Borges – As is often the case these days, the devil is in the details. So, too, is the future of Darrelle Revis and the Patriots. What was first widely hailed as a brilliant one-year deal in which the Patriots landed the best cornerback on the market for big money but minimal risk quickly turned out to be a sign of how desperately things have changed in Foxboro. Despite all their talk of how no player is bigger than the whole and they would never become hostages to the moment, that is what the Revis deal made them. For one of the few times in the Bob Kraft era, the Patriots gave up every bit of leverage and a ton of cash to one player, over whom they hold absolutely no hammer. If the presence of Revis this fall is the difference that wins them their first Super Bowl in a decade, it was worth it. But if not, they will have rented a player for a year that netted them nothing but the enmity of guys like Vince Wilfork and a soon-to-be empty jersey in 2015…So, if he plays for two years it’s a $32 million deal or a long-term renegotiation to Revis’ liking, or a year from now the Pats are chasing their tail again. Meanwhile, in Denver the Broncos’ deal with Talib is in actuality more like a three-year deal worth $27 million, with $18 million of that paid in the first two seasons… So which deal is better? That depends on who wins in 2014. But if that’s not the Patriots, then this will become the latest in a string of mistakes in the secondary that finally cost them what they cherish most in Foxboro — leverage over an employee.
I would like to officially welcome Ron Borges to the ranks of writers in this town concerned about the Patriots spending. Previous population: Me. Welcome to the club, Dr. Ctrl+C. I’ll make us some jackets. But how is it that after 13 years of bitching that they’re cheap, of talking about their cap management like it’s the Feudal System with Mr. Kraft as the Lord of the castle while Belichick is the evil overseer keeping the peasants living in filth and disease, is he all of a sudden worried about them spending too much? The answer is simple: Belichick pulled off arguably the shrewdest move in a career filled with them. A coup that everyone in the country admits swung the balance of power in the arms race with the Broncos back in their favor. A move that not only landed them the best coverage defender in the game, but also keeps enough cap space free that they guaranteed to keep acquiring talent. And Copy & Paste Borges can’t stand it.
I guarantee you he had his regular “The Patriots are Skinflints” column all ready to go. He took the one he’s written dozen of times over the years and inserted “Talib” in where he’d previously stuck in “Law,” “Milloy,” “Seymour,” “Mankins,” “Wilfork,” Welker” and others, and by the time his deadline came, Belichick pulled off the move of the NFL offseason and he had to find something… anything… to turn the positive into a negative. So he picked the useless, fictitious, 2nd year of the contract that only exists as a bookkeeping placeholder and everyone knows will never kick in. And couches the argument by saying that if they do anything less than win the Super Bowl, then it makes picking up Revis for 12 million bucks (and no draft picks) an abysmal failure. It would be funny if it wasn’t such a transparent, pathetic attempt by him to put a turd in the Patriots punchbowl. And you can’t tell me for one second that if they’d kept Talib and Denver added Revis he wouldn’t be saying Elway out maneuvered Belichick’s balls in on this one. Borges want to measure the success of the Talib/Revis signings by who wins the Super Bowl? Fine. Let’s do it. But if they listened to him over the last 13 years, they’d have zero “leverage over an employee” and zero championships. @JerryThornton1