The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially cut Darrelle Revis on Wednesday and let's get this out of the way right now: The team's trade to get him last year might go down as arguably the worst deal in NFL history.
If it's not the worst it's on a short list.
The Buccaneers traded a 2013 first-round pick, which became NFL defensive player of the year Sheldon Richardson, and a 2014 fourth-round pick for only one year of Revis, who was coming off ACL surgery. Cutting him saves $16 million this year. The Buccaneers gave him the contract with that cap number, so they put themselves in that spot. It was a horrendous trade. Tampa Bay tried finding a trade for Revis, but Revis had no incentive to renegotiate his contract to facilitate a trade. So Tampa Bay just cut him.
The Buccaneers have rebounded well, signing cornerback Alterraun Verner and using the extra money on other pieces like quarterback Josh McCown and defensive end Michael Johnson. Now the question becomes, who lands Revis, one of the best players in the NFL?
The easiest answer is the highest bidder. The Browns make sense because they have a lot of cap room. The Jets make sense because they were looking at top corners like Verner, and all indications are that Revis and coach Rex Ryan would be happy to reunite. Other teams like the Patriots, who need a replacement for Aqib Talib, can't be counted out. Almost every fan base in the NFL will hope for their team to sign Revis, the game's top cornerback who is just 28 years old. The problem is that after seeing Vontae Davis get $20 million in guaranteed money and Talib get $26 million in guarantees, Revis has no reason to settle for less than that.
It's not too common to see a player of Revis' stature hit free agency in his prime. He has the ability to immediately upgrade a team's defense. But he won't come cheap.
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