Awhile back I wrote about how Darrelle Revis and Vincent Jackson share representation.
In the wake of the Revis signing I was in too jubilant a mood to criticize Neil S. Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod any further, even going so far as to call the deal a great compromise.
And four weeks into the season it is still difficult to muster up enough vitriol to attack them and their client again. With the Jets' early season success I'm seeing everything through green-tinted glasses.
But I'd like to take them off for a minute and seriously examine the job these two numskulls have done the past couple of months, if only to keep a balanced mind about the Jets franchise. Things are great right now, but a dose of reality is in order to ensure that spirits don't get so elated that we lose perspective.
The problem began before the aforementioned jubilation had even subsided. Peter King reported that Revis and his agents would go through this whole rigmarole once again two years from now if, according to Revis, he continues, "to play ball like I usually do."
While the whole thought of Revis having another prolonged holdout—which, by my count, would be a third holdout in six years—is less reassuring than Papelbon coming into a save situation against the Yankees, it is highly unlikely to come to that, and for good reason.
The albatross that is Nnamdi Asomugha's contract will have expired. And while it is impossible to project the cornerback market two years from now, I feel relatively safe saying no team is going to pay a corner significantly more than the $16 million he will average over the next two years.
That makes negotiations easier because Revis will either play like he usually does or not.
If he does play like the Darrelle Revis of 2009, then it is highly likely that the Jets will approach him first to renegotiate a long-term deal with the average from the first two years of this recently signed deal as the benchmark for a new deal at a point when the likely increase in salary cap would not make such an exorbitant deal ludicrous.
If he does not play like the Darrelle Revis of 2009, then one of two things happen: he doesn't holdout and plays for the remaining $13.5 million spread out over two years, or he still holds out and GM Mike Tannenbaum finally gets to tell off Schwartz and Feinsod before he trades Revis away to a non-contender with a defensive coordinator that can't even hope to aspire to utilize Revis as well as Rex Ryan's system does.
And even if Revis plays like the Revis of 2009, who's to say the Jets won't just trade him away anyway?
Last time I checked, the Jets have been outscored 24-19 in six quarters with Darrelle Revis on the field and have outscored opponents 87-37 in 10 quarters without Darrelle Revis on the field.
As most intelligent Jets fans realized, the loss of Darrelle Revis for the season, had he held out, would have been negligible as long as Mark Sanchez began to develop into something resembling a starting quarterback in the NFL.
And now Darrelle Revis is four weeks behind in playing like the Darrelle Revis of 2009.
As so many players that holdout do, Revis tweaked his hamstring and has missed the last two and a half games after a less than stellar performance in the game and a half he played.
Not only did Randy Moss escape Revis island, he relieved himself all over it in the first half of the Jets and Patriots Week 2 game.
And for as good a job as he did on Derrick Mason in Week 1, he was unable to cover Anquan Boldin, who ran roughshod over the rest of the Jets secondary.
Jets fans eagerly anticipate Revis' return this weekend against the Minnesota Vikings and the recently acquired Randy Moss. In fact, many are foaming at the mouth in anticipation of Revis exacting some form of revenge against Moss.
To which I ask, are you mad?
Even if Revis does play, which is no sure bet, it's doubtful he'll be at one hundred percent. Do you want him covering the guy who he tweaked the hamstring against while getting burned for a touchdown?
This holdout is going to do irreparable damage to Revis' 2010 season.
Forget the fact that it's almost Week 5 and he hasn't played at full strength yet.
Fans seldom account for the variability of success in professional sports leagues. Anybody who doubts its existence should take a look at Aubrey Huff's career.
Darrelle Revis had an absolutely phenomenal 2009. I don't hesitate to say it may have been the greatest season for a cornerback ever. But expecting a player to duplicate that success is absurd. Even the greatest players make mistakes.
If Revis takes until after the Jets bye to get healthy, then so be it. But once he comes back it would be silly to expect him to shutdown every receiver he faces.
But with that one quote, "to play ball like I usually do," that is exactly the challenge Darrelle Revis and his agents set in place for him this season.
And what if he fails, what if a year from now we're looking at no NFL season due to a lockout? When Revis is not earning that $16.25 million a year anymore, and is looking to restructure his contract in 2012, what will he have to fall back on, other then his success from 2009, to justify the salary he will want?
And Vincent Jackson? I see A.J. Smith didn't blink. And the Chargers robust 28.3 points per game sure does highlight his value.
At least Darrelle is the highest paid corner in the league this year, right? As a Jets fan, I sincerely hope that status symbol was worth the gamble and worth crippling his popularity amongst the fans.