The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just hired Lovie Smith and his Tampa 2 defense, to be their head coach. The corner backs in that system are generally not man to man specialists, like Darrelle Revis. Especially not guys you pay $16M a year, like Revis is set to make each year through 2018. The contract he signed with Tampa in 2013 had no signing bonus and no guaranteed money. So there is no cap hit if Tampa Bay trades or cuts him.
Tampa traded a 1st round pick in 2013 for Revis. The only remaining compensation from the trade is whether Tampa gives up a 3rd or 4th round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. It escalates to a 3rd round pick if Revis is on the Tampa roster on the third day of the 2014 NFL League year, which will be March 13, 2014. Remember, Tampa Bay also fired their General Manager when they fired their coach, so Lovie Smith is not tied to this deal or in need of trying to recoup that first rounder. Could Revis possibly be had for just a 4th round pick and taking his $16M salary off Tampa’s books?
If the late great Al Davis were still alive, Darrelle Revis would already be a Oakland Raider. He would have traded for him last year, there is no doubt in my mind about this. But this is not Al’s Raiders. Last year they were eating dead cap room and signing players to one year deals. Now we enter the 2014 offseason. The Raiders have what some have projected to be $70M in cap room available to spend (Tampa signed Revis with only $32.8M in cap room). Both their starting corner backs from 2013 will be unrestricted free agents in 2014. They could use a veteran mentor for their 2013 1st round pick, corner back DJ Hayden.
Darrelle Revis will be 29 at the start of the 2014 NFL Season. He will be 33 when his contract expires in 2018. The way his contract is built, you can cut him anytime without any dead money to regret later. 2014 will be his second year after his torn ACL, which is how long they say it takes you to really come back from that injury (that is for people not named Adrian Peterson).
But what will Reggie do? He’s got the cap room. He needs playmakers. He needs to energize the Raider Nation. He needs to win.