Commentary | Tampa Bay Buccaneers got Revis Island from New York Jets without mortgaging the future

April 23, 2013 


In 1626, Peter Minuit bought Manhattan Island for $24 in one of history's biggest swindles.

Now New York Jets fans might be looking at Mark Dominik as their Minuit.

In their eyes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager purchased Revis Island for a scandalous figure, considering what the cornerback means to Gotham.

He pulled off the biggest heist since New York City's most famous borough was bartered for cloth, beads, hatchets and other trinkets.

Darrelle Revis trademarked his "Revis Island" nickname, but the Bucs are already calling him Treasure Island. And why not?

In getting the 27-year-old, Dominik didn't have to mortgage the Bucs' future. If things don't work out with the cornerback, they can part ways with him after next season ­-- and it won't cost them a dime.

Tampa has agreed to pay Revis $16 million this year and guaranteed the cornerback won't be cut. There is no signing bonus and no guarantees beyond 2013.

What you have after 2013 is a series of five one-year contracts each worth $16 million.

Getting the NFL's best cornerback (until he tore his ACL last season) for the 13th overall pick in Thursday's draft and a third-rounder at worse in 2014 is legalized thievery. It also puts pressure on the GM and Bucs head coach Greg Schiano to win now, but that doesn't scare Dominik.

"The league is that way. You have to win now," Dominik said. "We understand that. It is part of the territory. There is no more added pressure today than there was yesterday. We have to win, and we know that. After we got out of the training room and talked to the doctors (about Revis' knee), Greg and I went into a room, made the decision and called the Glazers (team owners). They were on board from the beginning because they understood the magnitude of the player."

Dominik had Revis in his sights for nearly two years. The Jets wanted to trade him this year, but their demands for two first-round picks were too much for the Bucs.

The deal almost died last week until Dominik told Jets GM John Idzik that if there wasn't anything in place by this Tuesday, the Bucs were pulling out. It was a gam

ble. Revis is a free agent next season, but other teams unable to get into the sweepstakes now could've cleared cap space for 2014.

There were a bunch of other cornerbacks who were good and cheap, but Dominik didn't want them.

"You can sit there and say I can have these three corners or Darrelle. I'd rather have the great player. We wanted Darrelle," he said. "Getting him did not hamper what we want to do with the salary cap and other players we got. We are not going to rush anything, but we are very confident where is at. I expect Revis to walk onto the practice field for the start of training camp."

Revis' last five years are in the hands of the Bucs, and Dominik says he will gladly pay the entire $96 million because it will mean it was a good investment.

If Revis starts to slip, he will be at the mercy of the accountants at One Buc Place. Tampa can cut him or offer a dramatically reduced deal.

If Revis has an All-Pro year, he could hold out, but it doesn't seem likely. If he believes he can get more than $16 annually, he better switch to quarterback.

You can look at the Revis contract as a two-year deal worth $16 million per season because it's too difficult to project into the third season. It says a lot about his belief that he was willing to accept a deal in which he has to earn everything on merit.

"I am confident person and a confident player, that's how I play," Revis said. "Everybody is in their own different deals. Mine is unique. I have to go out there and play ball and perform. The contract will take care of itself. Getting that ring, getting that Lombardi (trophy) that is what you want. That is why we play this game."

Schiano loves to blitz and play press coverage, and you can't be successful utilizing that style without a shutdown corner like Revis.

He was defensive player of the year in 2009 when he set an NFL single-season record with 31 passes defended and led the Jets to the AFC championship game. The 5-foot-11, 198-pounder has recorded sub 4.4-second speed in the 40-yard dash, can play physical and is a cover corner.

"Darrelle is a player who is going to help our team immensely, but it wasn't easy, and I saw Mark work through the frustration and be patient and get done what is ultimately best for our football team," Schiano said. "We are thrilled to have Darrelle, who I view as the best defensive back in the game of football. He is going to be a great addition to our team."

Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7080, ext. 2112. Follow him on Twitter at @ADellSports.

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