Biggest trade in Tampa Bay history?

April, 21, 2013
With Sunday morning’s news that the New York Jets have given Tampa Bay permission to bring in cornerback Darrelle Revis for a physical examination, it appears as if the Buccaneers are on the verge of making a blockbuster trade.

Any deal likely would be followed by the Bucs signing Revis to a long-term contract extension that pays him somewhere around $15 million a season.

But the amazing thing is, a Revis deal probably wouldn’t qualify as the biggest trade in franchise history. In fact, it might come in third (and I’m not counting the Steve Young trade because the player was exiting).

Although the Bucs haven’t been wheelers and dealers in recent years, it wasn’t always that way. Back in the early part of the last decade, the Bucs made two huge trades.

We don’t know the exact compensation the Bucs would give up if they make the Revis trade, but speculative reports have it in the ballpark of something like a first-, third- and fifth-round pick (although at least one of those picks could be delayed until 2014).

That’s small potatoes compared to what the Bucs were giving up as they set the stage for their only Super Bowl title.

Back in 2000, the Bucs were trying to bring coach Tony Dungy’s conservative offense into the new century. They made a huge trade with (ironically) the Jets to get receiver Keyshawn Johnson. The Bucs gave up two first-round picks in the 2000 draft.

Dungy’s offense still didn’t become explosive and that led to his firing after the 2001 season. It also set the stage for the biggest trade in franchise history.

After firing Dungy, the Bucs made the biggest trade in franchise history. They shipped 2002 and 2003 first-round picks and 2002 and 2004 second-round picks (plus $8 million in cash) to the Oakland Raiders for Jon Gruden.

In Gruden’s first season, the Bucs won the Super Bowl.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter



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