Darrelle Revis has been touted as one of the top, if not the top, cornerbacks in the NFL since he started his career in 2007.
Over the past few years though injuries, poor teams, and change of scenery have diminished his status as THE guy at cornerback, with most people handing that title over to the Seattle Seahawks Richard Sherman, who has had a history of trash talk with Revis. Last season, his first after signing a six-year $96 million year-to-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Revis recorded 50 tackles, one sack and just two interceptions.
Most likely not 100 percent after coming off a torn ACL, 2014 looks to be a bounce-back year for the all pro cornerback, but rumors have been surfacing this offseason about Tampa Bay looking to ditch the $16 million that they will owe him this season. With a new head coach in Lovie Smith, who runs the Tampa two zone defense, most believe that would be a bad fit for Revis with his man-to-man coverage skills.
San Francisco’s only weakness on the defensive side has been its secondary at
Tarrell Brown has been a solid starter, but with him hitting free agency this
offseason, it’s not a lock that he will be back with the team.
Chris Culliver tore his ACL before the season even began. He showed some promise in his rookie year in 2012, and is expected be back and contribute as a starter in 2014.
Tramaine Brock was a big surprise this season, and was rewarded with a new deal.
Carlos Rogers is a big question this offseason. Do the 49ers keep him, or do they release him, clearing his $6 million they owe him this year off the books. He’s 32, and his skills are diminishing. They have asked him to cut his pay in half, and I highly doubt he will agree to do that. If they do decide to release him, that opens a door for a run at Revis, and I think the Niners should go for it.
With two second-round picks and two third-round picks, they can pull it off if Tampa Bay really is looking to dump him. Now, with the cap space. 49ers are looking at about $14-15 million this season with the salary cap increasing to $133 million. That would be a major hit to the cap for them, but it could pay major dividends as well. Reaching the NFC Championship game three years in a row and one Super Bowl without a shutdown corner, this could put them over the hump. It would be a counter for Richard Sherman, and I can only imagine how much more effective the pass rush would be with a guy like Revis locking down receivers.
With the scenario of Rogers and Brown moving on and Revis acquired through a trade, the 49ers secondary would have Brock and Revis on the outside, with Culliver and possibly a rookie corner drafted in the first or second round as the nickel backs. That’s a major upgrade from what they have been putting out there these past few years.
Taking on that big of a contract could really cripple any plans of signing their current players to extensions. Michael Crabtree, Colin Kaepernick, and head coach Jim Harbaugh will all be looking for new deals this season. Adding Revis to the roster would really handcuff the organization and make it tough on them to negotiate with these guys, so looking at it big picture this would be a major gamble.
But on the other hand, this is the time for the 49ers to make a splash. They are right on the cusp of something big. If they roll the dice with Revis and it pays off, they have a great opportunity of bringing another Lombardi Trophy back to the Bay Area.
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