Lovie Smith’s hiring could end Revis experiment

That's the headline from an article Mike Florio just published a couple of hours ago, and he makes an interesting point:

Lovie Smith runs the "Tampa two" defense, and Revis, "who reportedly didn't like being used in zone coverage this past season, doesn't fit the traditional duties of a cornerback in the Tampa Two."

This opens the door for some further speculation. If the Bucs cut Revis now, their compensation to the Jets drops from a 3rd round pick to a 4th round pick. Normally, a front office/coaching staff would face intense criticism for cutting a player after only one year after giving up so much to get him. However, there are two mitigating circumstances to consider.

First, given Revis' unusual contract structure, the Bucs could cut him at any time and clear $16 million from their cap with no 'dead money.' Secondly, Lovie Smith wasn't part of the decision process to bring Revis in, and therefore has no need to justify the decision by keeping him on the roster if the head coach doesn't believe that Revis has has a long term future in Tampa.

While it's completely speculative, it's certainly possible that Revis could be released before the draft.

Let's look at it from the point of view of the player: Revis and his camp will learn a valuable lesson — for years he chased the $16 million per season mark set by Nnamdi Asomugha, despite the fact that it was given under extreme circumstances (one, it was the Raiders, two, he had already been franchised) only to see it evaporate before his eyes after only one season.

When the Jets wouldn’t give it to him, the only way he could find it was to take it with zero guarantees, and behold, after a coaching change he could see his precious $16M annual contract put into the shredder with not another penny coming his way.

Along with noticing the decline in salary for top corners, Revis likely saw that the grass, in fact, was not greener in Tampa. The first half of the season consisted of compiling losses amid one of the league’s most embattled quarterback controversies. And what of the defensive side of the ball? No longer with a coach he loved playing for, he found himself under a zone-calling disciplinarian for one year who just got replaced by a guy whose preferred defensive system has little need for a corner with elite man-coverage skills. Though Revis famously attested that he’d rather have the $16 million than the $12 the Jets were reportedly set to offer him, what if he can’t find anyone willing to pay him more than $12 million for 2014 and beyond? It's certainly not difficult to believe that time and circumstances could have a softening effect on some of Revis' demands.

What if the Jets were still willing to offer him $12 million?

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