The New England Revolution have extended a contract offer to veteran goalkeeper Matt Reis in an attempt to keep their veteran No. 1 in the fold for 2011.
Reis, 35, entered the offseason as the Revolution's lone out-of-contract player after he concluded his eighth season with the team in 2010.
Revolution vice president of player personnel Michael Burns confirmed on Thursday that the team has supplied Reis with a new offer, but he did not elaborate on the length or the terms of the proposed deal.
If New England handed Reis a bona-fide offer – including a five-percent raise on his 2010 base salary for next season, among other protections and provisions – under the terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, it would explain why Reis is not included among the list of possible candidates for the first stage of the Re-Entry process on Wednesday.
[inline_node:308047]Reis could have also pulled his name out of contention for the Re-Entry process unilaterally to continue negotiations with the Revs if the team did not submit a bona-fide offer to him.
New England's decision to hand Reis a new contract offer is not a surprise. The club showed its commitment to Reis by including him on its protected list for last week's Expansion Draft, even though the former Los Angeles goalkeeper is still recovering after undergoing right ankle surgery in October.
The prospect of a new deal in New England appeals to the Revolution's all-time leader in every significant goalkeeping category.
“I've talked with the powers that be long before today and got an idea of what they want to do and what we want to do,” Reis told MLSsoccer.com in early November. “I'm committed to the Revolution. I've been here for the good times, and, unfortunately, the last year was a bit of the bad times. I'm committed to helping this team rebuild and get back to where we need to be and fighting for a MLS Cup every year.”
While New England have taken steps to retain Reis for 2011, they have also moved to possibly cut ties with four members of their current squad. Preston Burpo, Nico Colaluca, Cory Gibbs and Khano Smith will enter Wednesday's first stage of the Re-Entry process after the Revolution decided not to exercise their option to keep each of the four players for next season at their option price.
“The re-entry process is new this year, not only for the players, but also the teams,” Burns said in a statement on Friday afternoon. “With the new labor agreement, we had to make some difficult personnel and salary cap decisions.”