If there's one thing everyone knows about Darrelle Revis and his contracts it's that it's not about the money. It's about the pride. Like Logan Mankins and Vince Wilfork, Revis plays at a high level on the field and feels that deserves compensation that is fair for his production level.
The issue with Revis, that separates him from the Mankins and the Wilforks, is that he's been so far beyond his peers for his career- and that means that his resulting compensation has been incredibly high, if not slightly absurd.
Overnight, the Arizona Cardinals signed Patrick Peterson to a 5 year, $70 million extension with $48 million guaranteed. This matches the average per season on the contract that Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman signed earlier this off-season, and falls just below on the average guaranteed per season (Sherman signed a 4 year, $56 million, $40 million guaranteed deal).
On top of that, Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden signed a 5 year extension for $68.5 million with just under $23 million guaranteed.
With these three new deals, the easy question to pose is to ask how this affects the Patriots and cornerback Darrelle Revis.
It doesn't hurt Revis' case that he's been compared directly to those three other cornerbacks after last season and came out on top. But factor in Revis' age (29 years old) compared to those three others (Sherman 26, Haden 25, Peterson 24) and the issue about compensation after turning 30 comes up quickly.
Revis will likely ask for a minimum compensation of exceeding the $14 million average per season that Peterson and Sherman will be receiving, which exceeds the $12 million he's receiving for 2014, but falls below the average per season of $16 million when including his second year option.
As Revis was fine with accepting a guaranteed-less deal in Tampa Bay, we can assume that he'd be fine with receiving less guaranteed than his peers in exchange for a greater total cap. With Haden receiving the lowest guaranteed at $4.6 million per season, and Peterson ($9.6 million per) and Sherman setting the guaranteed cap ($10 million), Revis will likely fall somewhere in the middle.
We can venture that Revis will be looking for a deal for roughly $15 million per season and roughly $8 million per season guaranteed. This would place Revis at the top of the Patriots' cap chart, although it would be behind Brady's pre-adjusted 2012 extension figures. While that seems fairly high, if he can change the dynamic of the defense and still play at his typical level, that number would seem fair.
The Patriots will have to negotiate with Revis for a contract with monies that start on his age 30 season. Looking at historical top tier players, the majority are no longer considered "elite" after their age 33 season. If Revis works well in the Patriots defense, look for the team to try and restructure his final season and extend him three additional years, effectively starting a new four year contract, for $60 million.