Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 4/16/13
TAMPA, Fla. Greg Schiano stepped to a podium early Monday afternoon, speaking with the comfort of a man with his rookie Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching year behind him, aware that theres a large prize that could be gained for his second. Monday marked the start of the Bucs' offseason workouts, a time of reunion and new energy, but one issue continues to swirl around One Buc Place that has made this offseason intriguing and dramatic. A trade for New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, a four-time Pro Bowl player, seems to make too much sense for it not to happen. Jets owner Woody Johnson has said he wants to avoid signing Revis to another rich deal. Meanwhile, the Bucs lured free-agent safety Dashon Goldson in March and restructured cornerback Eric Wrights contract last Tuesday.But a secondary that ranked at the bottom in the NFL in pass defense a year ago (297.4 yards per game) remains a concern for a group that competes in the same division as Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton. Whenever we can get better, we're going to do it, Schiano said, speaking in general teams because of NFL rules about commenting on players from other teams. I don't care if it's midnight it doesn't matter. If we can get better, if we have an opportunity to get better, we're going to do it. Enter the Revis talk, a set of rumors that keeps giving. ESPN reported Monday, the same day that the cornerback arrived at the Jets facility for their offseason program, that trade talks were put on hold. The news surfaced less than a week after Pro Football Talk floated the possibility that quarterback Mark Sanchez, due a guaranteed salary of 8.25 million this season, could be included in a deal that would send Revis to Tampa Bay. (It seems unwise and highly unlikely that, even with Schianos want to create competition behind Josh Freeman, the Bucs would agree to take on Sanchez as damaged goods.) Still, this dance continues, this high-stakes game of cat and mouse, of MRIs studied and knowledge gained. By now, theres little left to do but wait to see if the issue will be resolved before the NFL draft, to see if the Bucs will bend far enough to gain one of the eras best defensive backs, before an ACL tear in Revis left knee last season created doubt about the 27-year-olds future. For the Bucs, theres reason to do as much as possible to secure his talent. They play in one of the leagues most prolific offensive divisions. Sean Paytons return and Tony Gonzalezs choice to play another year means ending a five-season playoff drought will be difficult. Still, with Revis injury, despite early positive returns about his recovery, Tampa Bay should know theres risk involved in signing him. That fact doesnt mean either side is at fault in their stare-down. The Jets, who own the first rounds ninth pick, are smart to try to position themselves to gain the Bucs 13th selection and more. (If some reports are accurate, they want a lot more.) Meanwhile, the Bucs are smart to offer as much as they can to sign whats clearly their best option at their greatest area of need, as long as they know the full profile of Revis health. There will be a tipping point, probably soon, that either seals this deal or ends the possibility of Revis in red and pewter. Certainly, if the deal happens, there will be buzz around the Bucs and an eager fan base will praise Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik leading into an important season for both men. Certainly, if the deal happens, the Jets will have peace of mind that they received something in return for Revis, before hes scheduled to become a free agent next year. Still, high-profile talks are never simple, even when the parties appear to be obvious partners. Nor should they be. Rumors make good fodder for April fantasies, but fog around reality is understandable. Free agency, draft and development of your current players, we need to do that, Schiano said. The point I was making, sheer numbers, we didn't have enough (at cornerback). Now that Eric (Wright) is back in the fold, that's one more number for sure. Schiano and others around One Buc Place would love another. Time will show whether they are willing to give enough to make it happen. You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.
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