A year after acquiring Darrelle Revis in a blockbuster deal with the Jets, Tampa Bay has released the Pro Bowler to free up $16 million in salary cap space and draft picks. The Bucs have already signed Alterraun Verner and are hosting Charles Tillman.
The Buccaneers made a huge splash last April in the midst of free agency by trading a first-round pick in 2013 and a conditional pick in 2014 (a third- or fourth-rounder) to the New York Jets for Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, who was coming off a torn ACL and wanted a huge contract extension that the Jets weren't prepared to offer. After another Pro Bowl campaign for Revis, in which he picked off two passes, forced two fumbles and one fumble recovery in Tampa Bay, the Bucs released Revis one year later to rid the team of the $16 million his salary cap space was occupying.
“We would like to thank Darrelle for his time and effort with our organization last year,” said Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht. “Darrelle showed a lot of heart last year as he worked extremely hard to get himself back on the field following his knee injury sustained the previous season. We have specific ideas regarding the best way to build this defense and, while you never like to lose a good player, we believe this is in the best interests of our team moving forward. Darrelle was a true professional here in Tampa Bay and we wish him continued success in his career.”
The Buccaneers made a huge splash last April in the midst of free agency
by trading a first-round pick in 2013 and a conditional pick in 2014 (a
third- or fourth-rounder) to the New York Jets for Pro Bowl cornerback
Darrelle Revis, who was coming off a torn ACL and wanted a huge contract
extension that the Jets weren't prepared to offer. After another Pro
Bowl campaign for Revis, in which he picked off two passes, forced two
fumbles and one fumble recovery in Tampa Bay, the Bucs decided to release Revis ion base salary he was scheduled to receive. The Bucs attempted to reduce his salary and trade him – with Cleveland and Oakland reportedly interested – but no deal was able to be reached.
Revis, who will turn 29 in July, was due a $16 million base salary, including $3 million in bonus money on Thursday if he was still on the roster. The Bucs
decided that was too much cap space allocated to anyone – even a five-time
Pro Bowler. Revis is getting paid just over $6 million more per year
than the second-highest paid cornerback. The team couldn’t trade
Revis, so the Bucs released him after 3:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday
to avoid paying him a $1.5 million roster bonus and a $1.5 million
workout bonus that he was due.
Parting ways with Revis also resulted in sending the Bucs’ 2014 fourth-round pick to
the New York Jets as part of the trade deal that led to his acquisition
last year, instead of a third-round pick, which would be more
beneficial to Tampa Bay. The Bucs only have five draft picks this year –
selections in the first, second, third, fifth and seventh rounds.
Making the departure of Revis, who was the Sporting News’ 2013 Comeback Player of the
Year, possible was the acquisition of Titans Pro Bowler corner Alterraun Verner. Bears
cornerback Charles Tillman, who played several years for Smith in
Chicago, in also in the mix, and is reportedly heading to Tampa Bay for a visit with the Buccaneers on Wednesday.
Facing the prospects of losing him
after the 2013 season and getting nothing in return for him, the Jets
traded Revis, who had 19 interceptions in his six-year career, to Tampa
Bay last April. After the trade, former Bucs general manager Mark Dominik signed Revis to a
six-year, $96-million deal that is really a series of six individual
deals worth $16-million.
The $16 million salary made it difficult to trade Revis because very few teams were in position to absorb
such a cap hit. The Raiders, Jaguars and Browns were really the only clubs that had the flexibility to take on Revis' massive base salary.
Revis' deal featured no guaranteed money and no signing bonus, and that creates
no dead salary cap space for the Buccaneers.
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