On the outside, it seems like all that’s separating Darrelle Revis from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is an agreement with the New York Jets on the number and quality of draft picks to be swapped in the trade package for the rehabilitating cornerback, but the contract the Bucs are willing to offer might also become a problem for Revis, who is looking for long term assurances and money he might not get.
A healthier Revis might not be facing the same situation, but the fact is that Revis, who was considered to be the best corner in the NFL before tearing his ACL early last season. The fact is that there aren’t too many teams knocking on the Jets’ door willing to give Revis that long term deal worth $15-16 million a season he’s asking for. And despite the Bucs being quite abundant in cap-space, they’re not going to give it to him as well.
Looking at the way the Bucs have operated last season, they don’t shy away from handing out big contracts, like the five-year, $55.5 million deal they gave to Vincent Jackson. And yet, it doesn’t mean Jackson will play to make all of that money if he gets injured or his production drops. Front-loading the contracts is the Bucs’ way of avoiding a troubling cap situation in the future and that’ll be the way they approach the Revis situation.
Revis wants something around $60 million for four years, hoping for the contract to be spread out evenly across that time period. Unfortunately for him, this is a team’s league, not a players league. The Bucs will give him that contract, but guarantee probably half of it at the best case scenario for Revis, and probably look for a way out of it after a couple of seasons if he isn’t as good as he thinks he is.
For Revis, a veteran cornerback coming off an injury, that sounds like someone not believing in his ability. Maybe eventually he’ll prove he hasn’t lost a step and he’s just as good as before, but for the Buccaneers and any other team getting into business with the Jets for Revis, giving him the kind of contract he wants just doesn’t make any financial sense.