News that the Patriots would have to pay Darrelle Revis $20 million if they pick up his 2015 option better explains why he took $4 million less than he was contracted for with Tampa Bay. He knows that, if the Patriots want him, they’ll have to get him back next year for the break he gives them this year. To be sure, Revis is being benevolent -- for Revis. He could have auctioned himself and probably made the Patriots really sweat about losing him and entering the season worse in the secondary than they were at the end of 2013. But he bent to play here. Temporarily.
I would presume -- though I have not confirmed -- that the option of franchising him is off the table since the franchise tag would be 120% of his 2014 salary ($14.4 million).
There aren’t any non-quarterbacks that I can think of that can negotiate his terms with the same bloodless, professional, all-business demeanor that Revis does (and his agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod). The Patriots have met their on-field match in him. The player he most reminds me of at the bargaining table? Ty Law. Revis, of course, is also from Aliquippa and Law has long been his mentor.
* With our Mike Giardi reporting that Cleveland is working hard to acquire Julian Edelman and former Pats quarterback Brian Hoyer is in on the recruitment, expect the Patriots to move fast on a replacement. Emmanuel Sanders is rumored to be in contact and, with the Panthers releasing Steve Smith, the veteran maniac would be a speed upgrade to Edelman on the outside. Much better downfield receiver. Nobody can begrudge Edelman from going to the highest bidder. The Patriots will, however, lose their most versatile inside-outside receiver and a top-tier punt returner if he goes. It will underscore – for about the 50th time – that the Patriots are going to set a value on a player and generally not deviate from it. It will also show that they don’t do retro-pay, given Edelman’s 2013 contributions for a relative song.
* Brandon Browner, the massive corner from Seattle, is visiting with the Redskins. The 6-3, Browner was reportedly in Foxboro first and is visiting suitors in order of preference. He is suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season because of substance abuse policy violations. His indefinite suspension by the league handed down during last season was overturned on appeal
* The Patriots have looked at an outside linebacker (Matt Shaughnessy, who re-signed with the Cardinals), interior offensive linemen (Shelley Smith and Phil Costa), wide receiver (Brandon LaFell), inside speed linebacker (Wesley Woodyard) and cornerback (Brandon Browner). Those visits show their pecking order of needs for 2014. Surprising that no pure pass-rusher has been on the list or strong safety, but just because the populace doesn’t know about it, doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. It’s remarkable, with the level of effort being devoted to finding out what they are up to, the Patriots are able to maintain secrecy with the success they have.