TAMPA, Fla. -- In the final analysis, the trade for cornerback Darrelle Revis has to go down as one of the worst moves in the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a franchise with a long history of bad moves.
Revis was released Wednesday afternoon as the Bucs freed up $16 million by parting ways with a shutdown cornerback who wasn’t going to fit in a Cover 2 scheme. That comes less than a year after the Bucs gave up a first-round pick in last year’s draft and a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft to get Revis. Immediately after making the trade, the Bucs turned around and made Revis the highest-paid player in franchise history.
But Revis ended up having very little impact on this franchise. He wasn’t horrible, but Revis’ time with the Bucs was far from memorable. He began last season playing more Cover 2 than man-to-man coverage. As time went on, Revis and the Bucs admitted he wasn’t 100 percent healthy after knee surgery, and that’s why the team used him in zone defenses.
Revis’ fate was sealed when Lovie Smith, who has made a living coaching the Cover 2, was hired to coach the Buccaneers.
“We would like to thank Darrelle for his time and effort with our organization last year,” Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said. “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.”
Licht is right that Revis was a true professional. He went about his business and played well within the framework of Tampa Bay’s defense.
But Revis never did anything special -- except cost the Bucs $16 million.