NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Jets have traded star cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Revis has signed a contract with the Buccaneers, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Schefter is reporting that Revis passed his physical and the Jets will receive the Bucs first round pick in 2013 and a conditional fourth round pick in 2014 that could turn into a third round pick if Revis is on the roster on the third day of the 2014 league year.
The Buccaneers announced the deal Sunday, saying Revis agreed to a new six-year contract. Revis’ agents Neil Schwartz and Jon Feinsod confirmed the deal is worth $96 million, with no guaranteed money, but makes him one of the highest-paid defensive players in the NFL. It includes $1.5 million annually in both roster and workout bonuses.
“We’re thrilled. It’s rare that you get a chance to add a player of this caliber to your football team. That’s what motivated us,” general manager Mark Dominik said, adding he would withhold further comment until a Monday news conference at the team’s training facility.
Revis arrived in Tampa on Sunday hours after a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the Jets granted their star cornerback permission to take a physical and negotiate a contract with the Buccaneers.
Revis left New Jersey Sunday morning and arrived by private jet in Tampa at about 2:30 EDT and was picked up by Bucs coach Greg Schiano at the airport.
The trade was completed about two hours after Revis arrived in Tampa by private jet to take a physical for the Bucs, who wanted to check out his surgically repaired left knee.
Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano drove his car onto the tarmac to meet the plane, greeted Revis and whisked the cornerback away to One Buccaneer Place. Soon after, the front page of the Buccaneers’ official website posted a big picture of Revis in what appears to be a Tampa Bay jersey with the words: “Treasure Island. Darrelle Revis (CB). It’s a Bucs Life.”
Trade rumors have been swirling for months involving Revis, with the Buccaneers thought all along to be the most serious suitor. New Jets general manager John Idzik expected to receive several high draft picks in any deal for Revis.
Coach Rex Ryan’s Jets currently have the ninth overall pick in the draft that starts Thursday.
The trade leaves Antonio Cromartie as the team’s top cornerback, a role he flourished in last season with Revis sidelined by a knee injury. And 2010 first-rounder Kyle Wilson mostly likely would be stepping in as the other starter.
The Jets could also target a cornerback — perhaps Alabama’s Dee Milliner or Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes — in the first round of Thursday night’s draft.
For the Bucs, adding Revis would improve a secondary that already includes cornerback Eric Wright and safeties Mark Barron and recently signed Dashon Goldson. Tampa Bay finished last in pass defense last season.
The 27-year-old Revis was entering the last season of his four-year contract signed in 2010, and was looking for a big payday that would make him one of the highest-paid defensive players in the league. A clause in that deal prevented the Jets from using the franchise or transition tag on him next year.
As the Jets weighed whether to try to sign him to a contract extension, lose him to free agency next offseason or deal him for high draft picks, Revis had been the subject of rampant trade rumors since last season ended.
Complicating things has been the fact Revis is coming off a serious injury. Revis tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last September against Miami, and underwent surgery the next month. He has been rehabbing since, and has indicated in interviews that he fully expects to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Revis reported Monday for the first day of the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program, a few hours after having an MRI exam with Dr. Russell Warren, the Giants’ team orthopedist, at a hospital in Manhattan. The exam results were positive, and ESPN reported that Revis was cleared by Warren to begin running without restrictions.
Revis and Idzik also met and had what the general manager called “a nice talk.”
Revis had been rehabilitating in Arizona, and would have preferred to return there, but was staying in New Jersey because his contract includes a clause for three $1 million bonuses that are tied together, including a workout bonus.
In an interesting twist, if a trade is made, Revis and the Jets would see each other again in Week 1 of the regular season as New York hosts Tampa Bay.
It is first significant trade pulled off by Idzik, who is reshaping New York’s roster after a 6-10 season — and this move likely wouldn’t sit well with many of the team’s fans.
Revis was New York’s first-round pick in 2007 after then-GM Mike Tannenbaum traded up to No. 14 to draft the former University of Pittsburgh star. Revis quickly established a reputation on the field as a shutdown cornerback, routinely holding wide receivers to quiet games and causing quarterbacks to shy away from his side of the field. He was considered by many to be so dominant at his position that he earned the nickname “Revis Island” for leaving opposing wide receivers “stranded.”
Now, Ryan will have to go into this season without one of the players he has called one of the best he has ever coached.
“When the first trade thing came up, I connected it to someone that clearly made it up; there was no factual basis,” Ryan said at the NFL meetings in Phoenix in March. “On the first day John Idzik is named general manager and he doesn’t even know where his office is, we’re trying to trade Darrelle? This is all speculation like it’s a foregone conclusion. I don’t believe it.
“With that, I am not naive enough to understand several people would be interest in a player like Darrelle Revis.”
“We coach the guys that we have,” new defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman said recently. “I was always taught not to get over emotional about losing a guy. In terms of Darrelle Revis (being placed on injured reserve) last year, we had to move on and we had to continue to play. They’re not going to cancel games, so our mindset is we coach who’s here.”
The Jets hoped Revis would always be here, though. After making $32.5 million in the first two years of the front-loaded deal, Revis made $7.5 million last season — far below his market value.
He considered holding out for the third time in his career before training camp last summer, but then decided to report with the rest of his teammates and play out the season. But then came the first serious injury of Revis’ career, the torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 3 that ended his season — and likely his tenure with the Jets.
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