Revis deal in the works: Jets CB to take physical in Tampa
The Bucs appear close to completing a trade for Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.
The Jets have allowed Revis to take a physical for the Bucs in Tampa today, according to multiple reports. He was scheduled to arrive in Tampa around 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The teams have reached an agreement in principle on compensation, although terms have not been disclosed.
Revis, who is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in Week 3 against the Dolphins in 2012, was examined last week by Giants team doctor Russell Warren, who performed his surgery, and told he can run without restriction.
If Revis passes the physical as expected, the Bucs will begin negotiating with his agents to try and reach a long-term agreement on a contract that is expected to pay him about $15-million per season.
A deal could be reached sometime Sunday and Revis will likely be introduced in a news conference Monday.
As of last week, the Bucs were $32.8-million under the salary cap, second only to the Cleveland Browns ($33.6-million).
The framework of an agreement with the Jets already is in place. The Bucs have indicated they are willing to trade the 13th overall pick in the NFL draft which begins Thursday and perhaps another pick. But they have balked at the Jets reported demands of a three draft choices for Revis, including third- and fifth-round selections either this year or in 2014.
A year ago, the Bucs had the worst pass defense in the NFL and were just shy 38 yards shy of allowing the most yards through the air in league history. Tampa Bay has done little to addrees their cornerback position. Ronde Barber has not decided whether to return for a 17th season. Eric Wright, who was suspended four games last season, signed a 1-year, restructured contract.
The risk for the Bucs is whether Revis can return to the form that made him the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.
Bucs coach Greg Schiano prefers to play a lot of pressure, man-to-man coverage with a single safety. Revis' ability to lock down the best receivers in the game is well-regarded, so much so that his spot on the field is known as Revis Island.
Since his rookie season in 2007, Revis has defended 98 passes, the second most of any player during that stretch and he did it only 79 games.
“Any coach would tell you if you can take away the No. 1 receiver on a football team, it's going to make your job easier as a defense,’’ Schiano said recently. “Sure, they'll go to two, three or four (receivers), but (there is a) No. 1 for a reason.
"Each game you look at independently and the match ups that are in that game. The skill level is so close in this league, that one or two key match ups are usually the determining factor in the game.’’
Former Jets and Browns head coach Eric Mangini, who drafted Revis out of Pittsburgh in 2007, said the trade makes sense for the Bucs.
"I think for Tampa Bay it makes a lot of sense,'' Mangini said. "Last year they tried to improve their secondary, they signed Eric Wright...it didn't work out as well as they hoped. And now they go and get a guy like Darrelle Revis who's in the best part of his career, the best years of his career. I know he's coming off an injury, but so was Adrian Peterson and so was Peyton Manning last year. They've added Dashon Goldson. That secondary is exciting at this point. You've got Mark Barron, Deshon Goldson, you have Darrelle Revis if he goes there, you've got Eric Wright in that division, where you have to have a really good secondary because of the type of passing they do.''
The Jets would own the ninth and 13th overal picks in the draft. But the trade is not expected to be popular in New York or in the Jets locker room.
"It sucks. That’s my reaction: It sucks,” Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie told New York Daily News. “Losing a guy like that just sucks. A leader in the locker room, a leader in the classroom, a leader on the field. A great playmaker on the field. It just sucks losing a guy like that.”
“I’m surprised really, to tell you the truth,” Cromartie added. “I’m surprised more so than anything.”
ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported that Revis was visting Tampa today for a physical.