Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Losing Darrelle Revis is an Embarrassing Loss for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This time last year, there was a buzz surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and cornerback Darrelle Revis. Revis, who was a New York Jet at the time, was actively being shopped and the Bucs wanted him bad.

So bad, in fact, that the Buccaneers sent the Jets their 2013 first round pick, and a conditional 3rd or 4th round pick this year, depending on whether or not the Bucs had the star corner on their roster heading into 2014.

It seems like they won’t.

Multiple reports have surfaced that the Buccaneers are actively trying to trade Darrelle Revis after deciding that his $16M per year contract is not something that they would like to honor. If they cannot find a trade, the team will release Revis and receive no compensation from another team.

Currently, there is one clear-cut favorite trade partner, and that’s the Cleveland Browns.

Other teams are willing to let Revis hit the open market because they believe they’ll have a fair shot at signing him. The Browns, however, know that the man they call “Revis Island” wants to play for a winner. And if there’s any team more dysfunctional than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a consistent basis, it’s the Cleveland Browns.

The Oakland Raiders are also reported to have interest, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Still, knowing that the Bucs won’t have Revis on their roster either way hurts the value that the Buccaneers will receive in return. It would take a miracle for the Browns to part ways with one of their first round picks, so it is unlikely that GM Jason Licht can get something as good as that. More likely, the Bucs will have to settle for a mid-to-late round pick and take a huge loss on the investment made by former GM Mark Dominik.

Dominik created excitement for Tampa Bay by acquiring Revis last season, and was largely praised for that deal. However, he negotiated the cornerback’s contract that pays him $6M more per year than the second-highest paid corner in the NFL.

That contract has not gone over well with the Bucs’ current staff, and is the reason Revis is on the move.

But why does it have to be this way?

The answer is that it doesn’t.

The Buccaneers are not in any sort of cap trouble. They still have plenty of cap space, even after reportedly agreeing to terms with free agent DE Michael Johnson on a five-year deal. They have needs at tight end, quarterback, and all over the offensive line that need to be addressed, and the team does not need to make another hole to fill on their roster.


After Revis, the Buccaneers have 2nd-year man Johnthan Banks, and the struggling Leonard Johnson. After that, it is a crapshoot to see who makes the roster.

The belief is that the front office has a plan in place to replace Revis once he is traded or released, but there is no concrete evidence of that at this time.

When you pair all of this news with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ recent history, it all paints a sad story for a franchise trying extremely hard to get back in the good graces of their own community.

Last season, the Bucs had to deal with a MRSA outbreak, a nasty breakup with their once-crowned franchise quarterback in Josh Freeman, and the nightmare that was the Greg Schiano coaching staff. Even more recently, they’ve had to defend themselves from Mike Williams’ party house reports, and the immediately negative reaction to the teams new uniforms and enhanced logo.

The inevitable loss of Darrelle Revis spells more misfortune for the team, who’s outlook was positive going into the 2013 NFL season.

Now, in its aftermath, the Bucs are forced to pick up all of the pieces that the former regime has left them. However, they’ve made the mistake of creating a problem that they didn’t even need. They have the money to give Revis this season, they don’t have a replacement on their current roster, they won’t get adequate compensation for him, and his contract has a clause that says the Bucs can turn most of his yearly salary into a bonus without the player’s consent, saving Tampa Bay millions in cap space.

It’s a head-scratching move from a team that has made many of them over the years.

Hopefully, there will be some positives to this story as it develops. But until then, it’s a senseless move that is hurting the team’s reputation amongst its fans even more.

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Tags: Darrelle Revis Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Blake Bass

    Not if they replace him with Charles Tillman.

    • LeoTPP

      No way. Tillman is older, injured, and not even close to as good of a player.

    • Greg ‘King Saeed’ Williams

      Tillman is not in Revis or Sherman’s stratosphere!! It’s a lose lose for the Bucs…..

    • steve

      Tillman doesnt replace Revis. Revis is the best corner in the league let alone the best defensive player on the team. U dont replace ur best player, u build around him. He shuts down the whole side of the field. Adding tillman will fix the other side of the field that they have been having trouble with. The other corners arent that great so u add to that side.

  • Greg ‘King Saeed’ Williams

    Great points!!!

  • 65yt

    Well the Saints signed Byrd so THEY know whats up. If Revis is dropped i see a slightly better win record next season, but its hard to shut down Drew Brees, Cam Newton, and Matt Ryan with no Revis. And those teams know it too. Next season they will exploit that side and their top recievers.

  • 7777

    One doesn’t build upon crumbling foundations. Revis’ contract was bloated, and we overpaid for him bigtime. Say what you want about the Bucs being a “Win now” team, but that simply isn’t the truth. IMHO Getting rid of Revis is a better long term decision, as keeping him in Tampa on a bloated, overpaid contract simply delays the inevitable fact that we will be doing this same song and dance of “Will He Stay or Will He Go” every few years. Whereas releasing him here gives us back the ridiculous $16 mill we owed him, gives us back a third round pick in one of the deepest drafts in recent memory, and gets rid of the crumbling foundation that was Revis’ contract.

    • Tom Weissmann

      Very good points. This article was written, of course, before Verner was signed so he’s an adequate replacement as in he fits in better with Lovie’s style than Revis did. Verner is a playmaker getting turnovers and providing very good zone coverage. With Revis, teams would pick on Banks and Leonard because they wouldn’t throw towards him. Now with Verner, teams will test him and he’s shown that he can create turnovers frequently (tied for the most picks in the AFC and most pbu’s in the league). I’ll take Verner and his $7 million contract over Revis’ $16 million now. Plus, they’ve added three players since Revis was released who can be or become starters. A lot more good is coming out of this than originally planned and what most people are giving Lovie and Licht credit for.