There were a lot of moving parts to Sunday's Darrelle Revis trade – compensation, contract, physical – but only one driving motivation for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On Monday, Revis was introduced as a Buccaneer at a press conference at team headquarters, flanked by General Manager Mark Dominik on his right and Head Coach Greg Schiano on his left. Of all the questions presented to those three rather satisfied men, the one that received the most direct and plain answer was the one aimed at that motivation. Was this move, the questioner wanted to know, purely a football decision?
Dominik fielded that one, and emphatically so.
"It was all football," he said. "We didn't talk about ticket sales with Darrelle Revis at all. That wasn't the point. The point was to win games. We didn't ask how many tickets we could sell. I mean, our thought is when you win, that's what's most important and this was a football decision. That's what it was."
All three men nodded to team ownership, the Glazer family, in making it possible for one of the most dramatic and significant trades in recent NFL history to actually happen. As with the assertive dive into free agency for Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks a year ago, as with the quick strike to bring in Dashon Goldson this March, the franchise has demonstrated once again that it intends to back up the statement that both Dominik and Schiano have made repeatedly over the last 15 months: If there is a way to improve the team, for this year and the future, they will pursue it aggressively.
They have been given the go-ahead and the means to do so.
"The Glazer family has once again stepped up to help us build the best team we possibly could because we want to be back in the playoffs, be a contender and win championships," said Dominik on Monday. "We had an opportunity that arose over the last several months I would say and certainly came to fruition over the last couple of days of adding what we feel is the premier defensive player in the league at a position of much need for our football team."
Added Schiano: "I too want to recognize the Glazer family, the commitment they're making to our football team and have continued to make our football team."
The Buccaneers believe that the young talent they have amassed in the draft in recent years is rapidly maturing together, thus setting the stage for the sort of free agency and trade moves that can put such a core over the top. The Jackson and Nicks moves were of that variety, and so was the Revis trade. Dominik and Schiano studied the situation thoroughly and concluded that the necessary resources, in terms of both draft picks and carefully-cultivated cap space, could best be utilized in this trade. They took that finding to team ownership and were given the green light.
"For us with Darrelle Revis, our thought was it's an opportunity to add the elite player and a position of much need to our team," said Dominik. "To me I'd rather spend it this way and make sure that we walk out with the player we want to believe in and that we do believe in, that can be an impact starter for our football team and really change us as a defense. And this is a known commodity that we really, strongly believe in and that's why we pulled the trigger."
Revis does have star power, obviously. He's dominated NFL talk this offseason. For the last half-dozen years, few have argued that he is the NFL's most talented cornerback. He possesses one of the best and descriptive nicknames in the league. Buccaneer fans reacted in overwhelmingly positive fashion on Twitter when news of Sunday's trade broke. But this deal had nothing to do with star wattage or prior honors. It was driven by Xs and Os, and made possible by a franchise commitment to winning that goes right to the top.
"We have good players," said Schiano. "[Revis] is going to come here and join a bunch of good players and good people. We have one goal: To win championships. That's it. That's why we're here. I know he's set on that, I'm set on that and our whole organization is."