The Jets, Darrelle Revis, and his agent have reportedly reached a “truce” in which all contract negotiations moving forward will be entirely confidential. In addition, there seems to be good faith toward working through negotiations and getting a deal done.
The true question is whether or not anyone believes that this changes anything. The bad blood and frustrations still remain, as does the grand canyon standing between the Jets and Revis in terms of demands for guaranteed money.
The process does not appear to be getting any easier regardless of any “truce” mutually agreed upon, though it’s comforting to see any smear campaigns regarding negotiations will seemingly be kept at a minimum.
I for one do not believe for a second that this agreement will continue moving forward, and have come up with 10 logical reasons why I feel Revis will not be giving in or “buddying up” to the Jets any time soon.
Let’s get started on the “10 Reasons This Public Truce With the Jets Won’t Last”:
This is not the first time that Darrelle Revis has used leverage to hold out for better contract compensation. You need to look no further than Revis’ rookie season after being drafted in the first round out of Pittsburgh for another such occasion.
The deal that he feels is now so insulting, and I tend to agree, was once a prize worth holding out three vital weeks of training camp to receive. If he would hold out for a few million dollars here or there in 2007, why won’t he use his full force to secure around $40 million extra in 2010?
Revis and his agent know how the Jets work, and they have been enabled to believe that this process works. Woody Johnson caved in the past with some rookie named Darrelle, so is he really to believe he won’t cave for an All-Pro named “Revis Island?”
Darrelle Revis is more than a name at this point. He has officially transformed into a brand. He has commercials for Sports Authority, a catchy nickname stitched on t-shirts all over the east coast in “Revis Island,” and he has Jets fans everywhere stuck with his name constantly on their minds.
The Jets organization has played up this persona so dramatically that “Revis Island” has reached levels of “King” James and Albert “The Machine” Pujols. In fact, it is arguable that it is one of the most recognizable monikers in all of sports.
Revis means more to the Jets than just his performances on the field. He, somehow even more than pretty boy QB Mark Sanchez, is a chief marketing tool of the franchise.
They cannot afford to live within that money-making machine, especially with the need to sell countless unsold PSLs throughout Meadowlands Stadium.
Rex Ryan’s suddenly shrinking throat is going to feature more than once on this list, and for good reason. He is a motivational, emotional, and arrogant man—the kind you love when he’s yours and hate when he’s not.
The problem is a mouth like that will get you in trouble as many times as it will provide a positive impact. In Ryan’s case, he has already done so in declaring NY “a Jets town” without winning a title, bad mouthing the perpetually dominant Patriots, and creating the monster that is Darrelle Revis.
Known as a player’s coach and one who will fight for and stand behind anyone wearing a hometown jersey, Ryan seemed to flip the script to the company line after word broke out of a possible lengthy Revis holdout.
Comments like “this defensive scheme isn’t about one guy,” “I have won with stars out on defense before,” and “We can win without Revis, we will will as a unit” are quality rallying cries. The problem is, they slight the best player on your team, and begin to sprinkle some salt on open wounds.
Rookie cornerback Kyle Wilson of Boise State is a wonderful talent. All signs point to him having a very productive NFL career, as well as becoming an established starter within two to three years in the league.
That said, this is year one. Wilson is nothing but a wet-behind-the-ears rookie defensive back in a league littered with dangerous veteran receivers. Revis knows this. He also knows that his absence will mean countless more reps in big situations for this unproven commodity.
This situation, even with the addition of Antonio Cromartie, is something Revis can take advantage of. It is merely more leverage for a player who seems to be swimming in it these days.
In recent contract talks, word leaked that the Jets were offering something in the neighborhood of 10 years $120 million. Revis (reportedly) is looking for something more in the $160 million range.
This $40 million differential is something that most believe could be done away with to some extent if the Jets were willing to make more of the $120 million of the guaranteed variety. In reality, that is all any NFL contract is all about, as anything not included in the signing bonus is worth no more than the paper it’s printed on.
In a league where one false step or one missed torpedo in your periphery could mean the end of your career, it behooves Revis to make sure he maximizes the guarantees and minimizes the “Monopoly money.”
The Jets have to this point balked at this concept, even though someone of Revis’ position (one somewhat unlikely of experiencing career-ending trauma) seems a “safe investment” by NFL standards. That will have to change for any resolution to be reached.
They may be the prototypical “jock,” but most NFL players are not stupid. They learn lessons from their experiences and what goes on around them—especially when they involve a close teammate.
Former Jets RB Leon Washington was also once still on a rookie deal much like Revis. He was coming off of a wonderful year in 2008 in which he accounted for nine TD, a 5.9 YPC average, and nearly 50 receptions out of the backfield.
The Jets organization promised him just compensation and acknowledged they were open to discussing a reconstructed deal. In good faith, Washington played while negotiating, even though the deal had yet to be agreed upon.
In the seventh game of the season, Washington sustained a crippling injury—one difficult to watch on even the smallest of screens. He was lost for the year, and his career was now unquestionably in doubt.
Washington will now never get that big contract, and will instead fight for playing time on an upstart Seattle Seahawks team in 2010. Don’t think for a second that Revis was not paying very close attention.
Deferred bonus money aside, Revis will be making just $1 million in salary in 2010. This simply does not match up with his godlike performance of 2009 in which he totaled 54 tackles, six INT, and a staggering 31 passes defended—while virtually never being thrown at.
Revis is a true “shutdown corner,” a phrase often referred to as the dinosaur of the NFL thanks to new rules aimed at limiting the leeway previously offered to DBs. He is a surefire Pro Bowler being paid like a nickel or dime corner.
Some have questioned Revis’ motives within the organization considering he still has three years left on a deal he held out to receive.
That said, if a player like Andre Johnson can renegotiate after already getting a massive extension, why not the best CB in the NFL entrenched in a rookie contract?
Rapidly deteriorating “super owner” Al Davis single-handedly branded a number in Darrelle Revis’ psyche. That number was $15.1 million, the annual salary of fellow AFC All-Pro CB Nnamdi Asomugha.
Asomugha was made the richest CB in NFL history with the deal, and officially set the bar for any future negotiations with Revis.
Some will rightfully argue that Davis was out of his mind in offering such a deal to a player at his position, but at this point that is irrelevant.
The fact of the matter is Revis knows he is at worst as good as Asomugha. Many will argue that in 2009 he passed him by rather easily. If the Jets don’t pony up to get Revis in the ballpark of Asomugha’s deal, fans can thank Al Davis as much as Woody Johnson for any yearlong holdout.
Some head coaches and defensive coordinators value discipline and patience within their systems, and aim to prevent the big play as opposed to creating a big play themselves.
Rex Ryan, on the other hand, engineers his defense to be all about the big play, as well as the ability to swing momentum in the blink of an eye. He promotes flying around the field, reactionary movement, and taking risks for the reward of a sack or key turnover.
The entire foundation of that plan revolves around aggressive blitz packages and a “white knuckle” attack philosophy. In order to accomplish this scheme’s intentions without disaster, Ryan needs lock down corners on the outside, and ones who are able to play in single-coverage.
Revis’ ability to literally shut down an entire half of the field on his own allows for the safety to play more aggressively in the box or get involved in the blitz. His absence forces the safety to play over the top for protection, and leaves the Jets more vulnerable in the middle of the field.
Again, Revis knows exactly how important he is to everything the Jets plan on doing in defending the passing game. He will use that to his advantage in negotiations—“truce” or not.
It comes as no surprise that Rex Ryan is a repeat offender in the Darrelle Revis holdout scenario. The man that is now selling the “we are fine without our best player” slogan was the same man once demanding Revis was Defensive POY, if not the league’s MVP.
All Rex did all year long was wax poetic about Revis’ immense skills, virtually crediting all of his success to the efforts of one player. He marveled at the fact he’d never seen a cornerback play this dominantly since Deion Sanders’ prime years.
Rex built up Revis to the point of placing him in Canton, Ohio’s NFL Hall of Fame before his 26th birthday. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that it doesn’t work both ways in the NFL—a league with endless risks and non-guaranteed deals.
You can’t refer to someone as the best at his position without paying him like one. Dr. Rex has created a monster. Now he needs to figure out how to tame him.