Bucs protected themselves by offering him a six-year, $96-million deal with no guaranteed money.
Dominik, according to King, met with Schiano and his medical staff for “about 30 minutes” without Revis before meeting separately with Schiano. “We decided there was not enough risk to not do it,” Dominick told King. “At the end of the day, you trust your doctors to tell you as much as they can, but it's a decision really that came down to me and Greg. We had to be comfortable with the risk, and I can tell you we are.”
While Revis’ past contract disputes with Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum caused some Jets fans to question his loyalty, the Bucs had no problems believing Revis was a team-first guy. Tampa Bay told Revis they expected him to rehab in Tampa – and not in Arizona where Revis had been recovering with the help of his Fischer Sports personal trainer -- and they wanted him to be “a full-time offseason workout guy” in Tampa.
According to King, Revis’ response was simple.
“I'm all in,'' the cornerback told his new front office. “I'm a Buccaneer.''
“You could see how excited he was,” Dominik said in the article. “The look in his eyes was, 'Coach, I will not let you down.'
“…Where Darrelle will be on the day we open camp is on the field. And where he'll be opening day is playing against the Jets. That's what I believe.”
Ultimately, in the Bucs’ eyes, the risk doesn’t outweigh the reward. So, if Revis returns to his old form, he’ll get the money he’s seeking. But if the cornerback turns out to be “damaged goods,” as King put it, the Bucs will walk away having lost two high draft picks -- but no guaranteed money.
The Jets, of course wanted three draft picks as compensation – a first-, third- and fifth-rounder. But Dominik wasn’t budging, and according to one of King’s sources, the Bucs GM “dug in and drew the line at two picks, and gave the Jets a deadline to get the deal done.” King also wrote that another sources said Rex Ryan didn’t want to trade Revis and “and was hoping against hope owner Woody Johnson would reconsider his stance about paying Revis a rich contract to keep him in New York.” Although Dominik reportedly said recently that he didn’t think the deal would get done, the Jets had little leverage here. The whole world knew they wanted to deal Revis, and that’s precisely what happened.