Sunday, March 9, 2014
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets appear on the verge of parting ways.
A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Sunday that the Jets granted Revis permission to take a physical and negotiate a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, signaling a trade is imminent.
Revis left New Jersey on Sunday morning to fly to Tampa, the source told the AP on condition of anonymity because the teams have not spoken publicly about the potential deal. Revis, recovering from a torn knee ligament, is expected to take a physical after he arrives at the Buccaneers' facility.
Trade rumors have been swirling for months involving Revis, with the Buccaneers thought all along to be the most serious potential suitor. New Jets general manager John Idzik is expected to want 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, while the Buccaneers have the No. 13 pick - a selection that could potentially be included for Revis.
It was not clear if the sides have already agreed to compensation for a trade, but the fact the Jets have allowed Revis to meet with the Buccaneers means they could have the framework of a deal in place. A trade would leave Antonio Cromartie as the team's top cornerback, a role he flourished in last season in Revis' place, with 2010 first-rounder Kyle Wilson 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.
For the Bucs, adding Revis would improve a secondary that already includes cornerback Eric Wright and safeties Mark Barron and recently signed Dashon Goldson but finished last in pass defense last season.
The 27-year-old Revis is entering the last season of his four-year contract signed in 2010, but is looking for a big payday that would make him one of the highest-paid defensive players in the league. A clause in that deal prevents the Jets from using the franchise or transition tag on him next year, so if he remains unsigned, he would become a free agent in 2014.
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 has 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 New York 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.
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