Report: Patriots 'in a strong position' to trade for Darrelle Revis, who would 'love' to play in New England
The New England Patriots could be the latest team to trade for All Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' ramped up efforts to trade Revis, but have turned up little to no interest. Despite that, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that a trade is still possible, and that the Patriots are at the forefront of the possibilities.
Everything I've heard is that Revis would love to be a Patriot, above any other option. Still ample time for that to happen— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 12, 2014
Patriots in a strong position to land Revis now, especially after Talib's deal. Revis wants to be there. Will only take a 5th round pick— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 12, 2014
The Patriots do not have a fifth-round pick this year, but they have two sixth-round picks, and could potentially deal one for Revis. They also do not have the cap space to handle his contract right now. They have just over $14.4 million in cap space.
Revis gets a flat rate of $16 million per year on his current contract. That's probably more than the Patriots would like to pay, so they may try to rework his contract or ask him to take a pay cut. His current contract is easily disposable — $3 million of the $16 is converted to dead money, and the rest goes back on the cap. A team that trades for Revis can dump his contract at the first sign of trouble with minimal financial repercussions.
His contract is simply too big for most teams to handle.
The trade market is dying for Revis, even if he is the one slowly turning the knife. He refused to take a pay cut to facilitate a trade to the Cleveland Browns, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. A trade would have reunited him with his former defensive coordinator and current Browns head coach Mike Pettine.
The Patriots are familiar with Revis from his time in the AFC East, so they know that he is exactly what their defense is missing in light of the loss of cornerback Aqib Talib. The Patriots weren't willing to pony up $9.5 million per year for Talib, but they should be willing to go beyond those numbers for a player of Revis' caliber.
They will probably have to do so, if they want him on their roster.
Revis (5-foot-11, 198 pounds) is not a big-bodied corner like Talib (6-foot-1, 205 pounds), but he is still very effective in press coverage and one of the best in man coverage. The Buccaneers were using Revis in other ways in 2013, and Tom Brady took advantage by throwing underneath the belly of his zone coverage several times when the Patriots met the Buccaneers in Week 3.
He would be right back at home in a man-coverage based scheme, and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick geared his defense more in that direction in 2013 than years past. Adding Revis would only intensify the focus on man coverage.
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