Bucs' Schiano won't address Revis, but still open to trades
Amid reports the New York Jets have put trade talks involving Darrelle Revis on hold Monday, Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano would not specifically address the Pro Bowl cornerback but made it clear the Bucs are open for business when it comes to acquiring players even 'if it's midnight.''
"I hope you understand why I have to answer the way I do because that's the rules and I certainly understand why you ask the question,'' Schiano said Monday when asked about possible trade talks involving Revis. "I mean, you have to ask the question. Generically I'll answer to that, not in this situation, in that whenever we can get better, we're going to do it. I don't care if it's midnight or...it doesn't matter. If we have an opportunity to get better, we're going to do it. That's our philosophy period, covering all trades, all acquisitions, all things we can do as a team and as a program.''
The Bucs, which had the worst pass defense in the NFL last season, have done little in the off-season to address their need at cornerback.
Veteran Ronde Barber has been offered an opportunity to return to the team for a 17th season but has not informed the Bucs of his decision. Last week, Tampa Bay restructured the contract of cornerback Eric Wright, who was suspended for four games in 2012 for Adderall use and had his guaranteed $7.75-million salary voided. He signed a one-year deal with a base salary of $1.5-million and another $1.5-million in incentives.
The Bucs are expected to address the cornerback position in the NFL draft April 25, but clearly their focus has been on trading for Revis, who is recovering from a torn ACL. Revis was expected to report to Jets camp Monday for the off-season workout program after an examination in New York by Dr. Russell Warren.
"Again, like I mentioned, 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. Now that Eric is back in the fold, that's one more number for sure. Eric Wright is a starting cornerback caliber talent. He just had some bad luck last year, but I'm excited. I think he's going to come in here and he's going to work hard and perform well and God willing he stays healthy, I think he's capable of playing well.''
The Bucs signed 49ers Pro Bowl safety Dashon Goldson to a 5-year, $41.25-million contract at the start of the free agent signing period. But since then, they have added mostly backups and role players while ignoring the cornerback position despite having close to $30-million in salary cap room.
"We were very selective and precise in the way we went about free agency and then we have to develop all the guys in this building,'' Schiano said. "So there are some guys in this building are maybe not household names yet that need to improve, we need to develop as coaches and they need to play for us. Not every guy has to be a first-round pick or a high profile free agent signing. But at the end of the day, you need to add those pieces up and be able to play winning football.
"Sometimes you make the decision and don't get what you decided to get because you're not the only guy in the process.
"There are always going to be areas that need to be addressed. You could stack up Lombardi Trophies and when you evaluate the tape, you need this and you need that. As an organization, we're building a team and an organization to the vision and the kind of young men we want in here, the kind of players and people. I'm pleased we're going in the right direction. It's one step at a time and sometimes you don't get everything you want, it doesn't unfold the way you want. But I'm pleased with the direction we're headed.