Earlier this year, Jets owner Woody Johnson said he wouldn’t even consider cutting the prices of PSLs in the New Meadowlands stadium. At the time, more than 10,000 seats were unsold.
"No, we're not going to do that,"Johnson told the New York Post. "[They are] fairly priced right now," Johnson told the Post when asked about lowering the price. "[They're] selling, and [they're] selling right along our trendlines, so we're good to go." What did Johnson wind up doing? Cut PSL prices in half. I guess you weren’t “good to go” huh Woody? In fact, he was dead wrong in his calculations regarding the value of a seat in his shared stadium.
Little did we know that Johnson was just getting started with exhibiting poor judgment and miscalculating.
Fast forward to the state of the Jets regarding Darrelle Revis. Management approaches Revis about their desire to give him a new contract based on his outstanding play, play that has far exceeded what he’s currently being paid. I’ll repeat that: MANAGEMENT APPROACHED REVIS, not the other way around.
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan has consistently told anyone who would listen that Darrelle Revis is the best defensive player in football. Revis has said that management expressed their desire to make him the highest paid player at his position (why would he lie?) since they view him as the best player in the NFL at his position. What have Woody and Mike Tannenbaum done in the interim? Offer contracts that don’t contain fully guaranteed money (D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold signed contracts that do not contain fully guaranteed money) to their best defensive player.
Let’s reflect for a moment: NO fully guaranteed money in contract offers to 3 of their 4 “Core Four” players, including their best defensive player….and Woody Johnson, once again, is not budging on that sticking point in contract negotiations. Woody sticking to his guns and Revis is nowhere in sight. Ooops. Woody, Woody, Woody….didn’t you learn your lesson with the PSL fiasco?
It has become painfully obvious to me that Woody Johnson lacks sound judgment when it comes to calculating the value of his most valuable asset: The team he purchased. Jets fans love their team, but they’re not going to overpay for a product that hasn’t won a super bowl title since Nixon was in office. Especially in this economy. Johnson thought we would. He was even arrogant about it. We showed him how wrong he was by not buying what he was selling, so he caved in. He had to.
Johnson and Tannenbaum have been equally arrogant with the way they’ve handled the Revis negotiations, and if recent history tells us anything, Woody will be folding on this hand too. He’s miscalculated the value of the team again, but this time, he’s done it with his best player and not the fans.
Revis obviously doesn’t agree that the New York Jets are worth the risk of signing a contract with no fully guaranteed money when his career could end on any given play. After witnessing what happened to Leon Washington and how the Jets got rid of him, can you blame him?
Johnson thinks that because the team represents New York (even though they play in New Jersey), has a charismatic, bombastic coach and was 30 minutes away from the super bowl, that anyone and everyone should play by his rules. The fans, and now Revis, are giving him clear feedback that he’s WRONG. The fans thumbed their noses at Johnson’s arrogance and he acquiesced. Revis is doing the same. If Johnson were smart, he’d acquiesce again. Why? Because he’s wrong. Again.
By not buying PSLs at Johnson’s prices, the fans told Johnson this: We have choices. We can watch the games for much cheaper at home or at a sports bar. And your parking prices blow too. Revis is sending Johnson a similar message: I have choices. Other teams will stand in line for my services if you don’t come with a fair market price offer. And JUST like the fans, if what you’re offering me isn’t what I deem as fair, I don’t have to show up at your stadium on Sundays either.
The fans weren’t being selfish in rejecting Woody’s PSL contract offer, they were being smart. They didn’t feel it was a good deal for them. By not buying the PSL’s, or in essence, holding out, Johnson had to lower prices. The fans got their way because Johnson saw the greater value in having fans in seats at half of what he was asking, than having no fans in those seats for all of what he was asking.
Revis isn’t being selfish either. NO FULLY GUARANTEED MONEY in a new contract is NOT a good deal for him, so he’s not buying what the owner is selling and I don’t blame him. Especially when it is the owner and his GM that opened this can of worms in the first place.
Woody – wake up. The fans weren’t stupid and neither is Revis. You have a good product, but you don’t have a great product – yet. Want to make it great? Start exercising better judgment regarding the value of your team and act accordingly. By lowering PSL prices, you’re admitting that your initial judgment regarding the value of your team was dead wrong.
Woody’s judgment regarding Revis’ value to the team, and the team’s value to Revis, is just as faulty. Stop making the same mistakes Brother Wood. Give Revis fully guaranteed money as part of his contract, get him signed, and give the team what it needs to have its best shot at winning another super bowl.
By thinking Revis will sign a bad contract and believing the team can win it all without him, as you did with the PSLs, you’re exhibiting poor judgment. Again.
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