By: Derek Havens
Revis Island has now been established in the New England area. (USA TODAY Images)
The New England Patriots made a big splash Wednesday night, signing All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis to a one-year, $12 million contract.
The Patriots lost cornerback Aqib Talib to the Denver Broncos Tuesday night, as he signed a six-year contract worth up to $57 million and $26 million guaranteed. The counter, Pats answer their AFC rival Broncos with signing Revis to a little-to-no-risk deal.
Many thought Talib should be a priority for the Patriots going into the offseason — and he was — but with his hip injury concerns, it was critical the team did not overpay him. The Broncos obviously felt strongly, signing Talib to the contract they did, but it was a smart choice — even more now in hindsight — by the Pats to not raise their price on the cornerback.
It’s a winning situation all around for New England. The Patriots got 23 quality games out of Talib for a fourth round draft pick. They’ll likely receive a third-round compensatory selection in the 2015 NFL draft for Talib’s departure in free agency. The Pats upgrade at the cornerback position with Revis and control their financial future with minimal risk involved.
Talib’s contract averages to about $9.5 million per season. Revis, now scheduled to make $12 million for 2014, is a strong, value upgrade for New England that costs the team an extra $2.5 million for next year.
Overall, Revis is a better player. From 2008 – 2013, Talib allowed 23 touchdowns, 58.6% completion against him, 41 pass breakups and had 23 interceptions. Revis allowed 12 touchdowns, 45.6% completion against him, 68 pass breakups and 20 interceptions according to Pro Football Focus.
Besides the numbers, durability is a big factor. Talib (19) has missed two more games than Revis (17) in their respective careers, but Revis has played all 16 games in five different seasons. Talib on the other hand, zero.
While Talib has consistently missed games in each season during his career, the bulk of Revis’ missed games were due to a torn ACL that forced him to be sidelined for 14 games. Now two years removed from the injury, he can continue to progress and move forward.
By no means am I saying Talib isn’t a quality player, he certainly is, but Revis is a step above.
The Revis addition will be much needed for the upcoming season as some big-time wide receivers are on the schedule for 2014; Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, A.J. Green, Demaryius Thomas, Jordy Nelson, Eric Decker and Mike Wallace — to name a few.
Additionally, I’m told the Patriots ultimately, after a feeling-out period, have designs on locking up Revis long-term.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 13, 2014
Many have asked, why did the Patriots only sign Revis to a one-year deal?
Well, this contract makes sense for both parties involved. Revis remains the highest paid cornerback in the NFL — something clearly important to him — and plays for a contender in the AFC under head coach, Bill Belichick.
The Patriots add one of the league’s best defensive players, on a short term deal that offers almost zero risk, and now have the ability to see how he fits with the team culture.
For now, don’t rule out a long-term agreement. Let’s just see how it goes this year.