The New England Patriots have the chance to make sure Darrelle Revis doesn’t even reach free agency.

The Patriots have a handful of free agents entering the offseason, but Revis technically isn’t one of them. It won’t be cheap, but the Patriots can ensure Revis stays in Foxboro if they pick up his reported $20 million option for the 2015 season. If they don’t, then Revis would hit the market.

The prevailing thought is that the Patriots won’t pick up Revis’ option; they haven’t been known to spend $20 million on one player in a given season. However, that option at least gives the Patriots, quite literally, an option. In the meantime, team president Jonathan Kraft is hopeful the club can work out a long-term deal with Revis.

“I think we’re about to get started on the offseason. He is under contract for next year. I realize that it’s probably, people understand that that’s a placeholder,” Kraft said Friday on WEEI Radio. “We’ll get to work on trying to make that happen and hopefully both sides will want to make a deal and we’ll get that done. He’s been everything and more since he’s been here.”

Fully healthy after a 2012 knee injury, Revis proved to be a game-changing talent for the Patriots in 2014. He helped shore up their defense as a much-needed lockdown cornerback and helped New England win its first Super Bowl in more than a decade.

With that in mind, there will be no shortage of suitors for the 29-year-old if Revis does go to free agency. The New York Jets (Revis’ former team) and the Buffalo Bills (coached by Revis’ former coach Rex Ryan) reportedly are both preparing to pursuit Revis.

Thumbnail photo via Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports Images