As it turns out, Darrelle Revis’s contract with the Patriots isn’t actually a one-year, $12 million deal. It’s actually a two-year, $32 million deal. But the second year will probably be voided.
Revis gets a $10 million signing bonus, a $1.5 million base salary and $33,333.33 for the first 15 games he’s active for in 2014. So assuming he plays at least 15 games, Revis gets $12 million.
Then the Patriots have the option to pick up the second year of Revis’s contract and pay him a $12 million roster bonus on April 1, 2015, plus a $7.5 million base salary and the same $33,333.33 for the first 15 games he’s active for in 2015. That would total $20 million for the 2015 season.
Realistically, it’s almost impossible to believe the Patriots would pick up that option. Even for a player as great as Revis, that $20 million is too much. After all, the Bucs couldn’t find any team even willing to give up a seventh-round draft pick to acquire Revis under his old contract, and that’s because no team wanted to pay Revis the $16 million a year that his old contract paid him.
So Revis will almost certainly hit free agency again next year, and because there’s a second year on the deal the Patriots can’t use the franchise tag on Revis. They have to either pay him the $20 million next year or cut him.
One thing that helps the Patriots, as Albert Breer of NFL Network pointed out, is that the two-year structure of the contract allows the Patriots to prorate the $10 million signing bonus over the two years of the deal. In other words, Revis counts just $7 million against the Patriots’ salary cap this year. In 2014, he’s a great deal.
The bill comes due in 2015, however, when the other $5 million of Revis’s 2014 pay would count toward the Patriots’ salary cap — even if they’ve already released him and he’s playing for someone else next year. (And that means if they did keep him under his current deal, Revis would count a whopping $25 million against the Patriots’ 2015 cap.)
But the Patriots will worry about next year next year. This was a deal to get a great cornerback on the Patriots this year. That’s what the Patriots have in Revis, even if it’s only a one-year rental.