In a matter of just over a month, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary has transformed from a sieve into, well, something with far less holes.
The Bucs showed promise in 2012, but it all came on one side of the ball.
Quarterback Josh Freeman had the type of season many were expecting a year earlier, throwing for 4,065 yards, 27 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams proved to be a dangerous wide receiver duo. Doug Martin instantly established himself as one of the best running backs in the game, tallying nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns.
However, despite one of the most explosive offenses in the league, Tampa Bay fell to 7-9 on the ineptness of its defense.
It ranked 28th in the NFL in opponent completion percentage, 29th in yards per pass allowed and dead last in total passing yards allowed. Quarterbacks had a QB rating of 93.5 against them, meaning they pretty much made everyone look nearly as good as Drew Brees.
Additionally, as Numbers Never Lie points out, wide receivers were doing much of the damage:
With Ronde Barber hitting social security and Aqib Talib long gone, it was clear the Bucs' No. 1—and Nos. 2, 3 and 4—priority in the offseason was going to be improving the secondary.
In March, they signed Dashon Goldson, who had three interceptions, 10 pass deflections and two fumble recoveries last season en route to his second Pro Bowl selection. He will bring Tampa Bay a much-needed physical presence at the back of its defense.
I'll just add to that last one: Nada. Zilch. Goose egg.
Revis certainly comes to Tampa Bay with plenty of injury risk, as he is just seven months removed from tearing his ACL.
He is expected to be ready to go for the start of the season, but not everyone has the machine-like qualities of Adrian Peterson. Some take longer to return to their pre-injury form.
However, with a contract as groundbreaking as this one—massive, but with no guaranteed money—the incentive for Revis should be enough to help him more hastily return to being the unquestioned best lockdown corner in the league.
But not only did the Bucs add a top safety and an elite cornerback, they did so without completely handicapping themselves in the draft (via Schefter):
The Buccaneers secondary looked like one of the worst in the NFL just over a month ago. After Sunday's trade, and with the draft just four days away, it looks like a legitimate strength.
That's what you call efficient work from the front office.