It can be an anxious few weeks for veteran players… that time between the confetti at the Super Bowl hitting the field turf, and those magic dates written into contracts that trigger bonuses or lump sum payments. The news wires fill with rumors of this overpaid athlete, or that under-performer. The New York Jets, and general manager John Idzik, made some of those tough decisions this week, letting go of beloved players with burdensome salary cap numbers, which outweigh their value to the team in 2013. Gone are Calvin Pace (LB), Josh Baker (TE), Jason Smith (OL), Eric Smith (S) and Bart Scott (LB). Releasing these players frees up over $30 million towards this year’s projected cap of $122 million. These players will certainly be missed for their contributions and I can’t wait to see where they may resurface (maybe resigned by the Jets at a lower number, signed by another team, etc.).
One player the Jets would like to keep on their roster for as long as possible is their all world corner Darrelle Revis. Revis is in the final year of his current deal and will earn $6 million. According to his current contract, he cannot hold out or a three-year extension kicks in. Good news for the Jets. If Revis does report and plays out the contract, he will be free and clear as the Jets cannot use the franchise tag on him. Bad news for the Jets. GM Idzik will be forced to decide whether to show Revis the money, or let him find it with another organization. The fan base won’t like losing him for nothing, but that may happen if the team does nothing. With the lack of talent at skill positions on this team, it would be hard to see the Jets signing Revis long-term. In my opinion, the Jets should bite the bullet on this one and worry about building a team, as opposed to satisfying one player (and the fans, of course).
I’m not against a great player getting paid what he feels he deserves, but the situation needs to be looked at from the team’s perspective as well. If a team is one player away from fielding a championship-caliber squad (New England, San Francisco, etc.) then spending whatever it takes to get that player is a no-brainer. Looking at the Jets, they’re far away from that right now, with questions up and down the roster. This team needs the cap-flexibility to acquire and sign multiple players, and I don’t think spending upwards of $18 million plus per season on one player can be a smart idea. I agree with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King when he says the value at the CB position has gone up due to the types of offenses being run in today’s NFL (the option and spread looks). Former GM and current NFL Network Analyst Mike Tannenbaum answered “absolutely” when asked if a CB can be a team’s highest paid player. Again, I believe if the circumstances are right, then yes; but the Jets are far away from right at many positions.
Darrelle Revis made a lot of news this week, first with his comments about him being “speechless” when he heard potential trade rumors the day John Idzik was hired. In his interview with Andrea Kremer, Revis seemed more hurt than anything else. He referred to himself as the team’s “best player” and seemed like he felt slighted by the rumors. HC Rex Ryan was able to get in touch with Revis at the time of the rumors and assuage his anguish a bit. I can understand how it can be hard in his position, knowing he may need to play this season only making half of what he could potentially earn annually with a new deal. He’s also coming back from a serious injury, and that can be a lonely place for a player. I understand his frustration, and hope his Twitter dust-up with Seahawks CB Richard Sherman was just a momentary lapse of judgment as a result of it.
Regular readers of the ‘ReSet’ know I tend to leave the off-the-field stuff alone. I really don’t care who a player is dating or how many times a player makes the gossip pages, as long as it isn’t affecting any aspect of the play on the field. If it’s off the field, then it’s out of my article. Every once in a while, that irresistible story crosses the wire and it can’t be left alone. What was Revis thinking? He accomplished absolutely nothing by going back and forth with Richard Sherman on Twitter (except for adding to Sherman’s follower total and lending credence to his argument). It was hilarious to hear tweets between Revis (@Revis24) and Sherman (@RSherman_2) being read aloud on drive time radio like it was breaking news. It was sad to see that a guy of Revis’s stature could be so easily baited into a tweet battle… and insinuating that Sherman “run(s) his mouth like a girl” wasn’t his best moment either. Let’s see if this Revis/Sherman tweet battle for corner supremacy can make a Jay-Z line more famous than Jay-Z did. Sherman tweeted “Women lie, men lie, numbers don’t lie” with an attached picture of he and Revis’s stats back in January. Some on twitter had fun with the most-recent tweets, suggesting the Jets trade Revis to the Seahawks for Matt Flynn so the two (Revis & Sherman) will be forced to share a secondary! Everybody blames Sanchez, what did poor Mark Sanchez do to get dragged into a twitter beef between…, oh yeah, butt-fumble… never mind.
Tune into the all new NYJets in 30 on BlogTalkRadio, where we celebrate the offseason in style with your hosts the Amazing Jinx Grand (@JGSportsTalk) and myself for analysis of the 'Revis Situation', roster review, and what the Jets should do next. Catch us Saturday's at 4pm EST.
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PHOTO CREDIT: www.Zimbio.com