One concerns several people have had with Darrelle Revis' big new contract is the lack of protection against holdouts. After all, Revis has held out twice in the past, why won't he do it again? Well, we'll just let Mark Dominik explain, who addressed the issue when he appeared on Pro Football Talk.
"That won't happen," Dominik said. "It won't. Every year he's going to walk out of his contract and say, ‘I'm the highest paid defensive back in the NFL, I'm one of the highest paid defensive players in the NFL,' and there's a lot of peace with Darelle right now, as there should be. But at the same point, he bet on himself and believes in himself and that's why we were willing to extend up to that number of $16 million, but every year he walks into a new year with $16 million in front of him.
"This isn't one of those more traditional contracts where . . . in year four or five he's down to four or six million dollars in [base salary], he stays at 16 [million] consistently. So there's no big signing bonus at the front where the player forgets about it in year four or five and says ‘I'm underpaid,' this thing's heavy all the way through and I think that's going to stop him, in fact I'm confident that it's going to stop him from his chances at ever holding out with Tampa Bay."
Will that hold true if the economics in the NFL change? If the salary cap jumps up and more non-quarterbacks start to get deals like this? Personally, I doubt it. Revis is getting paid handsomely by any standard, and is one of the highest-paid non-quarterbacks in the NFL. In fact, his agents looked to the contracts for Larry Fitzgerald, Mario Williams and Calvin Johnson per this article in the New York Daily News. All of those players earn between $15 and $16 million in their contracts.
Meanwhile, the agents believe they have a contract with $32 million in guaranteed money: Revis' compensation in the first two years. And, in fact, they do. The only thing that could prevent the Bucs from paying out that money would be something truly catastrophic. The Bucs will not give up on the best cornerback in the league unless he suffers a catastrophic injury that makes it clear he will never get back to his previous form. But barring such an event, they will hold out hope that he will return to form.
The fact that the $1.5 million roster bonus is due on the third day of the league year every season, according to the New York Daily News reinforces that, if only a little. That bonus will create a decision point early in every year for the Bucs, although paying Revis $1.5 million does not mean they will pay him the remaining $14.5 million in a season. But as long as Revis keeps up his level of play, he should continue to be paid handsomely.
Given all these facts and Revis' insane salary, it certainly seems more likely the Bucs will come to him for a pay cut before Revis starts holding out.