Patriots Links: Revis, McCourty, Gostkowski

Only time will tell if Darrelle Revis is forced into a 2015 year with the Patriots and if there are any fireworks along the way, but the cornerback’s last two deals should serve as a cautionary tale about the negative trade-offs that can happen when agreeing to certain contract structures, writes Jason Fitzgerald of In Revis’ agreement with the Bucs, he got the $16MM AAV he was after, but had no guaranteed money. In his Pats deal, Revis’ camp agreed to a second year that would carry a $25MM cap hit, assuming that the team would never keep him on board at that price. However, a $20MM salary for 2015 – and $32MM over two years – isn’t ridiculous when compared to what guys like Patrick Peterson, Joe Haden, and Richard Sherman are making in the first two seasons of their respective contracts.

Let’s round up a few more items out of New England….

  • Of the potential free agents on the Patriots’ roster, the two who seem most likely to be hit with the franchise tag – if the team uses it – are safety Devin McCourty and kicker Stephen Gostkowski. However, McCourty is the more probable candidate, WEEI’s Ryan Hannable writes, though Hannable speculates that the Pats could give the safety the tag a few days in advance of the deadline in hopes of working out a long-term deal.
  • In a video segment, a CSNNE panel debates whether retaining Revis is worth potentially losing other free agent starters like McCourty, Gostkowski, and Dan Connolly, with Andy Hart suggesting that New England needs to keep its star cornerback “at all costs.”
  • In a separate CSNNE video segment, Ron Borges suggests that both Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork will be asked to take pay cuts and “may not be happy about it.” That applies especially to Wilfork, who accepted a pay cut last year and had a strong season.
  • After capturing another Super Bowl ring, the Pats have proven they don’t need to spend a ton of money on an elite receiving weapon, says Tom E. Curran of (video link).
  • The 2011 collective bargaining agreement calls for teams to spend at least 89% of the salary cap in cash over two four-year periods (2013-16 and 2017-20), and the Patriots are one of 10 teams that must increase spending over the next couple years to meet that threshold, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Considering all the free-agents-to-be that the club is working to retain, using most or all of its cap room shouldn’t be a problem for New England in 2015.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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