The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Lovie Smith would be fools to release Darrelle Revis

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Revis remains the best cornerback in the NFL.

Rumors surfaced Thursday that new Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith will look to release standout cornerback Darrelle Revis this offseason.

By clipping the 28-year-old Revis, who was traded from the New York Jets to Tampa Bay for the 13th overall pick in last April’s draft, the Bucs could save $16 million in both cash and cap space.

Plus, Revis thrives in man-to-man coverage and Smith prefers zone schemes.

Smith should learn from the mistakes of axed leader Greg Schiano and use Revis appropriately.

Tampa Bay (4-12) was far more competitive once Schiano finally began placing Revis in man, rather than zone, alignments in early November.

A three-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler, Revis provides blanket coverage in the secondary and can prevent an offense from functioning properly.

Schiano prematurely extinguished football in the “Cigar City” by misusing Revis for in excess of two months.

Although no money is guaranteed, Revis signed a six-year contract worth $96 million and could have helped Tampa Bay reach the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.

Instead, the Bucs fielded the league’s 21st ranked defense and finished sitting in the basement of the NFC South with Atlanta.

The 2009 AFC Defensive Player of the Year only recorded two interceptions and 43 tackles over 16 contests.

Revis’ numbers and performances looked pedestrian because Schiano proved to be completely rudderless.

Accordingly, for the betterment of the Buccaneers, Lovie Smith needs to be the exact opposite of Greg Schiano and lineup Darrelle Revis to succeed next autumn.

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