Last April, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers completed a trade to land one of the top cover corners in the NFL.
Now, the Buccaneers are trying to unload him.
According to various media reports, including one by Fox Sports' Alex Marvez, the Bucs are dangling cornerback Darrelle Revis on the trade market to see if there are any takers. ESPN's Adam Schefter followed that report with word that the Bucs would release Revis mid-week if no deal materialized.
Short of a trade in the next two days, the Buccaneers are expected to release CB Darrelle Revis by 4 p.m. Wednesday, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2014
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Revis, 28 signed a six-year, $96 million deal following the trade in 2013, which is an exorbitant salary in NFL terms, but not a single dollar of it was guaranteed — which is highly unusual. It essentially breaks down like six one-year contracts worth salaries of $13 million per year, along with a roster bonus and a workout bonus every year worth $1.5 million apiece.
But that deal could be sent through the shredder if no team steps up with something in return. The chances are sparse but not zero. Revis played well following the trade and after suffering a torn ACL in 2012, but he's a man-cover corner who is considered a poor fit in Lovie Smith's and Leslie Frazier's Tampa-2 zone defense, which Smith has skirted around without actually coming out and saying it.
So if the Bucs can't get anything in return, they sent the Jets a first-round pick last year (which turned out to be Sheldon Richardson) and a fourth-rounder this year, plus $16 mil in salary for one year of Revis and a 4-12 season as Greg Schiano and GM Mark Dominik were canned. The conditional fourth-rounder would turn into a third-round pick if Revis is on the roster on the third day of the 2014 league year.
New GM Jason Licht apparently is ready to cut bait because Revis' contract will allow them — and encourages them — to do so.
All of a sudden, the cornerback market would get very interesting if Revis suddenly hit the market. This has to be bad news for Alterraun Verner and Aqib Talib, roundly thought to be the two best available options starting tomorrow. Oh, they likely still will get paid. But they might have to wait out the Revis process to play out, and it could cost them some money, depending on how it all shakes out.
And we can't even close the door on a return to the Jets, who just released Antonio Cromartie and scrubbed his $9.5 million salary from the books. A Revis return in New York? Now, that would be fascinating.
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