The Jets thought they had come up with a foolproof plan for preventing another Darrelle Revis holdout.
By signing him in 2010 to a new deal that paid $32.5 million over the first two years but only $13.5 million over the next two, the Jets included a term aimed at preventing another holdout after the truly big money was paid out on the front end. The Jets promised to wipe out the 2014 through 2016 seasons of the contract, which pay a mere $3 million per year, and not to use the franchise or transition tag on Revis after the 2013 season, on one condition. He can’t hold out.
If Revis does hold out, the full seven years apply, including the final three seasons at a fraction of his actual and/or perceived value.
It all makes sense on paper. But now that Revis has cashed the checks paying him $32.5 million, he wants more. And the best way to get more, as he learned two years ago and when he was drafted in 2007, is to hold out.
The possibility first came up while the ink was still drying on the deal. We reported at the time that a holdout could be coming after two seasons. Peter King of SI.com then asked Revis if he’ll hold out when the deal softens in 2012, and Revis said this: ”That’s a great question. If I continue to play ball like I usually do, we’ll probably be back at that same position we were this year.”
The next day, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that the Jets were “floored” by the remarks.
They were “floored” because they thought they’d created a holdout-proof contract. They hadn’t.
If Revis wants to hold out, he’ll hold out. And if the Jets cross their arms and say, “Now we’ve got you at $22.5 million over five years,” he’ll keep holding out. And he’ll hold out until he gets the deal he wants.
This time, the Jets will likely give him a true long-term retirement deal, not a contract that Revis can later characterize as a “Band-Aid.”
In that regard, Revis subtly is twisting against the Jets a term owner Woody Johnson used when explaining the options that the team was considering during the prior Revis holdout. At the time, Johnson explained that the Jets had offered Revis a short-term “Band-Aid” or a long-term deal. The Jets thought they were giving Revis a real four-year deal, and Revis now views it as a two-year “Band-Aid.”
Regardless, the Jets should have realized that Revis wouldn’t hesitate to come back to the table after making $32.5 million and then facing a reduction to a rate of $6.75 million per year. And that he wouldn’t hesitate to hold out, regardless of any provision in the contract aimed at blocking one.