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It’s often said that money talks. Well, for All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis it certainly seems to be all talk, as the money appears to be staying in his boss’s pocket. Yes, there is one specific source that does not want to pay up for the best defensive player in the NFL. No, it’s not the New York Jets team, the coach, or even the GM. It is the power up top – Woody Johnson. Let’s begin with a quick recap.
Revis has held himself out of training camp two times over the span of his career with the Jets. At the start of his rookie season, he missed the first 21 days of camp while his agents negotiated a contract. Talks went on so extensively that at one point, Revis’s mother flew in on a plane from Pittsburgh to help smooth the process and eventually, on August 15, 2007, the Jets finally came to an agreement with the defender.
Truly, this was not the greatest start to a relationship between a newly drafted player and the team’s owner.
And that relationship did not get any better three years later when Revis missed the majority of training camp and all four of the team’s preseason contests while holding out for a new contract. After the ongoing battle of words through negotiations, on September 5, 2010, another agreement was finally reached, this time via a four-year $32 million guaranteed contract. But prior to that settlement, Revis was in fact almost shipped out of New York, as the team reportedly came very close to trading him away. (In fact, the organization seemed much more willing to trade him away than pay him what he wanted, and talks were held with numerous teams including the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles.)
However, the contract that was finally offered and accepted was looked upon at the time by both team officials and Revis himself as a “Band-Aid,” and it was supposed that a long-term deal would eventually be coming his way within the next few seasons.
Three years later and the drama is over, right?
After going to back-to-back AFC Championship games in both the 2009 and 2010 campaigns, the New York Jets have missed the playoffs two years in a row, and at the start of last season Revis tore his ACL and was abruptly shut down for the rest of the 2012-2013 season. Now, after surgery, Revis is training hard in rehab to get back on to the field, and he is about to enter the final year that is left on the so called “Band-Aid.”
Revis signed a seven-year deal in 2010 that now voids to a four-year pact. This in turn makes him an unrestricted free agent in 2014. The deal also included incentives along with a clause that prevented him from being hit with any franchise tag. Johnson downplays his ability to extend Revis’s deal and has expressed his heavy desire to attempt to trade the 27-year-old rather than running the risk of losing him to free agency. The problem is, according to Revis’s reps, that ever since the 2010 deal, there has been absolutely no communication about a possible new deal or extension.
Revis has stated time and time again, that he would love to retire as a New York Jet – and with the current state of the Jets organization, that is a lot to say. He wants to be there, so the question is; why is no effort being made in trying to re-sign him in some capacity before free agency starts in a year from now? Why is a trade necessarily the answer? Trading your star player should be a last resort for numerous reasons from both a football standpoint and a marketing standpoint.
Yes, granted the New York Jets have major salary cap issues, but if the team is in fact going to enter a rebuilding process, why not create some cap room and rebuild around the best defensive player in the NFL?
The Jets should let him play out his contract, and at least see if he is still the same player after the horrific knee injury. Observe him through the 2013 season, and when is all said and done, let him walk, or re-sign him. It makes sense to wait, because if all the Jets are looking to receive via a trade are a few draft picks, then no matter what, they are not about to find anybody better than Revis in this year or next year’s draft. Plus, the salary cap situation will improve as more “bad” contracts and money will be moved off the roster come this time next year. Johnson recently stated: “We want Revis on the team, but we’re always looking to get better…” The statement seems contradictory, because without Revis there simply is no way of getting any better anytime soon.
From a marketing standpoint, what kind of message is this sending to fans? Many of the Jets faithful – including the unofficial team mascot of thirty years – have already walked away after what transpired during the last two seasons. The departure of Revis would just rub more salt into the wound for fans. He’s one of a few players on the roster that can still sell tickets.
All in all, it looks likely that it will be a hard and lengthy process if the organization tries to keep Revis. However, because he is the best player on the team, observation of that process is worth it. The man deserves to be paid and the team must answer questions, not just create trade rumors and speculation.
Is Woody not willing to pay from a business standpoint? Or is there bad blood between the two that has gone under the radar?
Not only does the team and Revis deserve an answer, but so do the fans.
What do you think about the proposed Revis trade? Should he stay or should he go? Let us know in the comments section below.