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NFC South: Darrelle Revis Trade Impact

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers parted with the 13th overall pick in exchange for the New York Jets star cornerback Darrelle Revis, they got one of the premier defenders in the entire NFL for a seemingly cheap price. It was a bold move, and it was one that could tip the scales in an already loaded NFC South. However, Revis must first prove he’s healthy coming off a torn ACL that submarined his season last year.

“People are going to sit here and say, ‘How’s he going to perform? How’s he going to play? Is he going to be like he was before?'” Revis said. “I understand all of that. I’m a hard worker. It’s all on me. I’ll give it my all.”

The Buccaneers have a core of young talent on their team, including running back Doug Martin on offense and a slew of talented defensive lineman. However, their pass defense was ranked dead last in the entire league last season while their rush defense was ranked first. Even if Revis is less than 100 percent when the season starts, he should be able to improve on those dreadful numbers. The Bucs have an intriguing core of players as it is.

“They’re all maturing at the same time,” Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik said. “They’re all in their early 20s or their late 20s. We have guys that have been to the Pro Bowl in this organization now. They’ve been voted by their peers as elite players. For us to get Darrelle Revis, our thought was it’s an opportunity to have the elite player at a position of much need for our team. To me, I’d rather spend it this way and make sure we walk out with a player that we do believe in and make sure that can be an impact starter for our football team and really change us as a defense.”

“We feel very confident, or we wouldn’t have done this,” he continued. “Obviously, it’s a significant trade and a significant amount of money, but at the same time, we have a lot of confidence with what we’ve done here as an organization. We feel very good about where he’s at.”

Revis was easily the best player on the Jets before being traded, and noted his shock when the transfer to the Bucs went down.

“At that point, when I heard that information, yeah, I felt some type of way,” he said. “I’m human. I have feelings just like everybody in this room, especially at a time when I was injured. I didn’t know what to expect or what was going to happen going down the road. … When you get information that you’re getting traded, it feels like that team is giving up on you at a time in my career when I never had an injury like this.”

“I don’t have nothing to prove to the New York Jets,” he continued. “I don’t have nothing to prove to nobody. I know my expectations as a player, and that’s that. I don’t have a chip for the New York Jets. I have a chip because I want to get on the field and play ball.”

The NFC South has some of the best quarterbacks in the league in Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, and while the addition of Revis isn’t enough to make the Bucs the favorite in the division, it’s certainly going to make them a much tougher opponent for their pass-happy divisional foes, and could be enough to send the Bucs to the playoffs as a wild card. Tampa has been there before, and with Revis, they could easily get back there again.

“There’s no better place to win than here in Tampa,” Revis said. “It’s a blessing how highly this organization looks at me. It didn’t happen in New York for certain reasons. There are a lot of reasons why not. But I’m here now, and I’m a Buc, and that’s how it’s going to be for the next six years.”


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