The Jets versus Darrelle Revis Debate… The Jets Should Take Off Without Revis

Read the opposing argument from Babe Ruthless.

I completely understand Darrelle Revis’ frustration.

Last season he was the top cornerback in the league. He was named to the 2010 AFC Pro Bowl squad, and he was instrumental in helping the New York Jets reach the AFC Championship Game. And after outperforming his comparatively meager rookie contract, he wants more money.

It makes sense that he is looking to Nnamdi Asomugha’s record-setting contract as a benchmark. As the best DB in the league (last season), shouldn’t he be paid as the best?

It also makes sense that he would expect his team to reward his phenomenal performance in 2009 with a restructured deal, especially when you consider that the Jets are one of those teams with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.

There is just one thing missing, or Revis would have his new contract. Revis has no leverage.

If, perhaps, his contract were expiring this season and the Jets were faced with a “Sign me or lose me” scenario, or if the Jets were in a situation where they were reliant upon Revis as the sole talent on an otherwise depleted roster, he would have better leverage. Unfortunately for Revis, neither scenario is true.

Right now, the only person who suffers if Darrelle Revis doesn’t accept a deal is Darrelle Revis (just ask Joey Galloway about holding out when you have no leverage… you lose!).

Yes, the Jets would be without their top defensive player (arguably their best player overall), but they have somewhat mitigated that already by bringing in Antonio Cromartie, who has demonstrated his own propensity for game-changing plays in the secondary. And while Revis may be the brightest star on the Jets’ roster, he is hardly the only star. Along with Cromartie, the Jets also have Pro Bowler Shaun Ellis, former Pro Bowler Bart Scott, and just for the heck of it, they signed former NFL Defensive MVP Jason Taylor.

This is a defensive squad that would surely benefit from Revis’ remarkable talent, but it hardly would suffer without it. That reality diminishes the “need” factor, and Revis loses much of his bargaining power.

And here is something else to consider – This isn’t the first time that Revis has pulled this stunt. As much as I want to acknowledge Revis’ accomplishments, and to recognize that he has outperformed his contract, a part of me also has to recognize that this contract (which he is now holding out from because he does not feel it fairly compensates him) is the very same one he held out to obtain just three years ago.

As an unproven, unsigned draftee in 2007, Revis held out for a full month during his rookie season because he was adamant about getting this six-year, $36M contract that all of a sudden is unfair.

A contract, whether you are happy with the terms of it today or not, is a legal agreement that requires compliance from ALL parties involved. Revis is completely within his rights to ask the Jets for a renegotiation, but the Jets are also within their rights to deny it. The onus in this situation falls upon Revis to simply step up and accept reality.

Just imagine if the shoe was on the other foot. What if Revis had UNDERperformed, and the Jets insisted on restructuring his contract because he was being unfairly compensated based on his play in a negative manner. And when Revis disagreed with those terms, the Jets just refused to let him into their facility? Revis would be crying that the actions of the Jets were unfair, and demanding that they honor the part of the contract they signed.

In no way am I advocating that Revis should be indebted to the Jets, or that he does not deserve an opportunity to maximize his personal position in the game. But after the lesson that LeBron James has taught us all recently, no team should invest too much in one single player, ESPECIALLY after that player has already demonstrated a complete lack of regard for the organization.

Revis is just the latest in a long line of “Me First” players with no regard for how their actions will impact those around them. He doesn’t care if the team loses without him. In fact, he likely HOPES they lose without him so that he can gain some of that leverage that he so desperately lacks today.

Likewise, he doesn’t care that his team would be financially crippled if they coughed up the dough he is demanding, just so long as he gets his cut. He also doesn’t care that he already selfishly held out once just to get this contract he felt he deserved. Now he wants more. And, according to Darrelle Revis, what Darrelle Revis wants is what should be the most important thing on the Jets to-do list.

Whether he likes it or not, though, it is the New York Jets who hold all the cards. No matter how Revis tries to spin it otherwis he needs the Jets more than they need him. He has timed this power play at the worst possible time (he still has three years left on his contract, and the Jets just shelled out a lot of money to bring in some other top-tier players), and he plays for a team that could benefit from his play, but does not NEED it.

Holding out at this point in his contract will cost him precious playing time, as well as the money he has already once held out for. Instead of being portrayed as the downtrodden and abused victim of the NFL machine, he comes across as a selfish prima donna. I (for one) am looking forward to a Revis-free New York Jets season.

The only person who suffers from Darrelle Revis’ holdout is Darrelle Revis.

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