Darrelle Revis’ addition opens new path for Bucs’ draft
TAMPA, Fla. – Many had labeled his day a victory, and Mark Dominik stepped to a stage prepared to plan for the future. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager was two hours removed from introducing cornerback Darrelle Revis on Monday in that same room at One Buc Place, a moment that will influence how the general manager is remembered. Already, his draft strategy had changed.
A deal to land the NFL’s top defensive back from the New York Jets was rumored for months. The Bucs’ pass defense from last year, which surrendered a league-worst 297.4 yards per game, was a glaring offseason weakness, and the signings of Revis and former San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson, through free agency in March, had made the Bucs’ secondary a projected strength in the pass-heavy NFC South.
Gaining Revis came with a cost, but one not as high as thought earlier. The Bucs gave the Jets their 13th overall pick in this year’s draft, which begins Thursday, in addition to a fourth-round selection after next season that could become one in the third if Revis remains on Tampa Bay’s roster on the third day of the 2014 league year.
“I prepared the entire time as if we had all our selections,” Dominik said. “We’ve set our board in that capacity. It hasn’t really adjusted or changed much since the trading of the 13th pick.”
The Bucs’ board will be tested. Signing Revis to a six-year, $96 million deal (no guaranteed money), despite concerns about how he will play after tearing the ACL in his left knee last September, presents possibility but also a need to adjust for the draft.
In what Dominik has described as “a thick draft, a depth draft,” the Bucs must be deliberate. Throughout the coming days, in their war room, they’ll make the first calculated choices of life with their newest star.
“We approached it, through all our meetings, as if we did not have Darrelle Revis on this football team,” Dominik said. “We approached it just in case it did not happen so that we were prepared.”