Mark Dominik Holds All The CardsApril 8th, 2013
Joe hasn’t seen Bucs fans this outraged since Raheem Morris was a Bucs head coach.
As days have flown off the calendar since the free agency dinner bell ran a month ago, Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik has been playing a formidable game of poker. He hasn’t succumbed to the wails of Bucs fans who are beating very loud drums for him to sign anyone with a pulse not named “Myron,” no matter how much this player is a cripple, to help fill the Bucs’ historically rotten cornerback position.
It’s almost as if, in Bucs fans’ eyes, Dominik never signed Dashon Goldson.
The fervor has reached a point where Bucs fans have resorted to throwing rocks at postmen who deliver any sort of mail from One Buc Palace until Dominik signs at least a human lawn chair to play corner.
In many regards, this is a ploy to keep the price down on acquiring Jets corner Darrelle Revis. Rich Cimini of BSPN New York believes Dominik has played this game of high stakes poker beautifully, having boxed in Jets general manager John Idzik.
Quiet before the storm: Things are eerily quiet on the Darrelle Revis trade front, but don’t take that to mean a potential trade is dead. The draft is 18 days away, meaning John Idzik has two weeks to make perhaps the biggest decision he’ll ever render from the GM chair — keep him or trade him. If it’s the latter, the wheels will have to be put into motion a day or two before the draft, giving the other team a chance to examine his surgically repaired knee. But here’s the problem for the Jets: Only one serious suitor (the Bucs) has emerged. The 49ers, rumored as a possible suitor, signed CB Nnamdi Asomugha last week, albeit a modest deal.
Without a bidding war, the Jets will be hard-pressed to extract anything close to equal-value compensation. Why would the Bucs bid against themselves? Idzik could walk away, wait until Revis is healthy and try again before the Week 8 trading deadline, but that’s risky. By then, the Bucs probably will have addressed their cornerback need, perhaps with a first-round pick. From all indications, Idzik’s rebuilding plan is centered on acquiring as many draft picks as possible. His best and only bargaining chip is Revis. Would he sell off a pre-owned Cadillac for the price of a Chevy? The clock is ticking. All eyes are on the new GM, whose tenure in New York could be defined by this moment.
This is what Joe has been writing for days: First, Dominik has a backup plan; two actually. One is Eric Wright. No, he may not be a hobbled Revis but he certainly isn’t Myron Lewis, either.
Second, Dominik can pull a Bill Walsh, who drafted three defensive backs in the Niners’ first four picks of the 1981 draft, started all three and won a Super Bowl. Yeah, it helped one cornerback was named Ronnie Lott (coincidentally, the other starting rookie corner for the Niners that year was a cat named, wait for it, Eric Wright.)
Or, there is actually a third option: Keep Wright and draft a corner in the first round.
Joe listened recently to Gil Brandt and Alex Marvez, co-hosts of “Late Hits,” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, and Brandt was of the belief that the Bucs could wrangle Revis from the Jets for a pair of second round picks. This seems to reinforce what Cimini wrote in the article linked above, in that Idzik, Cimini writes, is trying to stockpile draft picks.
Either way, Idzik has zero leverage on Dominik.