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It Is Better for the Jets If Other Teams Think Darrelle Revis Still Has Value

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NFL: Buffalo Bills at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL fate of Darrelle Revis is up in the air. That was true before any of the off field stuff came into play over the last few weeks. Revis had a miserable 2016 season and now is a likely cap casualty.

Earlier in the week, Peter King published an article where he examined Revis’ future with an NFL personnel executive.

“I’d say $7 million a year. Short term. Not much guaranteed. He’s coming off a year when he didn’t play well. He’s trending downward.”

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It’s also unclear whether he could make the move to safety. Rod Woodson and Charles Woodson did it late in their careers, and in particular Charles Woodson had a terrific second act as a player when he moved to more of a center-fielder position. “The question is: Will he be motivated to learn some new skills and make the move?” the personnel man said.

I think competitive fire has a lot to do with it. Does Revis want to continue playing? Will he want to learn new skills? For much of 2016, he looked listless and unwilling to mix it up by tackling.

Charles Woodson wasn’t just a centerfielder as his career progressed. He played some safety in Green Bay, but he was a versatile piece. He moved around. One week he might play in the slot. Another he might get a look at linebacker.

I don’t have a lot of doubt Revis has the smarts and the tackling skills to take on a new role. He was always one of the smartest players in the league. He used to be a really good tackler. The question is how much passion does he still have. Does he want to take on those new tasks? Can he convince other teams he is worth an investment?

For the Jets, these are relevant questions, particularly the last one. You might have heard about the potential offset in Revis’ deal and wonder what that means.

Revis’ contract has $6 million guaranteed in 2017. That money is guaranteed even if he is cut.

The offset, however, could reduce the amount the Jets have to pay. If Revis signs with a new team, the offset means the Jets’ obligation to pay him is reduced by the amount of his salary with the new team.

For example, if a new team offered him $2 million, that means Revis still gets $6 million. However, the Jets would only need to pay $4 million since the new team is picking up $2 million of that tab.

That $7 million the personnel guy threw out there isn’t just some random figure. Revis makes $6 million no matter what. To entice him financially, a new team would have to offer more than $6 million. All offers $6 million and less are equal to him.

Say the Patriots want to bring him back to Foxborough and offer him a $1 million contract.

Say a less successful team like the Rams offer him a $5 million contract.

These offers are the same for Revis. He gets $6 million either way.

With the hypothetical Pats offer, New England would pay him $1 million while the Jets would pay $5 million.

With the hypothetical Rams offer, Los Angeles would pay $5 million while the Jets would pay $1 million.

At a salary of $6 million or less, the only question is how much the Jets pay. It makes no difference for Revis. He gets the same amount of money. A decision would be made purely on nonmonetary factors, a first for his career.

Now if the Rams offered $7 million, that actually would bring finances into play since it is more than the $6 million he currently is set to make. The Jets would also completely be off the hook.

And yes, my understanding is that in addition to the salary the Jets would not have to pay, they also would receive a salary cap credit equal to the amount of his salary with a new team.

So while Revis has little value to the Jets in their current condition at this stage of his career, it certainly helps if other teams view him as valuable. The more they are willing to pay him, the more financial relief the Jets get.