The contract dispute between the Jets and cornerback Darrelle Revis, which prompted Revis to boycott offseason workouts on Thursday, could have its roots in a specific business challenge the team has been facing of late.
According to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, unsold Personal Seat Licenses could be to blame for the inability to strike a deal with Revis and other players.
For now, there’s no hard evidence of a connection. Hubbuch’s report merely points to the notion that NFL executives “are starting to wonder” about the existence of a connection.
Hubbuch points out that the Jets have $110 million committed in salaries for 2010. Last year, the salary cap was $128 million per team. If the cap had survived, it likely would have exceeded $135 million.
The bigger problem, in our view, flows from the messages that the team has given to players like Revis, center Nick Mangold, linebacker David Harris, and left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson. As we understand it, the organization has informed each player that he’ll be “taken care of.” To date, none has received a long-term deal.
So if PSL sales are causing a cash-flow pinch, why tell any of the players that he’ll be “taken care of”?
Frankly, we think the Jets have the money to pay these guys. So we also think that the unsold PSLs aren’t keeping the players from getting paid. However, an ongoing failure to make the appropriate investment in the players who help form the nucleus of the franchise could make fans even less likely to make the requisite investment in what will end up being the nucleus of their discretionary spending.
In other words, if the Jets don’t honor their promises to the players, it’ll be even harder to sell the PSLs.