So Darrelle Revis is a holdout. It’s not like this was unexpected, despite the rumblings recently that the door had been reopened to contract talks and there was no formal declaration from Revis that he would indeed skip the start of camp. And maybe this is only a “statement” by Revis, much like his minicamp “sick-out.” Maybe this only lasts for a few days.
Or maybe it gets uglier, and maybe it drags itself into a major camp distraction, which would obviously be a worst-case scenario.
Either way, this is not what the Jets needed as they open a camp with more hype and optimism surrounding their 2010 chances than any summer I can ever remember. Even the group that came off of the 1998 AFC Championship game didn’t have this kind of buzz.
Normally when you have a situation like this one, people will choose sides. And you’ll see/read/hear plenty of exactly that as the Revis holdout plays itself out. I used to be a talk show host, and in that profession you get paid to take sides. But no matter how many different angles one looks at this situation, I’m not sure there is anything but gray area. There doesn’t seem to be right and wrong. Both sides have legitimate concerns that have left this negotiation behind major roadblocks.
Look at it first from Revis’ point of view — and this is the far simpler side of the issue. Across the NFL, “Revis Island” is looked upon as the most difficult piece of real estate to get anywhere near. The Jets themselves, and specifically the head coach, have never been shy about lauding Revis as perhaps the best player in the NFL. Certainly they believe they have the best player at that position in the league.
Players usually get one or two chances in their careers to do a big contract, and the first time around sets the pace if you’re even lucky enough to do a huge deal a second time around. Security, respect, being paid what he feels he’s worth — these are all justifiable concerns for a player to have, especially a player as young and as good as Darrelle Revis.
However, there are two sides to every story, and the Jets have concerns that are just as legitimate. Revis can look at the short term, with respect to himself alone. The Jets have an entire organization to which they must pay attention. How will a Revis deal impact their cap situation when a cap of some sort inevitably returns? What will that financial structure be? How will the money they pay Revis now affect the jumping-off point for negotiations with other young, would-be star players and their deals that will also be coming up? (See Nick Mangold and David Harris for starters.)
Also, Nnamdi Asomugha made a killing, no doubt about it. He took his deal all the way to free agency. (Revis still has three years left on his contract.)
There are financial ramifications that are far-reaching beyond simply saying “Revis is the best. We should just pay him.” Mangold and Harris also both want new deals, but they’re not holding out. D’Brickashaw Ferguson got a big new contract, but also gave a little from his side, making the money he’ll earn attainable due to skill and taking out an insurance policy to guard against injury.
It’s a tough situation for both sides. In the end, you know how this resolves itself? The Players Association, and specifically the head of the NFLPA, stops giving interviews to every camera that passes him on the street and gets to the negotiating table instead.
Bob Wischusen is now, finally, on Twitter. You can follow the radio voice of the New York Jets and the TV voice of thousands of college sports programs on http://twitter.com/bobwischusen.
Tags: Darrelle Revis, Nnamdi Asomugha
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