Make no mistake about it, kids. The Jets won big time, and Darrelle Revis is unlikely to be burned as badly as he has been in his holdout by any NFL receiver for a long time to come.
It’s frankly pathetic to read the bloggers at ESPN’s web site talking about how the Jets “recognized” that they needed to Revis, one even going so far as to say the Jets were an 8-8 team without him, but with him have a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl. Rich Cimini, at least, got it right.
What utter nonsense. No cornerback (and Revis is, indeed, the best) can make that big a difference. No one player outside a quarterback can, and even there, it’s got less to do with how good the player is than how big the gulf between him and his backup is.
Without Revis, the jets still had a formidable backfield. Last year they lost the guy everyone thought was their best defensive player. Anyone recall how that worked out?
But the really sad part is that these guys seem unable to do simple math.
We’re not even talking fractions, here, just basic addition, subtraction and a little division. Let’s break it down.
Coming into camp, Revis was upset that he would make only $1 million this year. But his contract had three years left in it and the Jets would obviously have picked up his option, guaranteeing the rest of the money, which was $20 million. That’s $21 million guaranteed over three years, or $ 7 million per year.
Revis’ new contract gets him $32 million guaranteed and potentially up to $46 million. And it adds a fourth year. That, folks, is a long, long, LONG distance away from the contract he was seeking. His request for 10 years and $162 million was never serious, just a start for negotiations. But you can bet he was serious about being paid like Nnamdi Asomugha. And he isn’t even close.
Asomugha is getting roughly $15 million per year guaranteed. If Revis gets every non-guaranteed cent of his new deal, he will have made $11.5 million per year.
But here’s the better point: Revis already had 3 years and $21 million guaranteed. Now he has 4 years and $32 million guaranteed. He’s committed for another year, and for that extra year only got $11 million in commitment from the Jets. Does anyone seriously believe that this holdout was performed so that Revis could attach some non-guaranteed money, another $11 million guaranteed but at the cost of another year’s service time to his existing contract?
No one in their right mind believes that.
What happened looks very simple, and it was exactly the opposite of what is being written about the end of this soap opera.
Revis knew the Jets still had a very good defense without him, especially given the additions of Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson. No, it would not have been nearly as good as it will be with Revis, but Rex Ryan is a master at working with what he has. Revis understood the dangers. The 2009 Jets were 9-7 and made a terrific playoff run, and Revis was the star. The 2010 Jets were a very good bet to improve on that record without him and quite possibly go at least as far in the playoffs, and maybe farther.
Revis knows he’s the best. Unlike ESPN’s writers, he also knows that really great teams can make up for losing even their best, non-quarterback players if they play an area that is strong for the team and the team is well-rounded. That is why Darrelle Revis, on the eve of Opening Day completely caved in to the Jets. It’s quite likely what Woody Johnson and Rex Ryan told him over the weekend.
The other narrative simply doesn’t fit the facts. There was far too little gained by Revis over what he would have had to justify this holdout. That’s particularly so since he probably turned off more than one team that might look at him four years from now by holding out and making the demands he did.
Revis comes out of this a huge loser. If the Jets’ performance in games matches the way they’ve dealt with Revis, they’ll be the top seed in the playoffs and Super Bowl winners. As Jets fans know all too well, I just jinxed them to miss the playoffs. But if so, they’ll still have won this rather stunning victory, albeit over their own superstar.