Projecting timeline for Darrelle Revis news

The headline story for the New England Patriots in free agency is the status of cornerback Darrelle Revis. Here is a projected timeline/guide based on our sense of where things stand at this time (with the understanding that things can change in an instant):

First domino to fall. Revis is due a $12 million roster bonus (paid April 1) if he is still with the Patriots at the end of the 2014 league year. The 2015 league year officially begins at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. It would be a surprise if the Patriots pick up the option based on Revis’ $25 million cap charge. Thus, Revis is expected to be released at some point before 4 p.m. on Tuesday, where he can test the market as a free agent. The timing of that decision will be interesting, as one could make a case the Patriots would be wise to wait until the last moment in hopes other teams commit money in the legal tampering period from noon on Saturday through 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

Outside chance of extension. At this point, our sense of the sides reaching a contract extension before Tuesday is a long shot. If no extension is reached, it would be a case where Revis can explore the market while keeping lines of communication open with the Patriots. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter shared his belief, on Sirius XM Mad Dog Sports Radio on Thursday, that the top suitors for Revis will ultimately be the Patriots and Jets.

Hold on for the ride. In any situation where a player heads to the open market, which is where we see Revis heading at this time, there is an aspect of unpredictability. While teams and players might have an idea of where the financial market might wind up, there are sometimes wild-cards and unexpected things that unfold. In that case, for those anxiously waiting to hear about Revis’ future in New England, our sense at this time is that it looks like a “hold-on-for-the-ride” type of situation that has some twists and turns ahead.