The dust slowly is settling on the Darrelle Revis trade. And Jets owner Woody Johnson is a little lighter in the wallet than he likely hoped to be.
Now that the Jets have exercised the first-round pick they received from the Buccaneers, it fairly can be said that the Jets traded Revis for Sheldon Richardson and a third-round pick. It also can be said that the Jets paid $1 million to make the trade happen.
The presence of Revis on the roster as of the fifth day of the league year triggered a $1 million roster bonus. But the bonus wasn’t paid at the time; the actual transfer of money comes later. Many assumed that all of the player’s prior pay for 2013 fell within the scope of his new $16 million compensation package from the Bucs.
All of it did — except for the $1 million roster bonus.
We’ve gotten our hands on the contract. Here’s the language: “Furthermore, the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers agree and understand that at the time of this trade Darrelle Revis’ 2013 Bonus for the Player’s Presence on Club’s 80-man roster on 5th Day of the 2013 League Year vested while Darrelle Revis was a member of the New York Jets roster and therefore the entire 2013 Roster Bonus in the amount of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) shall be paid by the New York Jets.”
The bonus vested on Saturday, March 16. At the time, the Jets and Bucs were believed to be on the brink of a deal. The Jets, presumably, held out for greater compensation from Tampa Bay.
Though it’s not clear whether Sheldon Richardson and a third-round pick represents more or the same (or less) than what the Bucs were willing to surrender as of March 16, the Jets had a million reasons to get the deal done before the $1 million became earned.
That’s why it was news at the time. Some actually thought that reference to the bonus arose from a belief that the Jets would cut Revis in order to avoid it. Of course, that wasn’t going to happen.
But the Jets could have traded him by March 16 to avoid the bonus. And they ultimately could have insisted as part of the trade that the Bucs pay it.
They didn’t. And now Revis will make not $16 million but $17 million in 2013.