Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
The big news on the aftermath of the Darrelle Revis to Tampa trade is the unique nature of the contract in which the Buccaneers and Revis agreed upon. Revis will be owed $96 million over 6 years broken down to an equal $16 million per year. However, the caveat in the deal is the fact that the Bucs have guaranteed absolutely no money to Revis.
No guaranteed money means one big thing, the Buccaneers are able to cut Revis at any point with no money owed and minimal cap penalty. That means if Darrelle Revis somehow doesn’t respond from this injury, the Bucs are only on the hook for this year and the picks they gave up to get him.
As a result of this deal, Darrelle Revis has put a ton of stock into his own body and his own performance on the field. Taking no guaranteed money means he believes in his knee, and he believes that his play will make it impossible for the Bucs to cut him loose.
This is a fantastic scenario for the Buccaneers. They get a top flight player, they give up less than what most believed he would command, and he comes as motivated as a player who just signed a $96 million deal can be.
I don’t see Revis rushing to get back on the field if he’s not fully ready to go, but he certainly has reason to get back out there as soon as possible. He needs to show Bucs brass that he is the same player he used to be and that he will continue to be moving forward.
The NFL is a league in which players know their shelf life is short. They and their agents usually attempt to get the most amount of money possible up front because they know any day could be their last. Whether that be due to injury or do to simply not being as good at football as they once were. Guaranteed money takes away motivation, it takes away the will to prove themselves.
Motivation is an incredibly powerful tool. What the Bucs have done is they have scoped up the best defensive back in the league, and then signed him to a deal that makes him want nothing more than to go out and play at the absolute highest level. They put the onus on the player, not on the organization. Make him prove his worth, don’t write him a check telling him what he’s worth.
Sure, $96 million is a gigantic amount of money. And I’m sure the Buccaneers believe he’s worth every penny. But they put the ball in Revis’ court, now he has to go earn every dollar of it, otherwise he’ll find himself out of a job.