Are Darrelle Revis' Agents To Blame for Contract Skirmish?
Darrelle Revis is represented by Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod. Amongst their clientele are guard Pete Kendall, tight end Chris Baker, wide receiver Vincent Jackson, and Revis.
What do these four players have in common, you ask?
All four have been or are involved in contract disputes that have seen no positive result in negotiations. All four are also represented by Schwartz and Feinsod.
It begs the question: Are Schwartz and Feinsod at least partially to blame for their clients' holdouts, and in many fans' eyes, poor decisions?
Let's start with the Pete Kendall situation. According to Kendall, the Jets "promised" him a revised contract in 2007. However, the Jets did not give him what he wanted, and in the end he was traded to the Washington Redskins.
The next year, Chris Baker also accused the Jets of lying on a promise to give him a revised contract. Baker was ultimately released.
Whether the Jets "lied" about promising contracts or not, the end result of both players' situations was that neither was able to come to terms with the Jets, and neither remained a Jet.
Flash forward to this season's training camp—now Schwartz and Feinsod have two even higher profiled players in current holdouts: Darrelle Revis and Vincent Jackson.
In Jackson's case, he is a restricted free agent who is not happy with the offer the San Diego Chargers gave him. As a result, he has not reported to training camp.
Going forward, the Chargers seem to have left Jackson out of their future plans, as it looks like he is going to miss the 2010 season.
As for Revis, he is reportedly asking for a 10-year, $160 million deal, while the Jets' offer fell $40 million short. He is also a training camp holdout, and is getting fined for every day he misses camp, as he still has three years remaining on his current contract.
In the midst of the Revis situation, his representatives have recently called Jets owner Woody Johnson a "blatant li[ar]."
Now, regardless of whether or not these players deserve more money, I have a hard time believing Schwartz and Feinsod aren't whispering in their ears telling them to demand more.
As far as I know, the more money a client makes, the more money the agent makes. And while Revis in particular is definitely worth more than his current contract pays him, I wonder how much influence his agents have in his demand to become the highest paid cornerback in the NFL.
In my opinion, it's not at all a coincidence that Schwartz and Feinsod's clients are holding out. It seems to be an ideology of the agency. Yet, I also think it is pretty foolish.
In regards to Revis, the Jets' current offer would already make him the highest paid player in Jets' history—asking for $40 million more than that is pretty absurd. It's even more absurd when you realize that the $40 million more is to make him the highest paid CB per year.
The current highest paid CB is the Oakland Raiders' Nnamdi Asomugha, who signed only a three-year contract. The difference is, Asomugha's three-year contract leaves him a lot of uncertainty in a sport where players' careers don't always last very long. A 10-year contract for Revis is all the security he needs to ensure his family is always well fed.
As for Jackson, it looks like he will sit out the entire 2010 season. That's foolish because not playing for a year drastically decreases one's value, but also because the NFL seems destined for a lockout in 2011. If both Jackson and Revis don't play in 2010, they may not play in 2011 either!
At the end of the day, I think Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod need to realize that they aren't giving the best advice to their star clients. Revis and Jackson are football players, and undoubtedly want to play football. Additionally, both have the opportunity to play for teams that have a very high probability of winning the Super Bowl.
To give up that opportunity because of pride is pretty nonsensical.
If Revis and Jackson don't realize that for themselves, hopefully Schwartz and Feinsod do, for the good of their clients, their clients' teams, and the fans.
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