NEW YORK — Darrelle Revis is still with the New York Jets. And, he’s got $1 million more to show for it.
The star cornerback, the subject of trade rumors, earned a roster bonus as a result of a clause in his contract with New York. According to the clause, the bonus kicked in on Saturday since Revis remains on the Jets’ roster — not traded or cut — at the end of the business day.
There has been intense speculation in the past several weeks that the Jets will try to trade their best player, who is recovering from a torn knee ligament. Some thought that move could have come by Saturday so the Jets could have avoided the clause, but that “deadline” was not considered to be a factor in the team’s thinking.
Revis will receive the bonus later in the year and it counts on New York’s salary cap — whether or not he remains with the team. He also has a $1 million workout bonus that would kick in in late June and another $1 million reporting bonus that would go into effect in July at the start of training camp.
The trade talk could pick up at the NFL meetings in Phoenix, starting Monday. While neither side has publicly said they are interested in a trade, there has been increased speculation that that’s how the situation will unfold.
Revis is entering the final year of his contract, but wants to be among the league’s highest-paid defensive players. The Jets are balancing the desire to keep one of the best players the franchise has ever had and being financially prudent.
If they believe they won’t be able to sign him next offseason, they could be more apt to try to get something — presumably high draft picks — for him in a deal rather than lose him for nothing.
New general manager John Idzik said during a conference call with season ticket holders earlier this month that the team’s focus is “squarely on getting him healthy, getting him back to his level of play.”
The 27-year-old Revis is recovering from a torn knee ligament that sidelined him most of last season, but Idzik said the news from doctors has been encouraging and the cornerback is “ahead of schedule” in his rehabilitation.
In an interview with Seattle fullback Michael Robinson for “The Real Robinson Report,” posted on YouTube a few weeks ago, Revis said the trade rumors “definitely hit home” and bothered him. He was also asked specifically about the possibility of being traded to San Francisco, one of the teams that had been rumored to be interested.
“I would just be an addition to help them win that trophy,” Revis said. “Would it be awesome? Yeah. My main goal as a player, and I think of all of us players in the NFL, is to hold that Lombardi Trophy up in the air and wear that ring.”
While that might have rubbed some Jets fans the wrong way, Revis has never said he wants to leave New York. The situation remains one of the most important — and tenuous — in franchise history, one Idzik stepped into after replacing the fired Mike Tannenbaum in January.
With several popular players already having left in free agency, such as LaRon Landry, Dustin Keller and Mike DeVito, dealing Revis away would sting many Jets fans.
But, it will likely come down to whether the Jets receive an offer that they deem suitable — including a first-round draft pick — or they could keep Revis through minicamp and training camp, if not for the entire season.