In the last day, much discussion has been focused on Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis for reasons that are understandable. He has been charged with multiple felonies.
Questions have followed about how this could impact his contract situation. Revis has $6 million guaranteed for 2017. Could it now be in jeopardy?
First of all, it is important to note how far away we are from that even being a viable possibility. Revis has been charged, but charges are accusations. Defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and we know none of the facts of what took place.
Even if the case was to follow the scenario where the Jets could conceivably seek to recoup the money, it is very difficult to envision that actually happening.
Darryl Slater looked into Revis’ contract and found it is theoretically possible depending upon the outcome of this case.
The deal states Revis could be in default of his contract -- and have all of his 2017 guaranteed pay wiped out -- if he is "fined or suspended by the NFL or Club for Conduct Detrimental" or "fined or suspended for violation of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy" or "engages in personal conduct reasonably judged by Club to adversely affect or reflect on Club."
In a practical sense, though, the timetable simply wouldn’t work for this to happen no matter the outcome of Revis’ legal matter.
The league is unlikely to act until the case is resolved. Nobody knows the facts of the case so that last clause about personal conduct cannot be used until the facts are known. They probably won’t be known until later in the process.
The process is unlikely to conclude before March 9, which is the first day of the league year. That is when teams can start using their salary cap space to sign free agents.
Slater and Florio both note that if the Jets cut Revis, they would lose any right to recoup that $6 million.
The Jets will almost certainly cut Revis before March 9, though. Doing so creates over $7 million in new cap space. If the Jets hold onto Revis past March 9, he still counts against the cap. That is $7 million and change the team cannot use to upgrade the roster. All of this would be to try and regain money when the team will have no idea whether it has a chance to regain it at all.
I know people are going to focus on that last “engages in personal conduct” part, but there’s little chance the Jets will have the type of information they would theoretically need by March 9. And having him clogging the cap space by waiting for this to play out would be silly for a lot of reasons.
The bottom line is the timeline doesn’t match up for the Jets to get that money back no matter what happens.