Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Cutting Corners

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Cutting Corners

Article excerpt

It wasn't until 19 days after Darrelle Revis suffered a torn ACL last year that the Jets finally elected to place him on injured reserve.

Maybe now we know why they delayed the inevitable, because they probably knew then they never would see him in a Jets uniform again.

As expected, the Jets finally traded the unhappy cornerback Sunday, dealing him to Tampa Bay for two draft picks, including the 13th overall in this year's NFL Draft. Still, although it came as little surprise, it was a jarring end to what was a turbulent ride from the start.

"It became quite evident to us," first-year general manager John Idzik said on a conference call, "that there was a substantial difference between Darrelle's view of his value and ours."

But it certainly wasn't the first time that had happened between the two sides. That actually was how their relationship began, with Revis missing the first 21 days of training camp in his rookie year of 2007 because of a contract dispute. Revis then held out in 2010, not signing until eight days before the regular-season opener.

The seeds for Sunday's trade were sown in the contract that settled that impasse, a front-loaded, four-year, $46 million deal later called a "Band-Aid" contract by Revis and his agents. Revis was to be paid only $6 million by the Jets this season, including a base salary of a mere $3 million.

For someone who repeatedly has said his goal was to be the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL -- which Revis achieved when the Buccaneers signed him to a six-year, $96 million deal Sunday -- such compensation was way too low and bound to lead to acrimony.

Revis' agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, made overtures last year to then-general manager Mike Tannenbaum to renegotiate the contract, but were rebuffed. And once Revis suffered the serious knee injury, it became highly unlikely that cost-conscious owner Woody Johnson would re-sign him to a Revis-friendly price.

That's somewhat understandable, considering cornerback isn't considered a premium-pay position compared with a quarterback or an elite pass rusher. But it's also the Jets' fault that they don't have a lot of spare cash. Tannenbaum doled out some highly questionable contracts in recent years. They include wide receiver Santonio Holmes' deal, which guaranteed him $15.25 million this year and last, and quarterback Mark Sanchez's ill-fated contract extension of March 2012, which guaranteed him $8.25 million this season and has made it nearly impossible for the Jets to move on from him at the position.

No, Idzik and the Jets didn't try very hard to bridge the distance between Johnson Island and Revis Island in financial terms, and Idzik admitted of Revis' monetary demands: "We couldn't get there."

And given the simmering bad blood that has existed between the two sides almost from the day Revis was drafted in April 2007, it's highly doubtful Revis would have provided the Jets with any kind of a hometown discount. …

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