December 12, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
TAMPA, Fla. -- Darrelle Revis is confident he will fully recover from a major knee injury and help transform the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into a playoff team.
The three-time All-Pro cornerback acquired from the New York Jets was formally introduced Monday as the newest member of a defence that ranked last in the NFL in pass defence in 2012.
Revis said he's going to "do my best" to play up to expectations that come with a new six-year, $96 million contract and insisted during a news conference that he holds no grudges against his old team, which was reluctant to give a player coming off surgery to repair a torn knee ligament such a commitment.
"I have nothing to prove to the New York Jets," Revis said. "I have nothing to prove to anybody."
Weeks of reports about the 27-year-old's future ended Sunday when the Jets traded Revis to the Bucs in exchange for the 13th overall pick in this week's NFL draft and another selection next year.
The star cornerback also agreed to what Revis conceded is a "unique" contract that includes no guaranteed money. "The contract will take care of itself," he said. "I've just got to go out and play."
The Buccaneers not only are banking on Revis to be physically ready to open the season in September against -- yes -- the Jets, but believe he's far enough long in his recovery to reasonably expect he'll be able to get on the field for the start of training camp this summer.
"We did our due diligence," general manager Mark Dominik said, "or else we wouldn't have made a deal of this magnitude."
Revis was entering the final year of a contract that would have paid him $6 million in 2013, $10 million less than he'll receive annually with Tampa Bay. His old contract also included a clause that would have prevented the Jets from using the franchise or transition tag on him next year.
So rather than risk the chance of losing Revis as a free agent in 2014 without receiving as much compensation as the cornerback would have commanded now, the Jets decided to trade him.
Tampa Bay, which was more than $32 million under the salary cap, was thought to be the most likely suitor.
Nevertheless, talks between the Bucs GM and new Jets general manager John Idzik dragged on for a couple of months. Negotiations heated up when Tampa Bay insisted a deal be in place a minimum of a week before the start of the draft.
Revis said he met Idzik for the first time last week and that the Jets GM told him he wanted the cornerback to remain in New York.
Asked if he felt Idzik had been untruthful, Revis said: "Yeah... I felt that type of vibe."
At the same time, the seventh-year pro said he's not bitter about how his stay in New York ended. He admitted he "felt some type of way" when he learned the Jets were willing to trade him, but insisted he's not upset.
"It's over. It happens. I've got to move on. It's a new chapter in my life," Revis said. "I don't have a sour taste in my mouth. Not at all."
-- The Associated Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 23, 2013 D6