New York Jets: The Wrong Way to Function

Marc Serota

Lost in all of the Darrelle Revis trade talk has been the impetus for the trade. There is no silver bullet, but if you piece together reports, it becomes clear that this is probably coming from the owner. You can dismiss any one report as idle chatter and thinly sourced, but when you have a great deal of writers both local and national saying the same thing, a clear picture begins to emerge.

Jason LaCanfora; January 23:

Revis, whose contract voids after the 2014 season, is set to earn $6 million in 2013 (between salary and bonuses), and owner Woody Johnson has strong reservations about the ability to extend Revis's deal, the sources said. Johnson has expressed his desire to attempt to land value for Revis now, rather than risk losing him as an unrestricted free agent a year from now, most likely seeking as much draft-pick compensation for him as possible.

Albert Breer; January 23

Going back to discussions with general manager candidates, Jets owner Woody Johnson has expressed a need to figure out where the team is headed with Revis. And with some doubt that a long-term contract could be on the horizon, given the tenor of previous negotiations and the Jets' salary-cap situation, the idea of a trade would be one of the options considered by the team and new GM John Idzik.

Rich Cimini; January 24

Pessimistic about the chances of re-signing Darrelle Revis before he becomes a free agent next year, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is open to trading the star cornerback, a person familiar with Johnson's thinking said Wednesday night.

....

Johnson has "no confidence" in the Jets' ability to re-sign Revis, the person familiar with the owner's thinking said. Despite the knee injury, Revis could seek more than $16 million per year, which could be prohibitive for the cap-strapped Jets. They're already $19.4 million over the 2013 salary cap.

Manish Mehta; February 26

One NFC executive told The News that there is a sentiment around the league that Johnson not only isn’t interested in making Revis the highest-paid defensive player in the league, which would mean a salary of around $16 million per year, but that the owner doesn’t want to sign the cornerback to a lucrative long-term deal at all given the dire state of the franchise.

....

A source told The News that Idzik hasn’t opened the lines of communication with Revis’ representatives since he was hired a month ago.

Mike Florio; March 10

There have been no negotiations on a new contract for Revis — at any time. Last year, when Revis was contemplating another holdout, there were no talks. Before that, there we no talks. Since then, there have been no talks.

....

Sure, there’s a chance that Johnson assumes Revis will want too much. But how can anyone know that without asking?

Thus, if the Jets ultimately trade Revis without negotiating with him, the reasonable interpretation will be that Johnson decided that he no longer wanted Revis on the team, or that Johnson doesn’t want to pay significant money to any player.

Obviously, there is speculation in some of these articles, and some have unpopular authors. There are some clear themes, though.


Woody Johnson appears to be the driving force, and the issue appears to be that he doesn't want to pay Revis. What indications are there? All indicate Woody Johnson is the driving force here. The first of these stories appeared before John Idzik was introduced as general manager.

Now throw in the fact the Jets haven't even attempted to contact Revis' people in any way. Idzik hasn't spoken with Revis' people at all. That doesn't make sense. Even those leery of paying Revis too much will acknowledge there is a price at which having Revis on the team makes the Jets better. Idzik hasn't even reached out to find out whether Revis' demands are in that ballpark or whether there is some way there is a deal that could make both sides happy.

This leaves one of two possibilities. The first is that Idzik is not exploring all possibilities, which would be a stunning display of incompetence given how important this decision is. The second is Idzik's hands are tied by an owner who does not want to give Revis any sort of big contract. The evidence of the second one is circumstantial, but there is a lot of it. I also just have a tough time believing that Idzik would be dumb enough to not at least get parameters of what Revis wants.

This brings us to the big point. The handling of the Revis situation is the most important decision this team will make not involving a quarterback or head coach in the last decade. All indications are that the owner is running point. That's troubling. It's one thing if Idzik reaches out to Revis' people and decides having him take up that much of the cap would hurt the team. That would be a football decision. That doesn't seem to be what we have here. When ownership is making the call purely on dollars and cents without regard for the on field product, it's alarming.
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