At what point does talent supersede attitude problems? That’s the question some in the Jets front office might be asking themselves this morning after reports began to leak out that star cornerback Darrelle Revis, who has done this all before.
If this seems awfully familiar, that’s because Revis held out of camp just two seasons ago in dispute of wanting a better contract. He was eventually rewarded with a four-year, $46 million deal that included $32.5 million in guaranteed money and made him among the highest-paid cornerbacks in the game. So what’s the problem, you might ask?
The problem is that in just two short years, other players at his position have gotten pay increases. So, naturally, the entitled Revis feels that a contract he agreed to just two years ago, is an insult. The problem with Revis’ deal is that it was seriously front-loaded, and his salary will drop to $7.5 million this year and $6 million in 2013. Well below the amounts for the market value of arguably the best cornerback in the NFL.
Now, this is all still hearsay, as Revis himself has said that all issues with his contract would be handled later and that he is focusing on the season. Add to it, he has appeared at all of the voluntary organized team activities so far. However, he did the same in 2010 before skipping all of training camp.
Revis did get a little testy with members of the pesky New York media asking if another holdout was on the horizon, saying “Here we go with the contract questions. I’m here, and I’ll be playing.” Rex Ryan wasn’t biting on the media distractions either, adding “I’m not going to get into the contract stuff. You can talk to Mike Tannenbaum and Revis about that. My thing is, I’m excited about this upcoming season and having Revis there, there’s no doubt.”
To think that you can swat away the resilient New York media with some vanilla answers like that is amusing, however. This team is going to be hit by a media circus all season with the addition of Tim Tebow. Add to that the new contract Mark Sanchez just got, the fallout from the bad ending Santonio Holmes had with the team last year and he’s still on the roster. If Revis decides to hold out again, things will go from bad to apocalyptic in camp.
It’s hard to get down on a guy who is quite possibly the best in the league at his position for wanting to be paid like it. I’m just one of those guys who, and blame the accountant in me for being this way, that if you sign a contract that you’re happy with; live up to it. If your performance drops, you’re still going to want to get paid to the money you agreed to, right? So if you outperform your contract, why is it such a different story? Especially only two years in. Blame your agent for letting the team hit you with such a front-loaded deal, not the organization who paid you insane amounts of cash.
However, when the league has procedures in place that allow a team to cut you, regardless of your contract, at the first moment of a decline in play, I can understand why guys are looking to get while the getting is good. So it’s easy to see both sides of the argument here.
Who knows, perhaps he’ll be in training camp on day one and this will all have been for not. But if I was a betting man, I’d put my money on the holdout horse.