Pats Land Star Cornerback
FILE - In this May 20, 2013 file photo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis, front, works with Todd Toriscelli, director of sports medicine and performance, during an optional NFL workout in Tampa, Fla. Revis is expected on the practice field when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers open training camp. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
Tampa, Fla. — Revis Island is relocating again.
Less than a year after moving from the New York Jets to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a blockbuster trade that enabled him to become the highest paid cornerback in the NFL, Darrelle Revis, the three-time All-Pro known for stranding opposing receivers in man coverage, is now with the New England Patriots.
According to multiple reports, he agreed to a one-year, $12-million deal hours after the Bucs dumped him in a cost-cutting move.
Revis fills a void created when the Patriots lost cornerback Aqib Talib to the Broncos late Monday night.
The Bucs released Revis on Wednesday after efforts to trade him and his $16 million annual salary.
“It was a tough decision. He’s a very good player,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said during a news conference introducing four of the five free agents as he and new coach Lovie Smith push forward with plans to overhaul a team that went 4-12 last season.
Cutting the 28-year-old Revis saved the Bucs a $1.5 million bonus that the five-time Pro Bowl selection would have been due if he remained on the roster. It also freed additional space under the salary cap, which the team intends to use to try to improve a roster that has several glaring weaknesses.
“We’re not trying to build slowly,” Smith added. “We were a 4-12 team. There’s a lot we have to do.”
Revis was obtained in a pre-draft trade from the New York Jets last spring, a deal orchestrated by former coach Greg Schiano and GM Mark Dominik that cost the Bucs a first-round draft in 2013, as well as a fourth-rounder this year.
If Revis had remained on Tampa Bay’s roster at 4 p.m. Wednesday, he would have been due the bonus and the 2014 pick the Bucs sent to the Jets would have become a third-rounder.
Revis was recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee when he joined the Bucs and was given a six-year, $96 million contract. Despite not being 100 percent physically, he appeared in all 16 games and was selected to play in the Pro Bowl last season, when he had two interceptions, a sack and two forced fumbles.
“Darrelle showed a lot of heart last year as he worked extremely hard to get himself back on the field following his knee injury sustained the previous season,” Licht said.