The Ethics Behind Darelle Revis

by Vince

News broke the other day that the New York Jets re-signed Cornerback Darelle Revis to a four year / $46 million ($32 million guaranteed) contract. This has many news outlets buzzing over the Jets now being a lock for the Superbowl.

Beneath the hype and teammate hysteria is a corporate and player mindset behind contracts, holdouts, and of course money.

One day on ESPN, an inside reporter noted that Revis wanted to make sure his money was guaranteed and especially so that he wouldn’t be treated like those before him within the Jet’s organization. That comment stood out to me. There are perennial contract holdouts, but until this time I haven’t heard that much in-depth reasoning around it.

Ian O’Connor at ESPN notes:

Revis wanted his money, big money, guaranteed money, and he had every right to ask for it. If the NFL doesn’t fully guarantee contracts, it does fully guarantee pain, suffering and a heartless exit interview when a team needs a healthier throwing shoulder or a faster set of wheels.

Revis saw what happened to Leon Washington after the back tore up his leg, and he saw how the good locker room citizen, Thomas Jones, was rewarded for ripping off 1,400 yards. Revis also saw how Kellen Clemens was treated by Tannenbaum in that revealing “Hard Knocks” scene the other night, when the GM told the backup quarterback he could take a pay cut or get fired, his choice.

An NFL player has to make his score while he can.

Rich Cimini makes a note after Revis finally signed:

Revis will sign a four-year contract, GM Mike Tannenbaum announced. He declined to discuss the amount, but a source said it’s a $46 million deal, including $32 million in various guarantees.

Under his old contract, Revis was due to make $21 million over the next three years, all of which was guaranteed until he didn’t show up for training camp, voiding the guarantee. After a long holdout that resulted in $578,305 in fines, Revis secured $11 million in additional guarantees while committing an extra year to the team.

All that said, Revis did not want to bend on getting the money he wanted to lock up. That could of been influenced in part by his mentor Sean Gilbert and his head coach Rex Ryan, who called him the best corner back in the league. This may even connect to Revis’s agents who have the last holdouts hanging on for this year: Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeil (both San Diego Chargers).

A source I connected with directed me to the Leon Washington story of a few years past. Mid season, Washington broke his leg in three places. He was then traded on draft day. This all happened in his final year of his contract and lost out on his big payday.

These stories always tend to sound greedy on the part of the player or agent. This case even brought in a quote from Revis’s grandma. Although I am not a sports scientists, it seems that football is different than the other three main leagues with their guaranteed money. The argument could be made that football is the most brutal of the four but beyond brutalness NFL players more and more are making sure their pay is secure. No one wants to be another Leon Washington who rolled the dice on signing an extension and was traded out of town for less than he bargained for.

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