Three years ago, I stood in the Hawaiian sun at the Pro Bowl and asked then-New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis about the possibility of then-Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha joining him in the Meadowlands.
Three years later, Revis, a five-time Pro Bowler now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has been linked to the Raiders in trade talks. But while Asomugha has retired after stints in Philadelphia and San Francisco, Revis could team with another cornerback for whom Oakland has high hopes -- last year’s top draft pick, D.J. Hayden.
Indeed, Hayden, who had a truncated rookie season that began with him still recovering from his near-death heart injury and ended early with a groin injury, would benefit from a stay on Revis Island.
The Buccaneers are expected to cut Revis, who is due a $1.5 million roster bonus on Wednesday, if they cannot find a trade partner, per ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Plus, the 2014 fourth-round draft pick the Buccaneers sent to New York last year as part of the package for Revis becomes a third-rounder if he is on Tampa Bay’s roster at 4:01 p.m. ET Wednesday. And with Revis making $16 million per year, the Raiders, with so much cap space, could afford such a hit.
What package could the Raiders send to Tampa Bay? It probably starts with the Raiders’ first-round pick, No. 5 overall. (The Buccaneers sent the No. 13 overall pick to New York last year in the Revis deal, while the Raiders used the 12th overall selection on Hayden.) But Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has said he likes his picks and sensible contracts, so that seems counter-intuitive, no?
No doubt Raiders coach Dennis Allen, a former secondary coach with the New Orleans Saints, would love to throw a defensive backfield featuring Revis and an improved Hayden at opposing teams.
And in a strange twist, acquiring Revis would be a nod toward the old-school Raider way -- Al Davis believed in building a team through its cornerbacks.