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Fennelly: Going all in on Revis worth it for Bucs

Published:   |   Updated: April 22, 2013 at 11:43 AM
TAMPA -

Suddenly they’re relevant.

Sunday afternoon, a private jet taxied to a car parked right on the tarmac. Waiting was the car’s driver, Bucs head coach Greg Schiano.

Two men came off the jet. Schiano shook hands with them and then he waited on the third man. I think he’s been waiting on the third man for a long time.

A few people watched the jet through a fence, but suddenly, we kid you not, a fuel truck pulled up, blocking the view of the plane, car, Schiano, the third man. I’d like to think it was high-octane Bucs secrecy. When the gas truck backed up, Schiano’s car was driving away with its prime passenger, the newest Buc: Darrelle Revis.

It’s no secret.

The Bucs just floored it.

They went and got the best.

Is that ever a bad day? Ever?

Revis will be introduced today. Oh, sure, something could still go wrong, like a Bucs team doctor waking up in the middle of last night, total panic. Wait — I thought they needed his right knee examined.

There’s always risk.

But if Revis’ left knee plays on, the Bucs get someone who is the best at what he does.

They’ve have had very few of those.

Lee Roy comes to mind. Sapp comes to mind. Brooks comes to mind.

And now we come to Revis Island, the man, the talent, the trademark — a place where quarterbacks and receivers have always gone at their own risk. And now the Bucs are daring them.

What the Bucs surrendered to the Jets for Revis was reasonable. What they’re giving Revis, six years, $96 million, none of it guaranteed, is not insane. It’s about time the Bucs took up some of that space under the salary cap.

Suddenly they’re relevant.

Yes, they’re more than one player away. But now they’re one less player away from getting there.

Everything had to break right. The Bucs needed to want Revis. Check. The Jets needed to dump him or risk not getting anything for him. Check. Revis had to want to play ball, right now. Check. He needed to at least seem like damaged goods. Check. There would have been a long line for him next season if he played well for the Jets this season. It all came together for the Bucs.

The Bucs gave up the 13th pick of the draft and possibly as much as a third-rounder next season. They gambled, but they didn’t mortgage the future.

Revis was the 14th pick of the 2007 draft. If you’re a GM, or a fan, your wildest dream would be getting the next Darrelle Revis with the 13th pick of any draft.

Well, why look for the next Revis when you can have this one?

It’s that simple. It’s the proven versus the possible.

It’s this simple, too: Revis is like a great pass rusher who gets a double team and frees up other guys to make more plays. Revis makes QBs go to a second option, a third option, and by Seven Mississippi, maybe even the Bucs pass rush will get there.

If you think Schiano and GM Mark Dominik are going out on a limb here, we’ve got news: They were already out on a limb, which is the nature of this win-now league.

Maybe the Glazers are making a comeback. They bumped up the offense last season. And now that the offense appears playoff presentable, they’ve paid out at cornerback, for the cornerback.

He doesn’t guarantee anything, Super Bowls, even playoffs, not even ticket sales.

But try telling me there’s no Bucs buzz this morning.

Revis has been that good. He’s been the best.

Naturally, the Bucs open the 2013 season at the Jets, which shows you that the NFL scheduling department has a sense of humor.

In fact, he’ll see all his old AFC East buddies in 2013 and they’ll see him. Much more to the point, so will NFC South quarterbacks Drew Brees and Matt Ryan and Cam Newton. And so will receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White and Steve Smith and Marques Colston.

The Bucs just traded for a fighting chance.

They got the best.

There aren’t many of those.

Suddenly they’re relevant.

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