When All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis held out for a new deal in 2010, he put the New York Jets in a tough spot. The Jets were trying to build off of an AFC Championship Game appearance—their first since 1998.
Expectations hadn't been so high since Bill Parcells was coaching the team. So, when Revis, New York's best player, didn't show up to training camp, management was in a bind to get him back on the field as quickly as possible.
This year, should Darrelle Revis decide to hold out again, the script will be flipped.
Although he hasn't said for certain that he would not report to Cortland when the Jets open camp, he has said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN New York, that he wants a long-term deal sooner than later and that, if he doesn't get one, he may not show up.
But that may not work as nicely as it did last time.
This time around, the Jets don't have nearly the same amount of pressure on them to win. After missing the playoffs with an 8-8 record last year, some would go so far as to call the Jets underdogs.
That changes general manager Mike Tannenbaum's mentality a bit. He wouldn't feel like he was ruining the Jets' chances for a Super Bowl by playing hardball with the star cornerback.
On top of that, in 2010, the Jets cornerback situation was not nearly as stable as it is this year. In 2010, Antonio Cromartie was playing in his first season with the Jets and Kyle Wilson was playing in his first season in the NFL. The fact that the No. 2 and 3 cornerbacks on the roster were new to the system added extra pressure on management to make sure Revis suited up for Week 1.
This year, however, Cromartie is a very capable Jet. Wilson, while still not where fans want him to be, should look better than he has since entering the league. If Revis were to miss any regular season games, the Jets' secondary would obviously be weaker—but it would not be incapable of shutting down passing teams.
Finally, the Jets' success in 2010 is another reason that Revis won't have the power in a holdout this year. Despite a loss on opening night to Baltimore, the Jets started the season 5-1. In that span, they defeated Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Oh yeah, and the season culminated with another AFC Championship Game appearance.
Even though Revis played in almost every game of the season, he showed signs of rust early on—most notably when he injured his hamstring against New England. The rest of the team was able to carry on and win until Revis was playing at full strength at the end of the year.
That's not to say that if Revis holds out again, the Jets are going to have massive success when he returns. But that's what happened in 2010, and you better believe it would take a lot of the pressure off of Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets' front office in 2012.