UPDATE (Wednesday, 7 p.m.)
With a $1.5 million bonus approaching, the Buccaneers cut bait with All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis on Wednesday.
And the Patriots are already taking a lead in securing the former Jets fan favorite. Daily News writer Manish Mehta reported a member of Revis’ camp said “It’s going to happen,” when asked about the Pro Bowler joining New England.
The Bucs explored trading Revis — who they signed to a six-year, $96 million deal just last summer after trading a first-round pick to the Jets — but could not get what they desired. The deal with Tampa Bay did not include any guaranteed money, so they are free of any obligations to Revis.
Revis was drafted by the Jets in 2007 out of Pittsburgh and established a reputation as the league’s top cornerback. He made He tore his ACL in 2012 and never played for the Jets again.
The big news out of Patriots camp on the first day of NFL free agency Tuesday was originally that one of their two big-name free agents - Julian Edelman - was going to hit the open market. In the closing minutes of Tuesday, New England's other big name cashed in, and he won't be playing football for the home team in Foxboro any longer.
Cornerback Aqib Talib rocked the NFL world just prior to midnight Tuesday by signing a six-year, $57 million deal with the Denver Broncos, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The Broncos literally knocked Talib and the Patriots out of the playoffs just 51 days ago as the cornerback was injured on a "pick play" and the Pats lost, 26-16.
The Patriots may very well now turn their attention to cornerback Darrelle Revis, who the Buccaneers are open to dealing or flat-out cutting. ESPN and CBS Sports have reported that if Revis is released Wednesday, the Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles would be at the front of the line for the former All-Pro's services.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS