The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won't cut Darrelle Revis, if Ian Rapoport can be believed. In fact, it seems Lovie Smith is very happy to have Darrelle Revis on his team.
There were questions about how Lovie Smith would use Darrelle Revis. I’m told he has big plans for Revis. Absolutely has a future in TB— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2014
This shouldn't shock anyone. As we wrote before, no coach in the NFL runs the Tampa 2 on a majority of snaps, and both the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings used plenty of man coverage and single-high safety calls under Lovie Smith and Leslie Frazier, respectively. In fact, Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings thrived as man coverage cornerbacks under Smith in Chicago, with Tillman even shutting down Calvin Johnson on a couple of occasions.
That said, that doesn't mean Revis will necessarily be worth his $16 million salary. While Smith and Frazier definitely won't play Tampa 2 on a majority of snaps, that will likely still be the basis of their defense to some extent. More importantly, I've yet to see any coach other than Rex Ryan use Darrelle Revis to shut down one receiver, while rolling safety help to the other side of the field. That doesn't mean Smith and Frazier won't -- but they didn't give up two picks and $16 million for Revis, and they could simply decide to plug him into their system instead.
That's not what the phrase "big plans" suggests, though. I'm a little skeptical that we'll see Revis return to the role of being a true shutdown corner, but whatever they decide to do, though, history suggests the Bucs will have an outstanding defense next year. I think we can safely lay to rest the speculation that the best cornerback in football be cut this offseason.