And so it begins…
Nobody should have been surprised about Darrelle Revis not showing up at training camp in Cortland, New York today. From everything that is being reported this has all the makings of a long, ugly dispute between the Jets and their best overall player. Needless to say, this is not how you want to start the most hyped up season in franchise history.
Revis’ agent Neil Schwartz said his client’s “action will speak louder than words. And his absence will be deafening.” Unfortunately, he is right. Don’t be mistaken, the Jets defensive scheme is largely dependent on having a lock down corner who can handle elite receivers 1 on 1. You can’t blitz the way the Jets do, unless you have a player who can take Randy Moss, Brandon Marshall, or Chad Ochocinco Johnson out of the game by himself. Antonio Cromartie might have that potential and maybe in time Kyle Wilson can give it a run but right now on this Super Bowl or bust team, Darrelle Revis is the best in the business. He is the best corner in the NFL and maybe the best defensive player in the NFL. The Jets defense could be very good in 2010 without Revis but they won’t be an elite unit.
It is justified to be frustrated with the actions taken by Revis. He has three years left on his original contract. Nick Mangold is in the final year of his deal, is rightly unsatisfied with his current contract and he still showed up on good faith about a deal getting done. Nobody likes to see a highly paid athlete who stars in Nike commercials complaining about not making enough money. Yet, Revis is scheduled to be the 8th highest paid defensive back on the Jets in 2010. He listens to his coach say he is the best defensive player in the league all the time and wants to be compensated as an elite player in the NFL.
There has to be a half way point the Jets are willing to meet Revis at. Mike Tannenbaum has to come up with a band-aid for the next year or two before a long term contract is finalized. The Colts, Chargers, Ravens, Dolphins, Patriots, and Bengals aren’t dealing with this type of distraction now. You want to talk the talk about being the best team in the NFL and chasing a Super Bowl, it is time to walk the walk and pay your best player. You don’t win championships by not keeping people like Darrelle Revis happy.
There is spin control coming out of both sides right now. The Revis camp is saying the Jets gave him no quality offers. Mike Tannenbaum is saying he offered Revis a long term deal, a short term deal, and a third deal in between the two, all of which were rejected by the Revis camp. He is also saying he offered to meet his representatives in person and they denied the request. Expect the back and forth to continue until some type of middle ground is finally met. Let’s just hope the verbal sparring doesn’t get too ugly. In the end, I can’t imagine the Jets will let this go on for more than a few weeks. Rex Ryan is going to tire very quickly of watching his prized defense practice without its best player, the pressure will build on the organization, Revis’ public image will take a hit, and both sides will realize it is in their best interest to compromise.
According to Tannenbaum the disagreement is over the amount of guaranteed money and whether Revis is going to be paid as the top corner in the league. Thank you again Al Davis for breaking the market trend with that contract for Nnamdi Asomugha.
Other updates –
- Rex Ryan expressed his disappointment with the Revis absence and said Dwight Lowery and Kyle Wilson will rotate with the first team. I wonder how many deep balls caught on Lowery will inspire Woody and Tannenbaum to get a deal done. Ryan also said anything short of a Super Bowl win is a failed season.
- In the much ballyhooed weight loss contest, Kris Jenkins took home the title by losing 33.6 pounds on his all cookie diet. Damien Woody came in second by losing 26.2 and Rex Ryan came in third by losing 20.
- Nick Mangold admitted he was still disappointed with his contract situation but he was still in attendance.
What about some football?
Let’s hope Mark Sanchez comes out of the gate strong in his second training camp. It will be interesting to see the different formations Brian Schottenheimer came up with and how the ball is spread around. On defense, the spotlight is going to increase on Kyle Wilson. If there is one positive of the Revis holdout, it is the extra work and experience Wilson will receive. On special teams, it would be nice if Nick Folk got off on the right foot. Nobody needs to hear about him going 2/7 tomorrow.
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