Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs begin offseason conditioning; Revis trade no closer

TAMPA — Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis was cleared to run without restrictions after tests of his surgically repaired left knee Monday showed his recovery is ahead of schedule.

The Bucs might have to remain on a treadmill a little longer, however.

Tampa Bay's effort to trade for Revis was at a standstill amid reports the Jets have put talks involving their star player on hold. Though coach Greg Schiano would not specifically address the team's pursuit of Revis as the Bucs opened their offseason conditioning program Monday, he made it clear the Bucs are open for business when it comes to trading for players, even "if it's midnight."

"Whenever we can get better, we're going to do it. I don't care if it's midnight or … it doesn't matter," he said.

The Bucs, who had the NFL's worst pass defense last season, have done little this offseason to address their need at cornerback.

Ronde Barber has an opportunity to return to the team for a 17th season but has not told the Bucs of a decision. Tampa Bay last week restructured the contract of Eric Wright, who was suspended for four games in 2012 for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs (he said he took Adderall) and had his guaranteed $7.75 million salary voided. He signed a one-year deal with a base salary of $1.5 million and another $1.5 million in incentives.

The Bucs are expected to address the cornerback position in the draft April 25-27, but their focus has been on trading for Revis, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

Revis told the New York Daily News, "I'm all good," after arriving for tests Monday morning at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

The Jets have insisted Revis attend 80 percent of their offseason workout program, which began Monday, or forfeit $3 million in bonuses, according to the terms of his contract. He had hoped to continue his rehabilitation in Arizona.

The Bucs signed 49ers Pro Bowl safety Dashon Goldson to a five-year, $41.25 million contract last month at the start of the free agent signing period. Since then, they have added mostly backups and role players while ignoring cornerbacks despite having close to $30 million in salary cap room.

"We were very selective and precise in the way we went about free agency, and then we have to develop all the guys in this building," Schiano said. "So there are some guys in this building that are maybe not household names yet that need to improve, we need to develop as coaches, and they need to play for us. Not every guy has to be a first-round pick or a high-profile free agent signing."

The Bucs believe they are the only team willing to offer the Jets a package of high draft choices for Revis, including the No. 13 overall selection in this year's draft, and offer him a multiyear extension.

But ESPN reported Monday the Jets put trade talks involving Revis on hold.

Schiano said the Bucs have not accomplished all they wanted to do entering the offseason but said he was pleased with the progress of the team.

Rick Stroud can be reached at [email protected] and heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620.

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