Since Lovie Smith took over as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there has been speculation about the future of star CB Darrelle Revis, who the team acquired in a trade with the New York Jets prior to the 2013 season. With trade rumors once again swirling around the perennial All-Pro, it’s quite possible that the New England Patriots could be one team to step up and acquire their former rival, and they should according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.
It obviously makes good football sense to pry Revis — widely regarded as the top cornerback of his generation — away from the Buccaneers in a blockbuster trade. Revis, who will be 29 this summer, is likely the difference between another loss in the AFC Championship game and an appearance in the Super Bowl.
He also makes more financial sense than re-signing Talib, who is primed to cash in and doesn’t seem much interested in giving the Patriots a hometown discount.
The one issue that has been brought up in this potential scenario is the issue of Revis’ inflated contract and whether or not the Patriots would put themselves in potential cap danger by making the acquisition, a problem that Volin had a solution to.
So, for example, in 2014 the Patriots could decide to turn $10 million of Revis’s $13 million into bonus money, which would be spread over the final five years of his deal at $2 million per season.
That would put Revis’s 2014 salary cap number at $8 million — $3 million in base salary, $2 million bonus proration, $1.5 million roster bonus and $1.5 million workout bonus — which the Patriots easily could handle. The Patriots currently sit with $12.7 million in cap space for 2014, and can create an extra $9.2 million by cutting Dan Connolly, Isaac Sopoaga, Tommy Kelly, Adrian Wilson, and Jake Bequette. They can create even more space by giving contract extensions to Vince Wilfork, Devin McCourty, and Stephen Gostkowski.
Basically, it’s a matter of converting the salary money to bonus money, which could easily be done.
We all know that the Patriots do like to go get themselves talented veterans in the prime of their careers as well. Could Revis be next?