To compensate for the risk, Tampa Bay guaranteed Revis no money in his new contract with the team. Revis signed a new deal that will pay him $96 million over six years. The Jets were scheduled to pay Revis only $6 million for his final year of the contract. Revis will now make $16 million per year of his new contract.
Although the deal does provide significant risk for Revis, he seems optimistic about the change of teams. Revis spoke on his contract calling it "unique in a lot of ways." Having $0 in guaranteed money was a surprise to most when they heard of the contract details. Although there is no guaranteed money, the contact makes Revis the highest-paid defensive back in the history of the NFL.
The 27 year old Revis will also benefit from differing state tax laws. In Revis's new home state of Florida, there is no state income tax. If Revis would have stayed and played for the Jets, he would owe $538,200 in state income tax on the $6 million he was scheduled to make. If Revis were to sign the same contract with the Jets as he just did with the Buccaneers, he would have owed over $1,000,000 in state income tax in the first year.
Darrelle Revis is taking a significant risk by playing with no guaranteed money. From the perspective of the Buccaneers, I can understand why they would be hesitant to give Revis guaranteed money. Revis is only six months removed from ACL surgery. Although he was one of the best defensive football players in the game pre-surgery, it is difficult to determine how good he will be post-surgery. The high value of the contract and the significant tax benefit are two reasons why the contract could be great for Darrelle Revis. If those reasons are not enough..... he doesn't have to play for the Jets. That should be enough reason for anyone to leave.