BOSTON (CBS) – Give Ben Volin of the Boston Globe credit, because when he was writing columns and figuring out ways for the Patriots to get Darrelle Revis, most of the media members in this town pooh-poohed the idea and dismissed it altogether.
Well now that Darrelle Revis is a Patriot for one year and $12 million later, who’s laughing now?
However, even Volin admits he wasn’t totally right.
“I overestimated. I thought it might cost the Patriots a second round pick, maybe throw in a player and figure out how to get him under the cap. But this move was such a no-brainer,” said Volin Thursday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show.
“They upgraded the position and there’s no long term commitment, just a one-year deal. Pretty awesome job by the Patriots to get this done.”
Normally the Patriots don’t sign players to contract extensions unless they’re below market, which is a term that cannot be found in Darrelle Revis’ vocabulary. Volin says they’ll reassess that after the All Pro cornerback plays the 2014 season.
“Other than Revis they’re definitely done making big splashes in free agency. Now it’ll just be your typical value players. Don’t expect them to load up like the ‘Dream Team’ Philadelphia Eagles.”
Speaking of value players, the Patriots are reportedly bringing in cornerback Brandon Browner for a visit.
The ex-Seahawk was suspended for the final five games of last season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and will have to sit out the first four games of the 2014 season.
With Revis, Alfonzo Dennard, Logan Ryan and Kyle Arrington already in place at the position, Volin predicts the 6’4″ 220-pounder will be moved to strong safety to play alongside Devin McCourty should he sign with New England.
Ben Volin is operating under the assumption that the Revis deal will be a straight up, one-year $12 million contract. With that in mind, in addition to the release of Issac Sopoaga, the Pats have roughly $5 million in cap space.
In order to sign the types of free agents they need to sign in order to get where they want to get, they’ll need Vince Wilfork and his $11 million cap hit to “play ball” so to speak.
“They’ve gotta create some space, so to me this puts more pressure on Vince Wilfork to take either a drastic pay cut or take one of those contract extensions to significantly lower his number this year. That’s the guy. You can create a lot of space with him – $8 million just by cutting him.”
While some people (especially on this very station) have advocated for the outright release of Wilfork, Volin doesn’t think that’s the way to go, but the team could be left with no choice.
“I don’t think you want to cut Vince Wilfork, but if he’s going to super stubborn about this then you might have to consider it. This puts even more pressure on him now. It’s like, ‘Look we got Darrelle Revis, we need the space. If you don’t wanna do it then we’re gonna have to move on.’
“To me, this really puts Wilfork under a lot of pressure to get something done. Hopefully his camp realizes that and they can come to a reasonable agreement, maybe get him signed for two more seasons until he’s 35 and make him a Patriot for life. He’s almost definitely going to have to take a pay cut or a contract extension.”
The Patriots could also create some more cap space by cutting or restructuring Dan Connolly, Adrian Wilson and Tommy Kelly – but Wilfork and his $11 million cap hit is the biggest albatross.
Listen below for the full discussion, including Volin’s take on Edelman returning: