The Buccaneers have released cornerback Darrelle Revis, according to the team. Revis was set to count $16 million against Tampa Bay's salary cap and was not a fit for the Buccaneers new zone coverage scheme.
Revis was acquired by the previous regime for the 13th overall pick in last year's draft and a conditional pick this May. He was also given a six-year, $96 million contract with no guaranteed money assigned to the deal. He was coming off an ACL surgery at the time and it was unclear if he would be ready to play at a high level, one year after suffering the injury. However, Revis made the Pro Bowl after starting all 16 games for the Buccaneers and produced 50 tackles, 11 pass breakups, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
The new Buccaneers staff, led by head coach Lovie Smith, signed Alterraun Verner to a long-term deal in advance of the release of Revis. Verner will now start opposite second-year player Johnthan Banks at cornerback. The move to rid themselves of Revis' contract also means that the Buccaneers only owe the Jets a fourth-round pick (would have been a third if he had stayed on the roster by Thursday) and immediately save a boatload of cap room.
Even after making major moves with the signings of Verner, defensive end Michael Johnson, quarterback Josh McCown and tight end Brandon Myers, the Buccaneers still has plenty of cash to spend because of the Revis departure. Smith could go after former Bears players like Charles Tillman and Devin Hester.
For Revis, this will be the first time he has actually been able to test the free-agent market. While he is a more proven player than Aqib Talib, it is safe to say that the 29-year-old will likely have to settle for a contract in the range of the newest Denver Bronco, who got a six-year deal worth $57 million and $26 million in guaranteed money. His market is likely to include the Jets, Patriots, Eagles and Giants, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.