At one time “one of the best cornerbacks to ever play this game” was Darrelle Revis. Although that quote was from Revis, many people, even football experts, would concur. In fact, there was a plot of land named after him. Before Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson were the most feared CBs, there was Revis Island. Receivers dreaded seeing him across from them but most of them needn’t have worried since wise QBs weren’t going to target them anyway.
Well, one opponent that no corner (or player of any sport) could beat in a one-on-one match up came along and exposed Darrelle. Father Time. The cocky Jets’ cover corner found he was getting torched by receivers who weren’t even in the same class as those he used to shut down. In addition video from this season went viral of him giving an embarrassing – no, make that no – effort on a tackle. For fans who have yet to see it and wonder exactly how bad it could actually have been, let me refer to a line used by an old football coaching colleague of mine. “If you strapped an egg to the front of his helmet, it wouldn’t break” when a ball carrier came his way.
So be it. No one can say Darrelle Revis wasn’t a superstar in his day. In professional sports, when “your day” is over, someone else takes your place or “picks up the flag” or, as the saying goes, it’s “next man up.” Revis doesn’t exactly agree. He admits he’s not the player he once was. However, he feels as though he still should be paid like it. As he told the New York Post, “Do the New York Jets want to treat my situation with class or no class? With me being one of the best players in the history of this franchise, do they want me to retire here or not retire here? That’s the biggest question. It’s black and white. It’s not very complicated.” On that last thought, he’s exactly right. It’s not very complicated.
Revis claims he understands that football is a business. The concept Revis doesn’t seem to understand is when a player’s skills deteriorate, so does his leverage. And that’s where the “business” part comes in. If the Jets release him in the offseason, they save a lot of money – to the tune of freeing up $9 million in cap space. According to the Post, “as it stands now, he is set to count $15.33 million against the cap in 2017.” Yet, when speaking of how his contract should be handled, Revis becomes nostalgic, professing contract negotiations should be about loyalty.
There’s talk of him being moved to safety but at a reduced salary. The negotiations will probably come down to one difference. The contract he’ll be offered will be agreeable to both him and the Jets – in the eight figure range. The one difference?