Last Modified: Sunday, April 21, 2013 11:45 AM
NEW YORK (AP) — Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets appear on the verge of parting ways.
A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Sunday that the Jets granted Revis permission to take a physical and negotiate a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, signaling a trade is imminent.
Revis was leaving New Jersey on Sunday morning to fly to Tampa, the source told the AP on condition of anonymity because the teams have not spoken publicly about the potential deal. Revis, recovering from a torn knee ligament, is expected to take a physical after he arrives at the Buccaneers' facility.
Trade rumors have been swirling for months involving Revis, with the Buccaneers thought to be the most serious potential suitor. It is believed new Jets general manager John Idzik will expect several high draft picks in any deal for Revis.
Rex Ryan's Jets currently have the ninth overall pick in the draft that starts Thursday, while the Buccaneers have the No. 13 pick — a selection that could potentially be included in a deal for Revis.
It was not clear if the sides have already agreed to compensation for a trade, but the fact the Jets have allowed Revis to meet with the Buccaneers means they could be close.
The 27-year-old Revis is entering the last season of his four-year contract signed in 2010, but is looking for a big payday that would make him one of the highest-paid defensive players in the league. A clause in that deal prevents the Jets from using the franchise or transition tag on him next year, so if he remains unsigned, he would become a free agent in 2014.
As the Jets weighed whether to try to sign him to a contract extension, lose him to free agency next offseason or deal him for high draft picks, Revis has been the subject of rampant trade rumors since last season ended.
Revis reported to the team's facility Monday for the first day of the Jets' voluntary offseason conditioning program, and has met with Idzik since.
In an interesting twist, if a trade is made, Revis and the Jets would see each other again in Week 1 of the regular season as New York hosts Tampa Bay.
It would also be the first significant trade pulled off by Idzik, who is reshaping New York's roster after a 6-10 season — and this move likely wouldn't sit well with many of the team's fans.
Revis was New York's first-round pick in 2007 after then-GM Mike Tannenbaum traded up to No. 14 to draft the former University of Pittsburgh star. Revis quickly established a reputation on the field as a shutdown cornerback, routinely holding wide receivers to quiet games and causing quarterbacks to shy away from his side of the field. He was considered by many to be so dominant at his position that he earned the nickname "Revis Island" for leaving opposing wide receivers stranded.
Now, Ryan might have to go into this season without one of the players he has called one of the best he has ever coached.