The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets completed a trade for cornerback Darrelle Revis. The Buccaneers had to give up their 2013 first-round pick and a conditional mid-round pick in 2014, plus give Revis a massive new contract to complete the deal.
Overall, the deal looks like a win-win for both sides. As far as what they're getting on the field it should be if Revis plays like he did before his ACL injury in 2012. The Jets unload a player they weren't going to be able to re-sign and accumulate some draft picks that could net at least one immediate starter and the Bucs add a corner to their defense, which was desperately needed.
But on the financial side of the deal, there appears to be one big winner.
Revis' six-year, $96 million deal contains zero guaranteed money, which on the surface looks like a fantastic deal for the Bucs. There is a catch, however. The deal is essentially a series of one-year, $16 million contracts and the Buccaneers aren't going to release Revis before the 2013 season, so he will be paid at least $16 million. Each year of Revis' deal has a $13 million base salary with a $1.5 million roster bonus and a $1.5 million workout bonus, totaling $16 million on the year.
That's $16 million "guaranteed" right there, which is more guaranteed money than any free agent cornerback got on the open market during the 2013 free agency period.
After the 2013 season, one would have to believe that as long as Revis isn't a complete disaster or gets injured again, he will be on the Bucs' roster in 2014. If he's not, the Buccaneers traded away a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick for an expensive one-year rental player.
This means it's likely that Revis will wind up with $32 million "guaranteed" in just two seasons of work for the Buccaneers, which is more guaranteed money than he got with his previous deal he signed with the Jets in 2010.
It's not necessarily a bad contract for the Buccaneers, either. Revis, when healthy, is the best cornerback in the NFL (apologies to Richard Sherman, who I'm a big fan of) and can drastically change how a team can play defense. The real problem that could arise with the contract situation is that Revis can once again pull a holdout after a season or two and demand more money, especially if he gets back to form.
With the way Revis' contract is structured, he kind of has the Buccaneers by the... wooden leg, so to speak. It will be tough for the Buccaneers to part with Revis, especially if he's playing to form, but if he is playing to form than he's likely going to try to get paid more, as he's done in the past. The Buccaneers have a favorable cap situation going forward to be able to pay Revis more if they must. There has to be a breaking point to how much you pay a non-quarterback, however, regardless of how good they are.