grimes2

Yes…maybe.

Early this morning the purveyors of speculation over at PFT relayed the Darrelle Revis chatter their ears heard during the first full day at the league meetings. And the word isn’t good if you’re hoping for this madness to mercifully end.

According to Mike Florio, the strong belief bouncing around is that the Buccaneers — the leading and possibly only trading partner for the Jets in a Revis deal — are close to moving on. Why? Mostly this

The belief is that the Jets want a package headlined by a first-round pick, and that the Buccaneers are willing to part with, at most, a 2014 first-round selection.

The Bucs desperately need secondary help after they fielded the league’s worst passing defense this past season, a unit that gave up an average of 297.4 yards per game, and rather incredibly, 7.9 yards per pass attempt. They made a significant stride in free agency by signing Dashon Goldson, but there’s still the matter of cornerback, and finding someone to replace Eric Wright. The Bucs signed Wright a year ago, but he’s since been suspended for four games, which wipes out all the guaranteed money in his contract. That makes his release inevitable if he won’t agree to a restructured deal, because paying him the $7.75 million he’s due in base salary simply won’t happen.

But their desperation isn’t enough to meet a lofty asking price for Revis, or at least not this year. General manager Mark Dominick is evidently quite comfortable in his current perch in the No. 13 slot during the first round of the draft on April 25, which is a factor. But the greater driver behind his Revis hesitancy is the presence of Brent Grimes on the open market, who was one of our top 10 remaining free agents. As Florio also notes, the Bucs and Grimes are talking, though he’s receiving interest from the Browns and Dolphins too.

In terms of their appeal right now as potential acquisitions, Grimes is ahead of Revis, even though Revis is clearly the far more talented player when healthy. But he’s not healthy, or at least not fully, and neither is Grimes. Both cornerbacks suffered the same season-ending injury early in 2012 (torn ACL), and therefore they’re both deep in a recovery period right now. The difference is that Grimes’ injury provides an opportunity for a possible discount which lowers risk, while Revis’ price remains exceedingly high despite his shredded knee.

As long as Grimes lingers on the market, he drains the Jets of their leverage.