A week ago, Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News and ESPN turned the Darrelle Revis drama upside down by reporting that a new deal between Revis and the Jets would happen on Wednesday or Saturday. Though we took issue with Cowlishaw’s backhanded effort to admit his error, we at least respect him for not sticking to his guns and then claiming if/when a deal is done that he was right all along (unlike one of the others who hopped aboard the no-lose Revis railway).
The truth is that nothing’s happening. They’re not close. They’re not talking. As Jay Glazer pointed out tonight on his Twitter page, the Jets don’t even know where Revis is.
But as the regular season approaches and as Antonio Cromartie proves that he’s not Revis and as the Jets’ defense takes a step backward via the injury to linebaker Calvin Pace, the gap can be bridged at any time if/when owner Woody Johnson decides that he’s had enough, and that he wants Revis back.
Revis also could cave, but it’s unlikely that he’ll do it before the regular season begins. Though he’s under contract for three more years, the Jets have called their shot — and they need Revis in order to back up the boasting of Buddy Ryan’s son.
Gary Myers of the New York Daily News recently summarized the situation perfectly, and he has come the closest of anyone to identifying the core issue.
It’s not about total dollars. It’s about guaranteed money. As in truly and fully guaranteed money.
Myers explains that the Jets’ offer includes $40 million in money guaranteed for injury only, and he notes that Revis’ agents claimed that “not one penny was fully guaranteed.” Both statements are accurate. An injury guarantee has value only if a career-ending injury occurs. A career-limiting injury without a skill guarantee drops the player into a valley that could result in the team yanking the supposedly guaranteed contract away like the girl with the football in the Peanuts comic who loves to see Charlie Brown land flat on his ass.
If the two sides ever can strike a deal on fully guaranteed money, the rest of the deal will fall into place quickly.
But before that can happen, someone will have to cave. And before the season begins, the Jets would be the most likely to flinch. Once the season starts, it’ll hinge on whether the Jets can shut down the Ravens, the Patriots, and the Dolphins without Revis.
If they can’t, it could be Emmit Smith and the 1993 Cowboys all over again, with the team writing the check for the amount the player wants. If the Jets can win without Revis, it could be Sean Gilbert and the 1998 Redskins, with the player sitting out the whole season.
We continue to be amazed by the failure of the media at large to recognize the key role of Gilbert in his sister’s son’s current situation. How many players who are holding out ever have had an uncle who has once been in the same boat, and who has sat out an entire year?
Our assessment of normal is shaped by our own personal experiences. Revis was 13 when Uncle Sean dug in his heels and, according to former Redskins G.M. Charley Casserly, ended up with more money by skipping a full season of football. So while Revis’ stand seems to cut against the grain of everything that the rest of us have witnessed while following the game of football, Revis has spent half of his life carrying around the memories of the year that Uncle Sean stuck it to the Redskins — and ultimately got what he wanted.