AFC East: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Live blog: Buccaneers at Patriots

September, 22, 2013
9/22/13
12:40
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Join our ESPN.com NFL experts as they break down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' visit to the New England Patriots. Contribute your thoughts and questions beginning at 1 p.m. ET. And, be sure to visit our NFL Nation Blitz page for commentary from every game, as well as fan photos and the latest buzz from Twitter. See you there.
Tom Brady, Josh FreemanJim Rogash/Getty ImagesTom Brady, left, and Josh Freeman both hope their respective offenses can get on track on Sunday.
In mid-August, the New England Patriots welcomed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for three days of joint practices before the teams played each other in a preseason game. Now they meet again.

“I think the work we did against them in training camp was good for our development as a team, but I’m not really sure how much carryover that will have into the game other than just the familiarity with some of the players we went up against,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said this week. “Scheme-wise, it’s all game planning now. It’s not just going out there and working on the things that both teams are working on. I’m sure it will be geared very specifically, both ways, toward the opponent.”

Here’s a breakdown of the matchup from both sides:

Reiss: When discussing Sunday’s matchup between the 2-0 Patriots and 0-2 Buccaneers, Belichick said he views the Buccaneers more as a 2-0 team than an 0-2 team. That might not go over well with Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, who once said, "You are what your record says you are." Pat, you’ve seen the Buccaneers up close in their last-second losses to the Jets and Saints, so we’ll ask you the question: What are the Buccaneers?

Yasinskas: Mike, quite simply, the Bucs are a team in disarray. Coach Greg Schiano and quarterback Josh Freeman aren't on the same page, and that situation seems to grow more combustible each week. If the Bucs start off 0-4, I anticipate that they'll turn things over to rookie quarterback Mike Glennon after the bye. But the problems aren't just the quarterback play. The whole team is dysfunctional and the Bucs aren't playing smart football. Schiano prides himself on having a disciplined team, but that's not what the Bucs are right now. They've had more than 100 yards in penalties in each of their first two games, and you're not going to win many games that way. Speaking of a team being what its record says it is, the Patriots haven't been dominant, but they are 2-0. How good are they?

Reiss: The story of the first two games of the season has been the struggles of the once-lethal passing game. Tom Brady’s frustrations boiled over at times in last Thursday’s 13-10 victory over the Jets. He had developed an early chemistry with Danny Amendola, but Amendola is sidelined with a groin injury. Since tight end Rob Gronkowski has also been hurt and missed the first two games, the Patriots were without two top weapons in Week 2, so Brady was throwing mostly to five-year veteran Julian Edelman and rookies Kenbrell Thompkins (undrafted), Aaron Dobson (second round) and Josh Boyce (fourth round). The defense has kept them in games, but it also seems fair to ask the question: Would the results would have been different if the opponents had been stronger than the Bills and Jets? From afar, it seems that the Buccaneers’ defense has some good things going. Is perception the reality on that side of the ball?

Yasinskas: Tampa Bay's defense has been a bright spot. The revamped secondary is holding up well and the Bucs are generating a pass rush. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebackers Mason Foster, Lavonte David and Dekoda Watson are playing very well. This defense is good enough to keep the Bucs in any game. But the problem has been the offense. There's been no rhythm to the passing game, and I suspect the Bucs may rely even more on Doug Martin and the running game. How is New England's run defense?

Reiss: In the season opener, New England was in its sub-defense for all but two snaps and did an excellent job on dangerous Bills running back C.J. Spiller (2.4-yard average). Last Thursday against the Jets, there was some more base defense, and I thought it was an off day for Pro Bowl defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who is the anchor of the run defense. The Jets had success. Similar to the plan against the Bills, I’d imagine the Patriots will make limiting Martin priority No. 1, and then they figure to pay extra attention to receiver Vincent Jackson. With two top-of-the-line skill-position players in Martin and Jackson, why have the Buccaneers struggled so much on offense through two games?

Yasinskas: They really miss left guard Carl Nicks, who has been out with an MRSA staph infection. But there seems to be some optimism that Nicks might be able to play this week. If he does, it will mark the first time the Bucs have had Nicks and Davin Joseph together as their starting guards. That's a scenario the Bucs dreamed of when they signed Nicks as a free agent last year. But Joseph went down with a knee injury last preseason and missed the season, and Nicks missed half of the season with a foot injury. If Nicks and Joseph are healthy and on the field together, they could be the league's best guard tandem, and that's going to help Tampa Bay's run and pass blocking.

Live blog: Buccaneers at Jets

September, 8, 2013
9/08/13
12:46
PM ET
Join our ESPN.com NFL experts as they break down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ visit to the New York Jets. Contribute your thoughts and questions beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET. See you there.

Attack Revis? No way, according to Rex

September, 5, 2013
9/05/13
8:10
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Darrelle Revis and Rex RyanAP PhotoRex Ryan had this to say about going after Darrelle Revis: "I don't see that happening."

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis is coming off major knee surgery and hasn't played a football game in nearly a year. At his position, a player can be exposed if his reaction time is a split-second slower than usual.

So will the Jets test their former star Sunday at MetLife Stadium? What say you, Rex Ryan?

Ryan listened to the question, smiled and shook his head.

Answer: No.

"We know him well," Ryan said Thursday. "That might be some team's philosophy, but I don't think it's going to be our philosophy. I can't even lie and say, 'Oh, yeah, no, absolutely, we're attacking him.' I don't see that happening.

"If I had my way, he'd rest it one more week," Ryan added, smiling. "I think that would be the best thing for him."

Revis, who didn't play in any preseason games, is expected to start for the Bucs even though it hasn't been made official. The Jets expect to see the Revis of old, the one that made four Pro Bowls from 2008 to 2011. But he's bound to be rusty. After all, he's human, supposedly. They should test him, in the air and on the ground, seeing if he reacts tentatively on a power sweep.

Wide receiver Stephen Hill seemed disappointed to hear they wouldn't attack Revis (if Ryan is to be believed).

"I wouldn't mind going after him. Why not?" Hill asked. "But that's the head man, so we're just going to definitely ... If that's what he wants, we're going to do what he wants. But other than that, I wouldn't mind. I'm not going to back down from competition."

Obviously, the Jets don't have any current tape of Revis to study, but their top four receivers are familiar with his game, having practiced against him last season, longer in the cases of Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley. In meetings this week, receivers coach Sanjay Lal told his players, "You must be perfect" against Revis, whom the Jets traded last April.

"As a receiver, there's no margin for error," Lal said. "If you tip it off slightly, he's going to jump the route. He's the best I've seen at doing that."

Revis has uncanny instincts, which could allow him to compensate for any loss of quickness due to the injury. But the Jets expect him to be at full strength.

"If they're putting him out there for 70 plays, they must feel he's 100 percent or close to it, because he's a huge investment to them," Lal said.

The Bucs have a different defensive scheme than the Jets, so it'll be interesting to see how they use him. The Jets play man-to-man, and often left Revis on an island (hence, Revis Island) against the No. 1 receiver. The Bucs use a lot of Cover 2, a zone with safety help over the top. A pure Cover 2 would seem to minimize Revis' man-to-man skills.

Ryan called Revis a "once-in-a-how-many-years type player. He's a tremendous player." Five months after the divorce, Ryan still sounds like he wishes he never left.

Revis goes from 'best' to bitter

September, 3, 2013
9/03/13
1:11
PM ET
video
 
When Darrelle Revis was selected by the Jets with the 14th overall pick in 2007, he offered an immediate message to then-GM Mike Tannenbaum.

"I told Tannenbaum on the phone, 'This is probably one of the best things you've done,'" Revis says in an ESPN E:60 profile that airs at 7 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN2.

Revis
Revis was right; it was one of the Jets' best moves -- ever. He became the top cornerback in football, the glue to Rex Ryan's defense. But his marriage with the Jets ended in an ugly divorce last April, when he was traded to the Bucs. Revis felt betrayed by the Jets because they never made him a contract offer. To understand his mindset, you need to go back to his roots, all the way back to Aliquippa, Pa., where his values were formed.

The E:60 special includes interviews with former Aliquippa greats Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett and Ty Law. It shows where Revis was raised, a boarded-up house near his high school, close enough to see the Friday night lights in the distance -- a beacon for the kids on Seventh Avenue. It was a tough neighborhood. In an interview, Revis says six members of his high school team, which won a state championship, are dead.

On Sunday, Revis makes his return to MetLife Stadium to face the Jets in what should be an emotional season opener. It will be billed as a homecoming, but as you'll see in the E:60 profile, his real home is in Western Pennsylvania.
MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-10 at intermission. It was an up-and-down start for the Dolphins.

Here are several thoughts at halftime:
  • The Dolphins started sloppily in two phases of the game. Miami made two crucial mistakes on special teams and one on defense that are sure to upset the coaching staff. Cornerback Nolan Carroll mistakenly touched the football on a punt return when the ball hit his helmet and the Buccaneers recovered deep in Miami territory. Two plays later, Dolphins starting cornerback Brent Grimes was flagged for pass interference in the end zone, which led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Buccaneers tailback Brian Leonard. Marcus Thigpen also fumbled his first punt return, which led to a 38-yard field goal by Tampa Bay kicker Rian Lindell.
  • Quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins' starting offense played fairly well in the first half. Their first drive was solid. Tannehill completed six of eight passes during a 77-yard drive that led to a field goal by rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis. However, Miami’s offense struggled with penalties and inconsistency for a long stretch after that first drive. Following a Tampa Bay turnover, Tannehill finished the first half strong, with a touchdown pass to receiver Brandon Gibson. Tannehill was 17-of-27 for 150 yards and a touchdown. He was also the victim of a couple drops.
  • Miami projected starting guard John Jerry made his preseason debut Saturday. Jerry has been dealing with a knee injury suffered in the first week of training camp. Jerry played just one quarter before he was replaced by backup guard Josh Samuda at the start of the second. The goal for Jerry is to work off the rust and be ready for Week 1.
  • Miami defensive tackle Jared Odrick got off to a fast start. He’s had his way with Tampa Bay’s offensive line and recorded two tackles, one sack and one tackle for a loss. Odrick has done a good job in training camp to beat out Randy Starks for a starting job in Week 1.

Miami's starters are expected to play some in the third quarter of this dress rehearsal. We will have a full report on the Dolphins at the end of the game.

W2W4: Five things we'll be focused on

August, 15, 2013
8/15/13
9:37
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday in the second preseason game for both teams (Fox, 8 p.m. ET), and here are a few things we'll be keeping a close eye on:

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1. Brady and the quarterback reps. After Wednesday's scare, in which he suffered a bruised left knee, quarterback Tom Brady returned to practice Thursday and wore a knee brace while going through the entire practice without limitation. Brady played 16 snaps in the preseason opener, and perhaps the coaching staff alters its plans against the Buccaneers based on the injury. Top backup Ryan Mallett played 25 snaps in the opener and could be line for more work. Tim Tebow was on for 31 snaps in the opener. One more thought on this: Let's also watch the matchup of Patriots left tackle Nate Solder versus Buccaneers defensive end Adrian Clayborn, since it was Clayborn's bull-rush -- during which he pushed Solder back -- that led to Brady's injury.

2. Sturdy run defense with the front seven. Buccaneers running back Doug Martin can be a handful and represents a good test for a Patriots front seven that should have Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones at end, Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly at tackle and a linebacker trio of Brandon Spikes (middle), Dont'a Hightower (strongside) and Jerod Mayo (weakside). Not that there figures to be any big game planning for a preseason game, but the Patriots talk often about making the opposition one-dimensional by taking away the run. With limited opportunities in preseason to work on run fits with live tackling, this will be one of their best chances to do so.

PatriotsBuccaneers3. Ballard ready for increased workload? Tight end Jake Ballard remains a player of interest from this perspective. Returning from serious knee surgery in 2012, he has been managed carefully in practice and played 12 snaps in the preseason opener, all with the first-unit offense. The top tight-end pairing of late has been Ballard and rookie free agent Zach Sudfeld. With veteran Daniel Fells unlikely to suit up -- he's been out of practice the past few days due to an undisclosed injury -- is Ballard ready for some more work? If so, the areas we'll be watching closest are his inline blocking and how more snaps might affect his knee.

4. Bounce-back for Gostkowski and field goal operation. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed field goals from 44 and 53 yards in the preseason opener -- not exactly chip shots -- and, as Bill Belichick sometimes points out, it isn't always on the kicker. It's the entire operation -- snap, hold, kick. Gostkowski, who hit from 34 yards in the game, looks like he's had a strong week of practice. Also on special teams, the ongoing competition between incumbent punter Zoltan Mesko and rookie Ryan Allen is a good one. Allen has a strong leg but the key for both is going to be consistency.

5. Can the rookie receivers do it again? We've spent a lot of time focusing on the rookie trio of Aaron Dobson (second round), Josh Boyce (fourth round) and Kenbrell Thompkins (undrafted) and their assimilation into the offense. So far, so good. Brady had made the point that by the middle of training camp the team would have a better feel on its receiving corps, and one thing is clear: The rookies are a big part of it. Of the group, Thompkins might be the most impressive to this point. He had four catches in the preseason opener and was on the same page with Brady early.
MIAMI -- I'm not a superstitious person and apparently neither is Tampa Bay Buccaneers star cornerback Darrelle Revis.

The latest reports coming out of Tampa is that Revis and the team are considering the third preseason game against the Miami Dolphins as a possible return date for Revis. The talented cornerback has been rehabbing his knee injury meticulously and appears close to returning.

But are the Buccaneers considering a risky move?

The goal is to get Revis ready for Week 1 of the regular season against the New York Jets. And if you recall the last time we saw Revis, he was crumbled on the field at Sun Life Stadium after his knee gave out. To have Revis’ first game back against the same team and on the same field where he blew out his knee last year is a bit eerie. Don't think for one second that the thought won't travel through Revis' head.

Miami’s passing game, and particularly speedy receiver Mike Wallace, could certainly use the test of Revis on the field for Tampa Bay on Aug. 25. But Revis is a priority for the Buccaneers, and playing against Miami in 10 days seems unnecessary.

Tampa Bay has more than three weeks before its regular-season opener against the Jets. Allowing Revis three more weeks to get healthy and in playing shape seems like the best route.
NFL football will return in about one month when the Miami Dolphins take on the Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 3. That means the regular season also is just around the corner.

With that in mind, let's take an early peek at Week 1 matchups and see which AFC East teams are best positioned to get off to a fast start.

No. 1: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills

Storylines: This is a big game to kick off the AFC East season. The Patriots have owned the Bills over the years. However, Buffalo may be catching New England at the right time. The Patriots are reeling after back and arm surgeries to Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is questionable for Week 1, and cutting star tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was charged for murder and faces five additional gun charges. New England also will be using a new cast of receivers around quarterback Tom Brady this year, and it could take time to get on the same page. Considering the excitement of a home opener and first game under new Bills coach Doug Marrone, this could be a tricky first game for New England.

Very early favorite: Patriots

No. 2: Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns

Storylines: This is an underrated game involving two young teams with a lot to prove. It also involves an interesting battle of two second-year quarterbacks: Miami's Ryan Tannehill and Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden. These were two players from the famed 2012 quarterback class that few people talk about on a national scale. The new-look Dolphins spent more than $200 million in free agency and need to get off to a fast start amid high expectations. Miami also will get to face former Dolphins receiver Davone Bess, who was traded to Cleveland this spring.

Very early favorite: Dolphins

No. 3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets

Storylines: This game will be hyped by the fact that star cornerback Darrelle Revis is expected to make his Tampa debut and return to New York against the Jets. It’s a perfect recipe for disaster if you're the Jets. New Jets general manager John Idzik traded Revis to their Week 1 opponent, and Revis gets a chance to kick off New York’s season with a loss. Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and rookie Geno Smith have not provided any optimism in organized team activities and minicamp that they can attack Revis. Jets head coach Rex Ryan is in a must-win year and has to come up with a wise strategy.

Very early favorite: Buccaneers
The blockbuster trade is done, but not the residual feelings.

Star cornerback Darrelle Revis was traded by the New York Jets to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the weekend for a first-round pick this year and a conditional third-round pick in 2014. Revis held his introductory news conference with the media in Tampa, but he still had some scathing comments for the Jets.

Revis claims his former team lied about trade talks and pointed the finger at Jets general manager John Idzik. Here is the transcript of Revis' comments Monday from the New York Post:
  • "I definitely feel like I haven’t gotten the truth (from the Jets). Anyone can sit there and tell you to your face, ‘Yeah, you’re going to be a Jet.’ But what’s the truth out of it? What is really the truth?’ It was more from Idzik. He told me I was going to be a Jet. He said it then when we first talked and he said it last week, too. I know it’s a lie. Not on my part, on their part.”
  • “They give you the corporate answer instead of the truth. Just tell the truth, because people want to know what’s going on. I want to know what’s going on with my career, whether you’re going to trade me or you’re not. Whatever you’re doing, just let me know. I just don’t get that part of not telling me what you’re going to do with me when I come to you and ask questions and say, ‘Hey, what’s going on?'"
  • “It was Wednesday. We had the day off for the players (during offseason conditioning), but I came in to do my rehab, so there weren’t a lot of cats in the building. (Idzik) just asked, ‘Do I want to be a Jet?’ And I asked him, ‘Why would you ask me that question?’ He gave me some other corporate answer about something else.”

Revis obviously harbors some ill will with the way things were handled. The Jets certainly were not upfront with the media. They denied trade talks even when various reports stated otherwise. That happens in the NFL. However, the Jets could have been more up front with their former best player.

Expect a very motivated Revis to do all he can to get healthy and play well in Week 1 when the Jets host Tampa Bay at MetLife Stadium.

The New York Jets completed a blockbuster trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. New York shipped star cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Buccaneers for a first-round pick in this week's NFL draft and a conditional third- or fourth-round pick in 2014.

Now that New York has the No. 9 and No. 13 overall picks, here are some options for the Jets’ second first-round pick:

Option No. 1: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia

Why: Austin is perhaps the hottest prospect in this draft. He went from a late first-round pick to a mid-first-round pick during the pre-draft process. Many teams are in love with the miniature receiver, and the Jets would have a strong chance to land him at No. 13. New York desperately needs offensive playmakers and Austin could make an immediate impact. He would join receivers Jeremy Kerley and Santonio Holmes, who is coming off a season-ending foot injury, in New York’s receiving corps.

Option No. 2: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame

Why: The Jets have a major hole at tight end and Eifert is the top-rated prospect at that position. He would be a good get for the Jets at No. 13 if the rival Miami Dolphins do not take Eifert at No. 12. Ironically, the Jets lost starting tight end Dustin Keller to Miami in free agency to create the void. Eifert is an athletic, pass-catching tight end with good hands. He would be a natural replacement for Keller and could start in Week 1.

Option No. 3: S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

Why: New York will have two new safeties this season after losing 2012 starters LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell in free agency. The Jets signed former Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars safety Dawan Landry to fill one of those positions. But New York still needs one more starter in the secondary. Vaccaro is the best safety prospect in the draft and could start right away. He has a high ceiling and would fill a major need.

Option No. 4: LB Jarvis Jones, Georgia

Why: Jones is considered a high-risk player due to some health concerns. But the Jets don’t have as much pressure with their second first-round pick. If New York had just one first-rounder, the team would have to nail it. The second first-rounder is a bonus after the Revis trade. Jones was a productive player in college who has a big upside if healthy. The Jets need a pass-rusher in their 3-4 defense.
For Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills fans thinking they can breathe easy now that Darrelle Revis has left the AFC East, do not get too comfortable just yet.

It turns out the NFC South matches up with the AFC East this season. That means Revis and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Dolphins, Patriots, Bills and Jets in 2013.

The Revis AFC East reunion tour starts in Week 1 against the Jets at MetLife Stadium. He also plays the Patriots in Week 3, the Dolphins in Week 10 and the Bills in Week 14. Revis has been a thorn in the side of opposing AFC East teams, and that's a trend he hopes to continue for one more season.

But after 2013, the Jets won't have to see Revis in the regular season for three more years. All four AFC East teams -- and especially the Jets -- should be very happy about that.
The New York Jets brass held a conference call with the media Sunday evening following the trade of star cornerback Darrelle Revis. The Jets shipped one of their top players in franchise history to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a first-round pick this year and a conditional third- or fourth-round pick in 2014.

Most view trading Revis as a tremendous talent dump for the Jets. Revis, when healthy, is a top-10 player in the NFL. New York will not get that kind of elite player in return with the No. 13 overall pick on Thursday.

However, New York general manager John Idzik, coach Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson were all on board that this was the best decision for the Jets. Idzik also made it clear that other factors were involved, such as health and a looming contract extension in 2014 that made it unlikely Revis would remain a Jet long term.

"It became abundantly clear to us that his value was such that we wouldn’t get there," Idzik said of Revis, who in turn signed a six-year, $96 million contract with Tampa Bay. "That just didn’t [match] with what the Jets had in store."

The biggest concern for the Jets is this roster does not appear competitive this year. New York, on paper, could be the worst team in the AFC East and one of the bottom-feeder teams in the league this season. The Jets have a lot of holes and a lot of questions that the draft alone cannot fix. Now, the Jets dump their best player.

Owner Woody Johnson offered a message to Jets fans that the team's goal is to win in 2013, despite these changes.

"There's never been a year when I haven't tried to win using everything that I have to try to build a team that's capable of doing that," Johnson explained. "This year is no different. ... We're committed to putting a team on the field that's a winning team."

Ryan, who is known to be brash, was adamant that New York's defense will remain one of the top units in the NFL. To Ryan's credit, the Jets were the No. 2 pass defense last season, despite Revis missing 13 games.

"We’re going to play great defense here -- I don’t even think that’s a question," Ryan said. “We’re a football team that has a No. 1 corner. We’re fortunate to have Antonio Cromartie here. So there’s a lot of factors that go into every decision.”

Overall, the Jets made the right move to trade Revis. The compensation was a little light for a player of his caliber, but Revis was injured and Tampa Bay had leverage. But unlike Idzik, Johnson and Ryan, I think the Jets are going to experience some major growing pains in 2013 before this team gets better.

The New York Jets were not going to the playoffs this season with or without star cornerback Darrelle Revis. That is why moving Revis on Sunday was the right move for New York.

The Jets traded Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 2013 first-round pick and a conditional third- or fourth-round pick in 2014. The compensation is a little light for a player of Revis' caliber. I would have preferred New York to get at least two picks -- if not three -- in this year's draft. However, Revis is coming off a season-ending knee injury and entering the final year of his contract. Revis was no longer part of New York's plans, and everyone knew it. The Buccaneers had a lot of leverage in this negotiation.

[+] EnlargeDarrelle Revis
MSA/Icon SMIIt was time for the Jets and Darrelle Revis to part ways.
Mild compensation issues aside, this was the perfect time for the Jets to get off "Revis Island." New York selected Revis in the first round in 2007 and got his prime years. Revis, who will be 28 in July, may or may not be the same player he was before his knee injury as he enters the second phase of his career. But that is Tampa Bay’s problem now. The Buccaneers also announced a six-year contract extension for Revis, which is something the Jets simply could not afford when Revis became a free agent next year.

The Jets have always had a contentious relationship with their best player. New York and Revis had three contract disputes in six years -- one as a rookie in 2007, another in 2010 and one more in 2012. The Jets gave in the first two times but held their ground last year. That turned out to be the beginning of the end for the Revis era in New York.

Both sides were past the point of no return, and it was time to move on. Revis will go down as one of the Jets’ all-time great players, but they won’t miss him much this year. New York has a Pro Bowl cornerback in Antonio Cromartie and former first-round pick Kyle Wilson proved last year that he’s ready to be a starter. New York was second in pass defense in 2012 without Revis for 13 games. Only Buffalo Bills receiver Steve Johnson had a 100-yard receiving game against the Jets last season.

New York's pass defense will be fine without Revis in 2013. But the rest of the team has a lot of holes to fill under first-year general manager John Idzik. With two picks in the first round on Thursday, the Jets have a good opportunity to start anew.
Star cornerback Darrelle Revis was not going to suit up for the New York Jets in Week 1. We've known for weeks that both sides were past the point of no return.

However, Rich Cimini's report Sunday of Revis traveling to meet and take a physical with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the best sign yet that the Jets are serious about completing a trade before Thursday's NFL draft.

New York got a look at Revis last week during the start of offseason workouts. The team was pleased with his progress and expects the Buccaneers to feel the same. A successful meeting and physical will lay the foundation for serious trade talks over the next few days.

The Jets are on the clock and must move Revis by Thursday night.

Tampa Bay has the No. 13 overall pick, and the Jets need all the help they can get now. Two first-round picks (No. 9 and No. 13) in this year's draft would be a great start for their rebuild under first year general manager John Idzik. If New York cannot complete a trade by Thursday, the best the team can do is get draft picks for 2014. That doesn't do the Jets or head coach Rex Ryan any good for this upcoming season.

Keeping Revis doesn't make sense for the Jets. He will become an unrestricted free agent in 2014 and New York, with its tight salary cap, cannot afford to keep Revis after this season. If Revis played out the year, he would essentially be a lame duck player unlikely to return. The Jets are not going to make the playoffs this upcoming season with or without Revis.

The only bad thing about this potential trade is New York would face its best player in Week 1. Revis will be extra motivated to shut down the Jets' passing game at MetLife Stadium, the soon-to-be former home of "Revis Island." The Jets could be setting themselves up for a 0-1 start. But for the long run, completing this trade will get the Jets headed in the right direction.

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