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Patriots decline to pick up option on Darrelle Revis

Patriots decline to pick up option on Darrelle Revis

As expected, the NFL’s free agent market has a new prime-time player: Darrelle Revis. The New England Patriots informed the all-pro cornerback on Monday that they will not pick up the option year on his contract, ESPN reported, allowing Revis to suddenly become the most attractive free agent on the market.635615141400071924-cxx-afc-east-09

Revis would have been due a $20 million payout for 2015, which would have included a $12.5 million roster bonus, had the Patriots picked up the option. The Patriots, who had until 3:59 p.m. ET Tuesday to exercise the option, have not officially commented on the matter.

It’s still not a given that Revis won’t return to the Patriots after becoming a huge key to a Super Bowl title by providing lockdown pass coverage for an overhauled secondary. The Patriots, who kept safety Devin McCourty off the market with a five-year deal reportedly worth $47.5 million, have maintained since last year that they hoped to retain Revis for the long haul. But now New England will have to compete with any and every other interested NFL team – including their division-rival New York Jets – for Revis’ services.

Revis joined the Patriots last year on what was essentially a one-year, $12 million contract. The second year and option bonus was added to the pact to make it more manageable under the salary cap and theoretically provide a trigger toward a long-term contract. Revis will get a new contract soon, but with what team and for how much is now one of the most intriguing subplots for the start of a new free agency market.

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