By: Adam Tzanis (University of Delaware)
New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis officially became a holdout after missing the team’s first mandatory 5:30 p.m. meeting on Sunday at SUNY Cortland, site of the Jets’ training camp. His agent, Neil Schwartz, said Revis would be a no-show until he receives a new contract.
Revis, probably the best defensive player in the league, is aiming to be the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback, a title belonging to Oakland Raider Nnamdi Asomugha, who signed a three-year, $45.3 million extension in the off-season last year.
Revis is set to make $1 million this year, his fourth in a six-year rookie deal, but believes he has out-played his contract. Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum said he made two proposals to Revis last Thursday, one that would’ve made Revis a “Jet for life,” and another that would’ve increased his salary for 2010; both were rejected.
In light of his holdout, the defensive superstar will be fined $16,523 per day and has waived a guaranteed-status on the $20 million in salary he’s supposed to earn in 2011 and 2012.
The question is: How will Revis’ absence play a role in the Jets’ contention for the 2011 Super Bowl title, or even for their appearance? Head Coach Rex Ryan said the league’s number one defense would remain on top.
“Our expectations with Darrelle, without Darrelle, aren’t going to change,” Ryan said, a comment that is definitely eyebrow-raising.
Revis is the one irreplaceable part of the Jet defense and Ryan must know that a rotation between Kyle Wilson and Dwight Lowery at Revis’ left cornerback position won’t hack it, considering the blitz-centered style of the Jets’ defense.
There is no replacement for Revis Island and the only way to make things right is to reach a deal that both sides can live with in the future. Until then, the buzz around the championship potential for the team being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks this season will be replaced by a question as to when Revis will make his appearance.