Less than one full year after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded for All-Pro corner Darrelle Revis, he has been released by the team, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Bucs releasing Darrelle Revis. Official.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2014
The Buccaneers new front office, led by Jason Licht and Lovie Smith, saw Darrelle Revis’ $16 million dollar cap figure as too much to spend, regardless of scheme or ability, and tried to trade him away but couldn’t find another NFL team willing to take on Revis’ salary.
So despite Revis’ stature as the best corner in the NFL, and despite his team-friendly contract that included no guarantees, the Bucs decided to move on and rebuild the team around a different set of players on defense, and let go of the superstar corner.
The Buccaneers timed the release just right to receive the full benefit of letting go of a player of Revis’ caliber. They will not pay any dead money against the cap, and will send a fourth-round pick to the New York Jets rather than a third-rounder had Revis been on the roster.
So the Buccaneers gained $16 million in cap space, but lost one of the best defensive players of our football generation. They’ve also lost a first and fourth round pick that were sent to New York for his services, and they gain nothing in return.
The Bucs won’t even receive a compensatory draft pick, as released players don’t count toward receiving those selections.
It’s disappointing and sad to see the Buccaneers let go of such an incredible player, but if the money was that big of an issue, and the player was unwilling to re-negotiate (and let’s face the facts, he was), they were left with few other choices.
So while many (including myself) disagree with the methods, the result is that the Bucs are heading in a different direction, opting for cheaper contracts with players in their prime to build up a more well-rounded defense.