TAMPA — As expected, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, the team announced.
The move came after the team exhausted attempts to restructure Revis’ $16-million per year contract or trade him.
Speculation Wednesday suggested several teams expressed interest in trading for Revis, but no deal materialized.
Revis becomes an unrestricted free agent, able to sign a new contract with any team.
The Bucs automatically save $16 million on the salary cap by cutting Revis, who was slated to receive a $13.5-million salary in 2014.
“We would like to thank Darrelle for his time and effort with our organization last year,” Buccaneers general manager Jason 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.”
The Bucs were prepared for Revis’ departure after signing free-agent cornerback Alterraun Verner, a 2013 Pro Bowler, on Tuesday.
The timing of the move means the Bucs will give their 2014 fourth-round draft pick to the Jets to complete the trade that brought Revis to Tampa last year. That deal, in which the Bucs also gave up their 2013 first-round draft pick, called for Tampa Bay to surrender a third-round pick to the Jets if Revis were still on the roster past 4 p.m. Wednesday.