We are only taking one question today and with good reason. I do not think I can fairly address the Darrelle Revis situation without giving a lengthy answer. Next week, we will return to our video Q&A on Tuesday and then more of a traditional print Q&A on Thursday.
But let's take a trip to Revis Island.
I am absolutely a Jets fan, but why do we keep putting up with Revis and his holdouts? He is an amazing pass defender, but he really is a very mediocre run defender. He's simply not willing to come up and hit people the way a defender should. Additionally, please reference the below quote:
"I don't want to talk about [my contract] on the radio or anywhere else for that matter," Tom Brady wrote, according to WEEI. "Athletes are always talking about money at a time when everyone else is struggling so badly to make it. We all make way more than our fair share. And I just think it reflects poorly on myself and my teammates." [ESPN]
Now, as a Jets fan, there is no one I hate more than Tom Brady. However, at this moment in time, I'm frustrated that we're stuck with the money-grubbing Darrelle Revis instead of having more selfless, team-oriented players. After a season like last, I just want players who are willing to shut up, sacrifice and just win.
EA:Money — not just in pro sports — always complicates matters. We all need it and we all want it.
Football is a gladiator sport. These players sacrifice their bodies and the average career lasts less than four years. In turn for their services, many players get paid a lot of rock. I tend to avoid using terms like "selfish" when a player holds out or asks for more money.
Football is a sport, but it is also a business. Teams ask players to restructure contracts all the time and players are cut. Anquan Boldin (22-380-17.3-4TD) was dominant during the Ravens' Super Bowl run, but the Ravens wanted the tough wideout to take a pay reduction. So Boldin, who reportedly is set to earn $6 million next season, was shipped to the San Francisco 49ers for a sixth-round draft pick.
"Managing and assembling your roster is difficult and among the most important things we do," said Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome. "It is not always pleasant, and in the case of Anquan, it is unpleasant."
In the case of Darrelle Revis, he was raised in Aliquippa, PA. A proud Western Pennsylvania town that has produced a number of NFL players including Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, Ty Law & Revis' uncle — Sean Gilbert , Aliquippa has many residents that live below the poverty level and gangs and drugs are problems. Revis did not grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth as his Mother — Diana Gilbert — worked multiple jobs to raise her children. Family is important to Darrelle and sometimes he gets labels that are just not fair. God gave Revis talent, but he perfected his craft.
With that being said Ray, Revis is much more than an excellent pass defender. Your assessment that No. 24 is a "very mediocre run defender" is wrong. This isn't Deion Sanders we are talking about. Sure Revis didn't look great on that tackle attempt of then Broncos QB Tim Tebow in the 2010 season, but Revis is a phenomenal run defender. Time and time again, Revis discards would-be blocks from receivers and then comes up and delivers form tackles. In fact, I would argue Revis tackles better than most safeties in the NFL.
Brady did re-work his deal with the Patriots, but it's not as if Tom Terrific is going to the Poorhouse. According to an ESPN.com report, Brady came close to doubling the guaranteed money owed to him over the next five seasons while clearing some cap space for the Pats in the process. It is not like Brady is playing for the league minimum or something considering $57 million is guaranteed for injury.
Revis, who is working to return to his All-Pro form after suffering an ACL Tear in Week 3 against the Dolphins, has held out twice (he is not holding out at present time). Before that devastating left knee injury, Revis had missed just four games in his first five seasons.
"By all accounts, by his doctor's accounts, he's doing very well," said GM John Idzik of Revis in a season ticket holders in a conference call I moderated last week. "By their estimation, he's ahead of schedule."
So where do we stand now? It seems with each passing moment, there is a new report about a Revis trade rumor.
"Darrelle is a very valued player on our team," Idzik said. "Our focus is squarely on getting him healthy, getting him back to his level of play."
I can understand the angst of Jets Nation regarding the whole Revis situation. This might be a legendary player on your hands and the future appears uncertain. But unlike a fan, Idzik thankfully won't be emotional or rash because he has to make the most prudent decisions for his football team. Revis has one year remaining on his contract. The star cornerback cannot be tagged, so either he reaches a long-term agreement with the Jets or he becomes a free agent. If Revis returns to All-World form for the Green & White, then it would be a bitter pill to swallow to watch him walk away in free agency for compensatory picks.
Can the Jets sign Revis to a long-term deal? Of course they could, but this is a flat salary cap that teams are working with and this Jets squad has a lot of holes. They have to determine if that is the right move.
"Fifteen million for a corner? Not me," said former Jets executive Bill Parcells.
If another club inquires about Revis' availability, aren't the Jets doing everyone a disservice by not taking that call? But what is fair compensation for a dominant defender who is trying to return to form? In all my years covering this team, I have never seen a situation like this.