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Cornerback Darrelle Revis continues to be a hot commodity in the NFL. / Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports

Eighty-four million.

That's a figure that amplifies the impact of Darrelle Revis a lot better than the number of Pro Bowl selections (five) or interceptions (21) the shutdown cornerback has compiled since entering the NFL.

After striking a deal to join forces with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady for the coming campaign ?? a $12 million haul ?? the collective tally for Revis' first eight pro seasons will hit $84 million.

In real dollars. Quarterback money.

Revis, with his thick beard, may look a bit like the late, great R&B crooner Teddy Pendergrass, but there is no mistaking his tune. The New England Patriots are his third team in as many years, and there's a good chance that next year there will be a fourth team in four years.

He's a pro football mercenary, and nobody plays the market like the NFL's version of Warren Buffett.

Don't blame Revis for striking when he's hot. He makes his living in a league that generated more than $10 billion last year, with an environment where players are often signed to eye-popping contracts only to be subsequently released because they make too much money. DeMarcus Ware, Julius Peppers, LaMarr Woodley and Revis himself, are this week's examples.

The market fluctuates. It can be over in a flash, if the next snap results in a torn ACL or some other gruesome injury. Get it while you can. This is a sport, and it is a business.

The Patriots know Revis' economic mentality, yet for all of the franchise's team-first ideologies, they bought in for a rent-a-year with Revis. That tells you how anxious they are to win another championship. It has been a long time, going on a decade, since the Patriots won it all.

Maybe Revis, 28, will put them over the top. As good as Aqib Talib was ?? arguably the team's best corner since Ty Law ?? Revis is better. He is more consistent, more durable. And a year removed from his torn ACL, Revis should be even better than he was last season for the Bucs.

But maybe he won't be the missing link to a championship. The Patriots still need a better pass rush. They might also have a void if heart-and-soul nose tackle Vince Wilfork departs. And even if Rob Gronkowski returns in Gronk form, they need more consistent weapons for Brady.

Still, barring injury, they won't have to worry about invasions of Revis Island.

The two-year contract is worth $32 million and included a $10 million signing bonus, yet it's essentially a one-year, $12 million deal because Revis would be due a $12 million roster bonus if he is on the club when the league year next March and a $20 million total payout in 2015, a person with knowledge of contract, told USA TODAY Sports. The terms for 2014 include a $1.5 million base salary and per-game roster bonuses, for 15 games, totaling $500,000. The person did not wish to be identified as contract terms are generally considered private.

So it's a Super Bowl-or-bust move for the Patriots. Belichick has struck gold over the years with some veteran acquisitions (ala Corey Dillon, Rodney Harrison). Yet he's also the one who picked Danny Amendola over Wes Welker last year (victory, Welker) and years ago bombed on the big signing of Adalius Thomas.

As for Revis, this figures to be his best chance yet to win a Super Bowl ?? an obvious lure as he weighed options and offers after he was cut Wednesday by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

And imagine how winning a ring could drive up Revis' price next year.

When the Bucs wanted to talk pay cut, Revis refused to budge. The six-year, $96 million extension that he signed last year with Tampa Bay (then led by since-departed GM Mark Dominik and coach Greg Schiano) was always essentially a year-to-year deal. It didn't contain a signing bonus, but had a whopping $16 million in salary and bonuses each year.

Revis told me last year that he was comfortable with that structure because the alternative was to get back on the market. He'd bet on himself.

After the Bucs cut him, Revis huddled in South Florida with his team of advisers, including agents Johnathan Feinsod and Neil Schwartz, and his uncle, former NFL D-lineman Sean Gilbert ?? who once sat out an entire season due to a contract dispute. The phone blew up, with more than two dozen teams inquiring. Revis was out of work for less than five hours.

Consider how quickly Revis adjusted to the market. He wound up with $4 million less for the year than his previous contract called for, but he's still the NFL's highest-paid cornerback.

He's no fool. Of the four cornerbacks who played last season with contracts averaging at least $10 million, three were cut within the past month, including Revis. The market changed.

Next year, Super Bowl title or not, he will take his chances again on the market.

Already, next year's corner market seems poised for a significant spike, if some of the key characters don't get new deals before then. Richard Sherman, whose value has skyrocketed en route to Super Bowl glory, will be up. Joe Haden and Patrick Peterson will be due for new deals, too.

No doubt, Revis knows this. If his health and skills remain intact, he'll want to be paid at the top of the chart. That's how he does it.

Revis' quest for top dollar frustrated the New York Jets to the point that they traded him after six seasons ?? and he still landed a whopping (albeit tenuous) extension while coming off a torn ACL.

But the market never rests, which also provides Revis with so much incentive.

Is he worth the money? The Patriots are surely buying.

It may be easy to compare Revis' case to Deion Sanders' movements during the mid-90s, for his potential to affect the AFC's balance of power. But a key difference is that Sanders won Super Bowls in back-to-back years, first during his lone season with the San Francisco 49ers, then in his first season with the Dallas Cowboys.

Sanders had help from the likes of Steve Young, Jerry Rice and Dallas' Triplets, yet certainly held up his end of the missing link argument.

Revis can't make that case yet, but now has his best chance to do just that.

Follow Jarrett Bell on Twitter @JarrettBell.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Bell: Island hopping pays for Darrelle Revis

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