It wouldn't be a New York Jets' offseason without a Darrelle Revis storyline. Get ready for four weeks of Revis speculation. Will he re-sign with the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots? If not, could he reunite with the Jets?
On Friday, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft stated the obvious to Boston radio station WEEI -- they want Revis back -- adding that the two sides are planning to "get to work" on a new contract.
"Hopefully, both sides want to make a deal and we'll be able to get one done," Kraft said.
There's a deadline.
Revis is under contract for 2015, but it's really just a fake year because of a prohibitive $25 million cap charge. If the two sides don't renegotiate a new deal by March 9, the final day of the 2014 league year, the Patriots will have to release him because a $12 million bonus is triggered. That, combined with his $7.5 million base salary and $500,000 roster bonus, would bring his total compensation to $20 million. Obviously, the Patriots want a more cap-friendly deal.
Revis has a great situation in New England, so it's hard to imagine him wanting to leave -- unless he knows there's a better financial situation elsewhere. The Jets have the cap room, the positional need and an interest in bringing back one of the best players in franchise history. Not only would it create electricity for the start of the Mike Maccagnan-Todd Bowles era, but it would weaken their top rival.
As usual, Revis has the leverage. Yes, he'll be 30 in July, but he's coming off an All-Pro season, showing no signs of slippage. No matter what happens, he'll make a big score. It'll be fascinating if he hits the open market, seeing if owner Woody (I'd Love Darrelle To Come Back) Johnson dusts off his checkbook. The Patriots have to be thinking about that.
For now, the champs have exclusive negotiating rights, and it sounds like they want him -- badly.
"He's been everything and more since he's been here," Kraft said. "Patriots fans knew what he was like on the field, but didn't know what he was like off it. Having worn green all those years and the blind emotion we all have toward the Jets, you have one perception of the man. And the man is very different than that. He's a great guy and he works hard. There is no over-ego to him and he's a great teammate. He's been a real pleasure to have him as part of the organization."