Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pay That Man His Money

One of the biggest reasons for the New York Jets success last season was the defenses ability to shut down opposing offenses. They blitzed often and put pressure on the quarterback forcing interceptions and bad throws.

I remember a particular game against the Patriots where the Jets had the lead late in the 4th quarter and instead of going to the prevent defense they blitzed Tom Brady on four straight downs with 7,8,7 and then 8 guys. Brady got sacked twice and threw two incompletions sealing the victory for the Jets

Now the Jets defense is well rounded and isn't weak in any particular area. They stop the run well with Kris Jenkins clogging up running lanes. Their linebackers are great in both run and pass defense and have great speed allowing them to get to the flats quickly. However their biggest advantage was in the secondary as they lead the league with the fewest pass yards per game at 153.

The most important player in the secondary was Derrelle Revis. In only his 3rd season in the NFL Revis established himself as the premiere shutdown corner in the league and even earned the nickname Revis Island.

Every week Revis would be matched up against the opposing teams best receiver and every week he would make them a non-factor. He never received safety help and more often than not the quarterback wouldn't even look to his side of the field. He deflected 31 passes and had 6 intercepions all the while making only $1 million as he was still playing under his rookie contract.

Throughout most of last season the topic of Revis' contract was discussed by Revis and Jets ownership but never fully addressed properly. Now Revis is refusing to participate in Jets training camp and is holding out for a new contract, one that he hopes will make him the highest paid cornerback in the NFL.

This is where the debate begins.

Currently the highest paid cornerback in the league is Nnamdi Asomugha of the Oakland Raiders who last year signed a record breaking, and complex, 3 year deal. The first two years of the deal are worth $28.5 million and if the Raiders want to keep him then in the third year of the deal he will have to earn the average of the top 5 paid cornerbacks in the league or $16.75 million whichever is higher.

So this is what Revis is working with. He wants a 10-year deal worth more than $160 million that will ensure he remains a Jet for his whole career but will also make him the highest paid corner in the league.

The only problem with that is that Asomugha's contract is insane. The fact that Al Davis aka 'The Corpse of Al Davis' aka 'the Sea Monster' gave him this contract speaks more to the insanity of Al Davis than to the quality of Asomugha. Not to say that Asomugha isn't a great cornerback, arguably second best in the league, but no one in the NFL deserves a contract like that.

So whats happening now is that Revis wants Asomugha money and the Jets are trying to convince him that this won't happen. Al Davis strikes yet again.

I can see where the Jets are coming from here as they don't want to get bent over the negotiating table simply because Al Davis forgot to take his medication but in this case I have to side with Revis. He is the best player on your team and the leader of the defense. Pay him. Pay him whatever he wants. If the team truly wants to win a SuperBowl this year, which every member of the organization has said is their goal, then make sure you have the best cornerback in the league on the field.

Maybe if the Jets hadn't gone out and spent money on washed up free agents like LaDainian Tomlinson and Jason Taylor this wouldn't be as much of an issue. Without Revis the Jets will struggle to go deep in the playoffs as it would force Antonio Cromartie to be the shutdown corner which is a role he is vastly under qualified for. The guy can't even pay child support how is he going to stop Randy Moss and Brandon Marshall?

In issues like this the fans usually side with the team as they think players are just being greedy but how can you not side with Revis on this one? He is the best corner in the league. His own coaches and teammates tell him this all the time and yet he is woefully underpaid. What happens if he blows his knee out this season and can't ever play again? He's only 25 years old and doesn't have anything to fall back on.

I have no problem with a player asking for more money in order to gain financial security especially if the player is well deserving of a raise. Added to that is the fact Revis wants to remain a Jet for his whole career. He wants a long term deal that will ensure he spends his whole career in New York. That has to earn him some credit from the franchise. It's not as if he wants a 4 year deal so he can become a free agent again in a few years and land another big pay day.

But it seems like this holdout isn't coming to an end anytime soon. Last I read Revis' agent said he and the Jets were "40 million apart." I hope the Jets come to their senses soon and just pay Revis so this drama can be over with and the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS can win a SuperBowl already.

Random YouTube Video (Courtesy of Josh Acheson)

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