Bad, bad news for Panthers fans today.
Yep, it looks like this Darrelle Revis to Bucs trade is going to happen.
There’s no way the Jets would let the Bucs give Revis a physical if they hadn’t already agreed to terms on a trade.
The only good news here is that Tampa Bay’s pass defense was the worst in the NFL in 2013, and Revis can only do so much by himself. What he CAN do is pretty much take any WR out of the game.
With Revis covering Steve Smith, and with Smith having lost a step last year as he approaches his mid-thirties in age, and with the Panthers having no real second option at wide receiver and having the #1 rush defense in the NFL last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could suddenly be a nightmare matchup defensively against the Panthers in 2013…if the trade actually goes through.
If Revis passes his physical, it looks like the trade will happen at this point.
Will this affect the Panthers’ draft in a few days?
Since the Bucs are a division rival, it well could.
The Carolina Panthers have 6 different “need” positions, as I count them, and only 5 draft picks. While it’s highly unusual to get more than a couple of starters in any given draft, the WR position just crept up the list of needs a notch or two.
In descending order (again – my own “ranking”), the Panthers’ needs were RG, DT, RT, FS, WR, OLB going into this week. Their top-5 needs have little separation between them with only OLB being slightly lower due to the fact they have SOME depth left there after releasing SLB James Anderson.
WR is the next-to-last need because while nobody has really stepped up into the WR2 role, there is still some talent on the roster – they were simply inconsistent last season, and David Gettis was a non-factor who could become one if he’s healthy in 2013 and has a small chance at a breakout season, given his productive 2011 rookie campaign.
The offense needs some major upgrades, mostly on the right side of the offensive line, but a lot of fans are clamoring for a DT at #14 overall – usually in the form of Sheldon Richardson, but forget how well the defense played during that stretch run last year when they won 5 of their last 6 games and the defense allwoed roughly 110 yards/game on the ground over that period.
They really could use a ball hawk in the secondary to help take advantage of their pass rush, so Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro could be on the radar if he’s still around at #14 overall.
See my point about information overload? There’s a number of positions they could fill at 14 overall while waiting until rounds 2 and 4 to look for other top-need areas that match the best player available in the draft, but when you’ve got a division opponent with a corner who can take your best WR option out of the game, it means you need more options.
It’s now quite possible a guy like Tavon Austin is once again on the Panthers’ radar early on.
Time will tell, and not much of that remains.