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Will Patriots pay Darrelle Revis' $20M option?

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Darrelle Revis has entered the rental phase of his career, with his team affiliation an annual debate. In short: Don't buy his jersey.

The Patriots are paying Revis $12 million this season, and most observers expect him to be a free agent at the end of the year. But Revis' contract is more complicated than that. Revis actually signed a two-year deal with a team option for $20 million in 2015. The Patriots don't truly have to make a decision on Revis until April 1, when a $12 million roster bonus is due.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Patriots will try to sign Revis to a long-term extension, but the team has not ruled out simply paying the $20 million option to Revis.

While $20 million sounds awfully high, it's getting harder to imagine Revis not in New England next season. The Patriots have a long time to work out a new deal with Revis. If they can't, they wouldn't have to release Revis until late March, when the free agency market has mostly dried up. What quality teams are going to have that much salary cap room available in April to sign Revis?

The Patriots can keep Revis by coming up with a new contract or they could pick up his option. They have a huge advantage over the rest of the market because they have all of February and March to come up with a new deal.

Win or lose on Sunday, Revis has to enjoy playing for a title contender. When two sides have such high mutual interest in reaching a deal, it usually happens.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast reacts to the Patriots' deflated footballs controversy and tells you whom to trust in Super Bowl XLIX. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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