The New England Patriots declined cornerback Darrelle Revis' $20 million team option for the 2015 NFL season, making him a free agent in the process.
Darrelle Revis is now a free agent.
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According to a March 9 update from ESPN's Adam Schefter and Mike Reiss, the New England Patriots did not pick up Revis' $20 million option for the 2015 NFL season. This now allows Revis to test the market. Schefter and Reiss cite a league source who informed them of the Patriots' decision.
The Patriots plan to continue discussing with Revis' camp regarding a new deal. If that doesn't materialize, Revis' former team, the New York Jets, are expected to make a run at him, per ESPN.
New England team president Jonathan Kraft says the second year of Revis' two-year, $32 million deal he signed on March 17, 2014 is a "placeholder," per Schefter and Reiss. This term is in reference to the cornerback's huge $25 million salary-cap charge for the upcoming 2015 NFL season. The team does not want to take on such a huge cap hit, so the two sides are now re-negotiating Revis' contract, per Schefter and Reiss.
The arrangement turned out to be a fair one for both the Patriots and Revis, who regained the form he had when he was arguably the league's top defensive back with the Jets two seasons ago. Not only did Revis leave a woebegone Tampa Bay Buccaneers team a year ago, he landed with a Patriots team which won their fourth Super Bowl title last month. That was Revis' first Super Bowl championship, per ESPN.
The 29-year-old Revis suited up in every game for New England in 2014 and wound up with 14 passes defensed and two interceptions. Schefter and Reiss argue these stats "don't fully reflect his value because the football wasn't often coming his way."
New England is currently $8.7 million over the salary cap, per The Boston Herald's Jeff Howe. The team can re-sign him to a new contract and still comply with the cap. Howe estimates the Patriots can afford to dangle an extension with a $7.4 million salary-cap hit for next season.
Andy Hart of Patriots Football Weekly says New England declining Revis' $20 million option for 2015 comes at a time when the team re-signed free safety Devin McCourty to a fresh, five-year deal. A separate March 9 ESPN update says McCourty's new deal is worth $47.5 million with $28.5 million in guaranteed money.
On the other hand, the Patriots told veteran cornerback Brandon Browner he can test the market before they decide to shell out a $2 million roster bonus before March 10, the start of the new league year, per Hart.
Howe stresses New England will take a $4.8 million cap hit for 2015 if it picks up his option, including the $2 million roster bonus. Otherwise, the Patriots can save the full $4.8 million if they decline Browner's option.
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