When the Buccaneers released cornerback Darrelle Revis in March, they got out from under a contract slated to pay him as much as $16 million in 2014.
And as head coach Lovie Smith saw it, the call to part ways with Revis, while not a slam dunk, came down to Revis’ value relative to the budget space he would be taking, as the Bucs’ coach indicated to writer Scott Smith of the team’s website in a feature posted Tuesday.
“It was not an easy decision because Darrelle’s a great player. But he’s not the only great player in the league,” Lovie Smith said, according to Buccaneers.com. “We just felt like we needed, instead of having one great player we thought we could get three. Instead of having one real good player, we felt like we could get three real good players.”
While Smith didn’t name the players, the club was very active in free agency, with cornerback Alterraun Verner, defensive end Michael Johnson, offensive tackle Anthony Collins and quarterback Josh McCown among the additions.
Soon enough, the games will start, and we’ll see how the Bucs’ logic on Revis holds up. If, for instance, Revis significantly outplays Verner — signed one day before Revis’ departure — the Bucs will find themselves open to criticism. After all, they had Darrelle Revis on the roster, and they moved on.