Updated: March 12, 2014, 5:48 PM ET
ESPN.com news services
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have parted ways with cornerback Darrelle Revis, releasing the five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Wednesday after being unable to trade him and his $16 million salary.
The move saved the Bucs a $1.5 million bonus that Revis 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 continue an overhaul of the roster under new coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht.
Revis was obtained in a pre-draft trade from the New York Jets last spring, a deal that cost the Bucs a first-round pick in 2013 and a fourth-rounder this year. If Revis had remained on Tampa Bay’s roster at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, he would have been due the bonus, and the 2014 pick the Bucs sent to the Jets would have become a third-rounder.
The Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders had talked to Tampa Bay about a possible trade for Revis, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, confirming multiple reports.
“We would like to thank Darrelle for his time and effort with our organization last year,” Licht said in a statement. “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.
“We have specific ideas regarding the best way to build this defense and, while you never like to lose a good player, we believe this is in the best interests of our team moving forward. Darrelle was a true professional here in Tampa Bay and we wish him continued success in his career.”
Revis was recovering from a torn ACL 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, where he had two interceptions, a sack and two forced fumbles. Revis had 50 tackles, two interceptions and 11 passes defended in his one season with Tampa Bay.
The two-time All-Pro’s release came less than an hour after the Bucs confirmed Josh McCown had agreed to terms on a two-year contract, a move that reunites the free-agent quarterback with Smith.
Smith and Licht were hired in January and are using free agency to reshape the roster.
In addition to signing McCown, the Bucs have landed defensive end Michael Johnson, cornerback Alterraun Verner, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and tight end Brandon Myers. Those four players signed on Tuesday, the first day this offseason that a team could complete free-agent deals.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.