Barring the New England Patriots pick up Darrelle Revis’ $20 million option by 4 p.m. March 9, the cornerback will be a free agent by 4 p.m. March 10.
Where the six-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro and former Defensive Player of the Year will go from there is uncertain. But ESPN’s Adam Schefter thinks Revis’ future with either be with his last team or his first team.
“I believe it will come down to the Patriots and the Jets,” Schefter told Mad Dog Sports Radio‘s Adam Schein on Thursday. “And I think the Jets are going to pay him short of whatever he wants to bring him back there. Because, not only could they use him, but it would be a huge moral, emotional victory for that franchise to bring him back there, to get him to finish his career there.”
The 14th overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft spent his first six seasons with New York, starting all 79 games he played in, breaking up 98 passes and intercepting 19 others. Yet after a torn ACL closed Revis’ 2012 campaign after just two games, the organization that drafted him traded him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2013 campaign.
Revis was released last March, one year into the six-year, $96 million contract that made him the highest-paid defensive back in league history. And from there, the unrestricted free agent signed with his former AFC East rival on a one-year, $12 million deal, with a second year team option serving as a placeholder for negotiations.
It’s unknown how far the Patriots’ will stretch in negotiations this March.
“Again, I don’t know what New England is going to offer him. I really don’t,” Schefter added. “Let’s say it’s $10 million a year, $11 million a year, $12 million. You’re the Jets, you’re going to offer $15 or $16 million a year. Worth it to go back to New York to finish your career for a few million dollars more, where you would be saluted as a king? I don’t know. It’s just a question of what you find most important, what you value most in your life and what you want to do with your career.”
A return to the Jets would come without one of Revis’ top advocates, former head coach Rex Ryan, now with the Buffalo Bills. Yet Schefter doesn’t believe Buffalo is a viable candidate to land the 29-year-old corner.
“Buffalo, I think, will make a run. But I don’t know if Buffalo can get it done now, they’ve got to make a lot of different moves. They’re not going to have the financial flexibility that a team like the Jets has been planning for,” Schefter explained. “Look, the one thing [former Jets general manager] John Idzik did do a great job of – he put this franchise in a great position, financially speaking, to move forward here, to have the flexibility to make moves like this, moves they would like to make this offseason.”
But the ball is on Revis’ side of the field.
“He’s in a situation where he’s made however many millions during the course of his career – $70, $80, $90, $100 million. He now has a Super Bowl ring,” Schefter said. “So, he’s played on a highly successful winning team and an organization, or he has struggled in certain seasons with other teams. So now, what do you want to do? Do you want to go get one last big deal from a team that’s out there? And there will be a team like the Jets that’s willing to give it to him. Or do you want to go back to New England for less money and finish out your career knowing that as long as Tom Brady is there, in that place, you’re going to be competitive every year? What would you decide? That’s the decision he gets to make now, and he’s got a lot of leverage here. He’s got the ring. He’s got the money. So really, it comes down to what’s important to him, and I don’t know what that is right now.”