Reflections on Darrelle Revis' Holdout Comments

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11: Darrelle Revis #24 and David Harris #52 of the New York Jets celebrate after Revis intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during their NFL Season Opening Game at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

No Need to Panic: There is really no reason to be worried yet about Revis' comments yesterday. We have a long way to go before this is an issue. The Jets have three months to get something done. This is also assuming Revis would holdout this year if he does not get the kind of contract he wants. His agents also represent Vincent Jackson. Jackson had an even longer holdout than Revis in 2010. He did not holdout again in 2011 even though his long term contract situation was no clearer.


No Surprise: At the same time, nobody should be surprised by this. Revis has held out twice. His agents were behind Jackson and Marcus McNeill holding out until well after the season started in 2010 on the Chargers. Everybody knew at the time the contract Revis signed in 2010 was a short term fix to get him on the field and that heavier lifting was to come. It might not be the best public relations, but these guys have shown in the past that they do not care about public relations. They have been part of holdouts before.

Revis' Perspective: Revis sees the contracts other top tier players like Calvin Johnson and Mario Williams have received. It is a lot of money. He wants to get his long term contract situation resolved soon. If he does not and suffers a catastrophic injury this year that ends his career, Woody Johnson is not going to give him premium money out of the goodness of his heart. Neither will fans. It might be difficult to hear, but this is a job for these players. They only have a few years to make as much money as they possibly can. Owners do not guarantee contracts like they do in baseball. The day they do, players will never threaten a holdout.

No Holdout Clause Will Not Deter Him: Some have noted that Revis has a no holdout clause in his contract. That does not forbid him from holding out, though. It only extends his contract by two years, 2014 and 2015, at a low price. It is a mechanism to give the Jets cover more than it is anything that will prevent Darrelle from holding out.

Imagine a year from now Revis being in a contract year and holding out. The Jets would be in a very difficult situation. Revis would hold all the cards. If the Jets could not satisfy him, he could sit the year and hit the market as a free agent. If the Jets tried to trade him, every team they dealt with would know they could either move him or end up losing him for nothing if he left as a free agent. By adding those two years, Revis loses the leverage free agency would bring. That does not eliminate the leverage of a holdout, though.

If Revis thinks holding out will help him get a new contract, his old contract will get ripped up, and he will be on the Jets in 2014 and 2015 with a higher salary anyway.

Fines Will Not Deter Him: Revis could face a fine of $30,000 a day if he holds out under the new CBA, but that is a small price if he thinks it will get him a nine figure contract.

Trading Him Is Not an Option: Jason from NYJetsCap.com spells out the financial impossibility of trading Revis. This goes deeper, though. Revis is the best player on the Jets and possibly the best defensive player in the league. Players who can shut down elite receivers regularly do not exist in this league. Revis is especially valuable because the Jets can leave him on an island, stick their other defenders on the other side of the field, and clog passing lanes. That doesn't happen. Most teams still have to roll coverage to their best corner against an elite receiver. The Jets can roll their coverage away from Revis.

A holdout might be a bit of a distraction, but it was in 2010 also. In the Playoffs that year, Revis held Reggie Wayne to 1 catch for 1 yard. Distraction in August and domination in January gets a team a lot closer to a championship than the opposite.

Better Than One Alternative: If Revis forces the issue now, it could be a good thing. The Jets are the only team that can offer him a contract now. It sure beats the idea of him playing out this deal and hitting the market as a free agent.


Botton Line: I'll go back to my first reflection. There is nothing to be worried about yet. This has a lot of time to get worked out. Getting Revis locked up should be a priority for both sides. Darrelle wants a big contract. The Jets need to keep him around. They have been in this situation before. It got messy, but they eventually got it done. We knew this would have to be resolved. We knew it had the potential to get a bit ugly. His desire to get paid is obvious. Revis has not told us anything we did not already know.

If you want to be worried about the Jets, the team has given you plenty of material this offseason. Everybody should take a step back and a deep breath on this one. There is no reason to get too worried just yet. Neither side has anywhere else to go.

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