It’s going to be very hard for the Buccaneers to trade cornerback Darrelle Revis.
The problem, as it usually is, is money. The contract Revis signed last year gives him $16 million per year. A season in to his relationship with the Bucs, the team that traded for him wanted him to take less.
Per a league source, Revis declined Tampa’s request to reduce his compensation. Which sparked the effort to trade him and the inevitable decision, if they can’t trade him, to cut him.
The source explains that Revis won’t take a pay cut to facilitate a trade. Really, why would he? If a team like the Browns would pay him $12 million in 2014 as part of a trade, they’d at least pay that much if they can get him without giving up a draft pick or a player or multiple of either.
So unless someone is willing to acquire the current contract as written via a trade with the Buccaneers, a trade won’t happen.
The next question becomes whether and to what extent another team would pay Revis above whatever the Buccaneers were willing to pay on a reduced deal. While it’s tampering for other teams to answer hypothetical questions, agents need to know what’s behind Door No. 2 before rejecting what’s behind Door No. 1. It’s safe to assume those conversations have occurred.
There’s another dynamic to consider when it comes to employing Darrelle Revis. Teams prefer having a happy Darrelle Revis. If he believes he’s underpaid, he won’t be happy. And he will be considering his options, including but not limited to a holdout.
Even a happy Revis is something some teams may not want. He has a reputation, forged by a pair of holdouts in New York and the threat of another that prompted owner Woody Johnson to punt. Some teams don’t want the potential headache, even though the talent remains.
Our prediction? Revis will be cut, and he’ll sign for more than the Bucs wanted to pay. Keep an eye on contending teams with franchise quarterbacks, including but not limited to the Patriots, Broncos, and Falcons. For non-contenders, the only way to get Revis will be to trade for his contract, and hope that he’ll be happy.