The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed off on one of the most significant trades in franchise history Sunday, reaching agreement with the New York Jets on a deal for four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Revis joins head coach Jon Gruden and wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson as the key figures in blockbuster trades made by the Bucs.
Here is a closer look at those trades.
WHEN: April 12, 2000
THE DEAL: Armed with a suffocating defense and a struggling attack, the Bucs traded a pair of first-round draft picks to the Jets to acquire Johnson, who averaged 76 catches and eight touchdowns in his four years with New York. Johnson, the first overall choice in the 1996 draft, signed an eight-year extension with Tampa Bay worth $56 million, making him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL.
THE IMPACT: Johnson earned a Pro Bowl berth in 2001 and made 57 starts in his four years with the Bucs, helping the 2002 club to a Super Bowl win. He finished with 298 receptions and 17 touchdowns as a Buccaneer, adding 23 catches for 375 yards and a touchdown in five playoff games.
Things ended poorly as repeated clashes between Johnson and coach Jon Gruden prompted the Bucs to deactivate Johnson for the final seven games of the 2003 season. He was traded the following spring to Dallas, where he was reunited with coach Bill Parcells.
***** WHEN: Feb. 18, 2002
THE DEAL: The Bucs yielded $8 million and four draft choices to the Oakland Raiders, including a pair of first-round picks, to pry Gruden out of the final year of his contract.
THE IMPACT: The Glazer family ended a prolonged search for Tony Dungy’s replacement by acquiring Gruden, who had averaged 10 wins in his four seasons on the Oakland sidelines.
“We were determined not to let outside pressures derail us from our goal to find the best person to coach the Buccaneers,’’ co-chairman Bryan Glazer said. “That person is Jon Gruden, the finest young mind in the game.’’
With no time to hire a staff, Gruden quickly went to work, challenging Tampa Bay’s stellar defense while bringing in several new starters to revitalize a drab offense. The result was a 12-4 record and a dominating march through the postseason, capped by a 48-21 Super Bowl XXXVII victory against Gruden’s old team, the Raiders.
Oakland general manager Bruce Allen joined forces with Gruden again in Tampa in 2004, but the lack of premium draft picks and some poor personnel decisions eventually led to Gruden’s dismissal after the 2008 season. Now an ESPN analyst for “Monday Night Football,’’ Gruden won three division titles in his seven years with the Bucs, finishing with a 57-55 record.