Curran: Checking trade winds on Revis

Curran: Checking trade winds on Revis
March 12, 2014, 2:30 pm
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There will be a 4:30 p.m. press conference in Tampa on Wednesday.
 
Bucs brass will either be discussing the release of Darrelle Revis or the deal that sent him . . . somewhere.
 
Tampa will have to pay Revis $1.5 million of his $16 million compensation package for 2014 if he’s still on the roster past 4 p.m, so the Bucs have made it known Revis is gone.
 
As of 2 p.m., a source told me the likelihood is that Revis will be released, not dealt.
 
The Patriots, who watched their best secondary player -- Aqib Talib -- sign with the Broncos Tuesday night, have a need at corner and have been in contact with the Bucs about Revis.
 
According to Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports.com, Revis wants to play for the Patriots and the Bucs would cough him up for a fifth-round pick.
 
Why would the Patriots hesitate to do that?
 
Because, immediately, Revis’ contract would then be the property of the Patriots. Every year until 2018, Revis’ deal calls for the same thing -- $13 million salary, $1.5 million roster bonus, $1.5 million workout bonus.
 
That $16 million cap hit would belong to the Patriots and they’d have to make releases to get the room for Revis since they currently have less than $16 million in cap space available.
 
They can make the space. Releasing Isaac Sopoaga would save $3 million and releasing Vince Wilfork would save more than $7 million.
 
But the Patriots would surely prefer a restructured and extended deal for Wilfork than a release. Wilfork, one presumes, wants his dough with no funny business.
 
Even though the Patriots can immediately restructure Revis’ deal without his authorization and drop his 2014 cap number, that’s probably not the way they want to enter the relationship with him.
 
The Patriots and any other team can therefore wait until the Bucs release Revis and engage in a battle for his services.
 
And Talib’s deal is probably going to make Revis drive a hard bargain.
 
The Patriots are wedged into a pretty tight spot right now. They make a deal with the Bucs or get into a bidding war for Revis’ services. And if they lose out, they’re left picking through the free agent remainders and draft prospects for Talib’s replacement.
 
Can the Patriots win without an elite corner? Certainly. They went to the Super Bowl after the 2011 season with a below-average secondary. Of course, the AFC competition that year wasn’t what it is now.
 
Talib’s flight from New England weakened the Patriots. His addition in Denver made the Patriots’ main rival better. The only way to erase the gap is to add Revis.