TEMPE, AZ - JANUARY 30:  Darrelle Revis #24 of the New England Patriots warms up during the New England Patriots Super Bowl XLIX Practice on January 30, 2015 at the Arizona Cardinals Practice Facility in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Darrelle Revis’ contract last year was structured in a way by the New England Patriots that made it clear he’d be with the team one season, then dumped before a massive option was due. Still, the way Revis impacted the Patriots during their Super Bowl championship season made picking up the $20 million option a possibility. But the Patriots decided against it, declining to pick up the option and making Revis a free agent, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That doesn’t mean Revis can’t come back to the Patriots. The team has reportedly been trying to lock up Revis to a long-term extension, and those talks surely will continue. But there are many other teams with a lot of cap room and no free agent on the market anywhere near Revis’ level (if we believe all the reports about imminent signings to be factual), so the chase might get interesting. If Revis isn’t the best cornerback in the game, he’s on a short list. This past season he was named first-team All-Pro for the fourth time, and seems on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he’s done. That’s why picking up the $20 million option had to at least cross New England’s mind. That’s why a team like the Oakland Raiders with oodles of salary cap space and nobody great to spend it on might consider a mega-deal that would be in the range of the enormous deals J.J. Watt and Ndamukong Suh have or will sign. All of the leaked deals have taken a lot of the drama out of free agency. But now there’s one truly elite free agent who hasn’t been spoken for. – – – – – – –

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