Darrelle Revis is headed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The staredown between the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the star cornerback reached its end late Sunday afternoon, with the Bucs announcing that they had acquired the former New York Jets player, signing him to a new six-year, $96 million deal with no guaranteed money, according to multiple reports. It makes him the highest-paid defensive back in NFL history.
The Jets receive the Bucs’ 13th pick in this year’s draft, as well as a conditional fourth- or third-round pick in 2014. The fourth-round pick becomes a third-round selection if Revis is part of the roster on the third day of the league year next March.
Revis said his goodbyes to his New York fans via Twitter.
I been sitting around for the last hour trying to figure out what to say to the Jet Nation & I came up with this. The six years I played for
The Bucs were granted permission to have the star cornerback visit Tampa Bay and undergo a physical on Sunday. Shortly after 2:45 p.m. ET, he was seen walking into the Bucs’ facility and didn’t exit until shortly after 5:15 p.m., following the deal’s finalization.
The Bucs are looking to fix the league’s worst pass defense from a season ago.
In recent weeks, it was widely reported that Tampa Bay would be willing to part ways with its 13th overall pick in this week’s draft. The Jets own the ninth pick, and by gaining the Bucs’ first-round pick and other selections, New York can build for the future under new general manager John Idzik.
“The standard we’ve set … will not be diminished,” Jets coach Rex Ryan told reporters late Sunday. “We believe we will have an outstanding defense this year and in the future.”
Speaking in general terms when asked about Revis last week, Bucs coach Greg Schiano said, “Whenever we can get better, we’re going to do it. I don’t care if it’s midnight … it doesn’t matter. If we can get better, if we have an opportunity to get better, we’re going to do it.”
Revis, a six-year veteran who has appeared in the Pro Bowl four times, has 294 tackles and 19 interceptions in his career. He is generally regarded as the best cornerback in the NFL, but he sustained a season-ending torn ACL in his left knee during a Week 3 victory over the Miami Dolphins last season that created some doubt about his future.
Revis was entering the final season of a four-year deal signed in 2010. A clause in his contract prevented the Jets from using the franchise tag on him and Jets owner Woody Johnson reportedly showed little interest in giving the cornerback another rich deal. Revis made $32.5 million the first two years of his front-loaded contract but only $7.5 million last season.
Revis had wanted to stay in Arizona this month to continue his rehab, but the Jets told him he’d forfeit $3 million in bonus money if he was absent for more than 20 percent of offseason workouts, as stated in his contract. He reported last Monday to the Jets’ facility in Florham Park, N.J., and he was cleared to run without restrictions after an MRI.
Revis, 27, could make an immediate impact for Tampa Bay in a retooled secondary. The Bucs finished last in pass defense a season ago by surrendering an average of 297.4 yards per game. The Bucs added safety Dashon Goldson, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers, in March, signing the free agent to a five-year, $41.25 million deal. Revis and Goldson join second-year safety Mark Barron, the seventh overall pick in 2012 who had 89 tackles and one interception as a rookie last season.
The season’s opening week will provide plenty of intrigue. The Bucs and Jets are scheduled to play in Week 1 at MetLife Stadium.
“We wanted to come up with a decision best for the New York Jets,” Johnson told reporters late Sunday. “That’s the decision we arrived at. I think it was the correct one.”