Will he or won’t he? That is the question. In nine days we will get an answer, but until then we are left with only speculation.
The latest Revis hypothesizing came Monday, when ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen visited Mike and Mike in the Morning to talk news happening around the league. On the show, Mort revealed that he’d be “surprised if he’s [Revis] there on Day 1″ of training camp in Cortland.
“The Jets, I think they’re going to see what Revis does, because he’s playing as if he’s one of the top five football players in the NFL…Everybody understands they may not be a contender without Revis … He’s kept everybody guessing. I’m almost going to be surprised if he’s there Day 1.”
Worth noting that this is Mortensen’s opinion. Opinion.
As you are likely well aware, Revis and his people will not comment on whether or not he will hold out, so it’s absolutely fair to speculate. But, being that training camp begins in just over a week and no developments of any kind whatsoever have been reported, I think it’s safe to assume that the two sides have not spoken to each other, a new contract has not been agreed upon and that Revis will hold out.
In anticipation of the anticipated holdout, let’s briefly breakdown Revis’ contract from 2010 and to understand what he wants.
Why am I going over these details? Because I have gathered through my conversations with people that there is misunderstanding about what exactly his last contract looked like and why in the world he feels he has the write to another one. (For a complete break down, go here).
Revis signed a four year, $46 million contract in 2010 after a highly publicized holdout that was captured on HBO’s Had Knocks for all the world to see. As part of that deal, Revis was paid $32.5 million – $16.25 per year – in 2010 and 2011. The salary did make him the highest paid corner in those two years (just above Nnamdi, who earned $16.124 mill), which was likely what got the deal made at the time.
In the last two years of the deal the salary drops down, paying Revis $13.5 million. He will make $7.5 mil this season, including $2 mill in bonuses and another million in a reporting bonus, if he shows up.
And that is why we are where we are. While Revis’ salary in the first two years did make him the highest paid corner in the league, his 2012 salary, at age 26 and in the prime of his career, is not even in the Top 10 for cornerbacks in the NFL. In fact, it the 17th highest salary. 17th.
Ultimately, Revis is probably wanting to match the salaries we saw cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Cortland Finnegan receive this off-season (Both are just over $10 mill). These two corners have now passed the market but Revis still remains the superior player.
Carr and Finnegan were free agents, so it’s not exactly apples to apples. Their contracts ran out allowing them to field offers on the open market. But the market has spoken and the market is now upwards of $10 million. Revis wants in.
Of course, if Revis does hold out, he would be a free agent in 2016 (He won’t want that), and some would argue that gives the Jets the leverage. Tannenbaum says he has no “appetite” for re-doing Revis’ contract, likely because he thought he had created a foolproof contract and he plans to call Revis’ bluff with the no-holdout clause he built in.
But I disagree. I still think it is REVIS that has the leverage.
The team needs him on the field at the start of the season, and if you think otherwise, you are kidding yourself. This defense is contingent upon the performance of it’s shut-down corners, and if you are missing Revis, it will not be pretty. (No offense to Kyle Wilson, but he isn’t Revis. Amirite?). Revis knows this. And therefore, the built-in holdout clause means nothing if he knows that the Jets will bend. If Revis wants to old on, he will hold out.
Furthermore – and I don’t frankly care what anyone says to the contrary – Revis’ 2010 contract was a bandaid to get him into camp and get his butt on the field for Monday Night football. Tannenbaum, who has a habit of front-loading contracts, did what he had to do at the time to make that happen, and he himself even referred to it as “intermediate” step (Woody Johnson also called it a bandaid).
So while the life of Revis’ contract, on paper, is indeed very generous, these two sides essentially agreed to a contract that literally no one thought would hold up long term, not even the front office (and I’ll include Woody in there too, had to know this was coming). The last paragraph of just about every report from the 2010 contract goes into detail about just how problematic this contract was going to be heading into 2012 because of how front-loaded it was, so no, I can’t be mad at Revis for wanting a new deal.
The way I see it, the Jets did this to themselves. I believe that both Woody Johnson and Rex know this, and that is why both of them, when asked about the situation, defer to Tannenbaum. They have put this on him to take care of.
Perhaps a new deal has not be spoken of or taken care of because the Jets only have about $6 mill in cap space to play with. Perhaps they did not anticipate that a reduced salary cap would be in place two years when they talked about “intermediate steps” to a long term deal. These are all realistic possibilities, but it unfortunately won’t make Revis show up to camp any sooner.
At the end of the day, I predict Revis will get his contract reworked, get his money and, as Manish Mehta explained on Flight 5 Live, it will make him the highest paid player NOT at the QB position in the NFL.
The biggest question for me is this: When they cough up the money Revis wants now (likely in a front-loaded deal because this is Mike Tannenbaum we’re talking about), are we going to b back where we started two years from now?
The Flight 5 crew debated the Revis holdout last week on the show in a funny Law and Order type segment. You can check it out here (around the 40 minute mark).