Though we’re still waiting for the terms proposed by Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis to be disclosed by the Jets and/or Revis’ agents, the latest article from Gary Myers of the New York Daily News reconfirms the reality that the core issue here is guaranteed money.
The Jets deftly have tried to deflect attention from that issue, couching the dispute as a matter of total compensation.
Per Myers, the Jets have offered Revis a 10-year, $120 million contract. Myers also reports that Revis is looking for $160 million in total compensation.
But we’re not sure Myers’ numbers are based on the Revis proposal, or whether he has simply engaged in some team-friendly extrapolation, focusing on the average that Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha will earn over the next two years — $16.5 million per season — and multiplying it by 10. This completely overlooks the fact that the number Revis has targeted is $15.1 million per year, which under Myer’s math would result in a 10-year, $151 million proposal.
Even then, it’s unclear whether Revis has asked for that much. In the end, however, the only important number on any 10-year contract is the amount of money that will be fully guaranteed once Revis signs him name to it.
For reasons neither known nor apparent, the Jets won’t talk about guaranteed money until there’s an agreement as to total compensation. And that’s where this thing begins to make no sense. If the Jets wanted to give Revis $151 million in total compensation, they could add a phony fluff year with a gigantic non-guaranteed base salary that he’d never earn. The real issue as of 2010 is the amount of the contract that will be guaranteed once the contract has been executed.
“If the Jets had offered a two-year, $1 billion contract with $1 million
this year and $999 million next year, that is not guaranteed. The
contract is only worth $1 million,” agent Neil Schwartz told Myers. “But it would be
reported that Revis was offered a two-year, $1 billion deal.”
And that’s the situation in which Revis currently finds himself, sort of. His base salary for 2010 is $1 million. He’ll make $20 million guaranteed in 2011 and 2012 combined. But the guarantee doesn’t become effective until he gets through 2010 without suffering a compound leg fracture or some other serious injury and the Jets then choose to buy back the last two years of his rookie contract.
So why are the Jets refusing to talk about guaranteed money until an agreement is reached on total compensation? Our guess is that the Jets hope to be able to leak to the media that an agreement on total compensation has been reached, which in turn will put pressure on Revis to take whatever structure the team ultimately offers via real guarantees (signing bonus) and non-guaranteed guarantees, like the stuff D’Brickashaw Ferguson got.
There’s simply no good reason to defer discussion on guaranteed money until an agreement has been reached on total compensation. It would make more sense to do it the other way, striking a deal first on truly guaranteed money and total years of the deal, then on the non-guaranteed guaranteed money, and then on the non-guaranteed base salaries to be paid in the out years.
So it could be that the Jets are choosing to characterize this as a fight over total compensation, guaranteed and non-guaranteed, in the hopes of concealing the fact that, when it comes the truly guaranteed money, they simply aren’t willing or able to cough up the kind of money that will be needed to do a fair deal.
Either way, this story has become a bigger mess than anyone ever anticipated, and no end is in sight.