The reported hiring of Lovie Smith by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has led to immediate speculation about the future of cornerback Darrelle Revis with the team. However, there are two critical issues to recognize.
First, of the $16 million that Revis is owed each season over the next five years, $3 million is tied to the offseason. According to the contract, Revis receives $1.5 million on the third day of the league year each season (that will be March 14 this year) and receives another $1.5 million for participating in the offseason workout program.
In addition, the Buccaneers already have it written into the contract that they can convert any or all of the remaining $13 million in base salary to signing bonus in order to reduce Revis’ cap number and spread the cost of his contract over the remaining years.
If the Bucs are going to make a move to get rid of Revis, they will have to do it early and would do it despite having the ability to easily reduce his contract by a significant amount in the short-term.
Second, and perhaps just as important from a psychological standpoint, the move to trade for Revis last offseason was done with the Glazer family fully on board, multiple sources have said repeatedly. The move was not simply done at the behest of former coach Greg Schiano and General Manager Mark Dominik, who were fired Monday.
In other words, even if Smith believes he doesn’t need Revis, he will have to prove to ownership why it’s a good idea to dump a player after one season when the team just traded a first-round pick and a third-round pick for the player less than a year ago.
That’s to say nothing of the idea that Smith may view Revis the same way many other teams view him … as the best cornerback in football right now.
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