While a number of solid cornerbacks appear poised to hit the free agent market next month, a few NFL clubs also appear to be eyeing a corner whose contract extends well beyond March. According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, teams are calling the Buccaneers to inquire about Darrelle Revis, with many rival executives believing that Revis is “ripe to be dealt” at the start of the 2014 league year.
Despite some apparent interest, no firm offers have been extended yet, and the Bucs certainly aren’t shopping their standout cornerback, according to La Canfora. The CBS Sports scribe also cautions that Revis’ age and sizable salary figure to limit the potential return for Tampa Bay. Still, inquiries and negotiations could ramp up as March 11 approaches, particularly since the team has hired a new general manager and head coach.
The lack of a prorated signing bonus in Revis’ deal makes a trade more palatable for the Buccaneers. The 28-year-old has five years and $80MM remaining on his contract, but there’s no signing bonus money included in that amount. If the pact featured, for instance, $2MM per year in prorated bonus money, all that money would accelerate onto the Bucs’ current cap in a trade, just as it does when a player is released. In a hypothetical Revis swap, the Bucs could clear his entire cap number.
Still, as La Canfora suggests, Revis’ age and base salary ($13MM per year, plus $3MM annually in roster and workout bonuses) figure to act as a deterrent in any talks. After missing most of the 2012 season, the veteran reclaimed his spot as Pro Football Focus’ top cornerback in 2013 (subscription required), so the Bucs would likely be seeking a sizable return, and teams may not be willing to give up high draft picks to take on such a massive contract.