1) Getting rid of (one of) the best corner(s) in the NFL having traded a 1st and a conditional 3rd to get him less than 12 months earlier.
2) Hoping to trade the guy and announcing to the world that the other alternative was to cut him.
3) Signing Alterraun Verner, (arguably) the best corner in this year's free agent class, for more than $6M per and guaranteeing the rest of the NFL that the "cut" threat was no boast.
4) Washing out their existing cap space on Day 1 and lining up a bevy of players at need positions for visits on Day 2, including Charles Tillman (yet another starting-caliber corner).
The Naive Opinion:
These jokers telegraphed their move. If they had any chance of actually trading Revis, which I'm not sure they should, they've ruined their chances. By going public with their desire to trade him, and more importantly, their commitment to cut him in the 24th hour of the league season, they've fitted their own coffins.
What team, in their right mind, is going to trade for a guy who will most likely hit the open market in 24 hours?
Worse than telegraphing their move, they removed the remotest possibility that they were bluffing. They blanched out their entire cap in the first 8 hours of open market and lined up enough guys for Day 2 that they couldn't possibly be bluffing about cutting Revis if the trade option fell through.
What team, in their right mind, is going to trade for a guy who is guaranteed to hit the open market in 12 hours?
The Seven Truths:
1) Jason Licht and Lovie Smith knew some time ago that they had some serious work to do to reform this roster.
2) The front office and staff knew they couldn't afford to revamp their roster and keep Darrelle Revis around soaking up better than 10% of the cap.
3) The organization spent a 1st and a 4th to get Revis, it'd be a real shame not to get something in return other than 16 games of limited action.
4) Whether they kept Revis or attempted to trade him, it was beneficial to get him to restructure.
5) The best case scenario for finding a trade partner and deriving value from the trade was to have more than one suitor.
6) If they had to revamp the roster, needed Revis off their cap to do it, and needed more than one suitor, they needed a time constraint, a pressure bulkhead, an ultimatum.
7) The Revis trade (the one that brought him to Tampa) wasn't their idea.
The Bottom Line:
A good bit of work was needed (or desired) on this roster. They couldn't do it with Revis at his current figure. If he restructures, maybe you keep him. If he restructures, certainly he's easier to trade. If faced with the specter of the open market, and not making his $16M anyway, perhaps he remits a little rather than losing it all. If faced with an open market bidding war, perhaps the non-Denvers and not-New Englands pony up some picks to keep the commodity off the market.
The only mistake Licht and Lovie could make, was thinking of Revis as something they "needed". The previous regime thought that, and they are now unemployed. The 1st and the 4th aren't coming back. The 3rd and the $16M are still available to help this team.
What this whole thing boiled down to was whether Darrelle Revis was worth trading a 3rd for a 4th and forfeiting more than 10% of cap space.
Source: The Naive Opinion and the Bottom Line