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Monday, May 17, 2010
Is Darrelle Revis worth $20M a year?


All-galaxy cornerback Darrelle Revis reportedly wants $20 million.

No, I don't mean $20 million over the length of a multiyear contract, or in guarantees.

Darelle Revis
Darrelle Revis is reportedly asking for a $20 million per season deal.
I mean $20 million a season.

That's the figure National Football Post columnist Michael Lombardi reported Revis has requested to remain with the New York Jets. To be specific, Lombardi wrote Revis' desired contract "exceeds $20 million a year."

Shortly after ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini read this, he popped the eyeballs back into his head and noted in his blog that Revis' dream deal would be not only the richest contract for any cornerback, but also more than a franchise quarterback.

Peyton Manning's annual average is $14 million.

But maybe Revis' request isn't so exorbitant. So suggests Matt Bowen, another National Football Post columnist and a former NFL defensive back.

Bowen notes Revis is so integral to head coach Rex Ryan's defense that it could unravel without him on the field. The Jets had the No. 1 total defense, scoring defense and pass defense in the NFL last year.

Ryan's defenses are predicated on aggression, and en elite cover corner is essential to making it work. Only a couple of cornerbacks can be compared to Revis when it comes to locking down receivers. Revis is phenomenal in both man and zone coverages and is an excellent tackler.

From Bowen:
Having a corner who requires little or no safety help is a luxury in this league. It allows Ryan the freedom to pressure more and call more combination coverages. This allows the free safety to slide to the opposite side of the field, cut to the slot receiver on an inside release, play the top of a triangle (think three-on-two), jump routes, etc.

Most of all, it allows Ryan to set up his players to make plays on the football. And that’s what wins in New York right now when we talk about this style of defensive football.

It will be fascinating to see how Revis' contract situation develops. His agent is Neil Schwartz, who has a history of going to battle with Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum over clients Pete Kendall and Chris Baker. A contract dispute kept Revis out for the first three weeks of his rookie training camp until he and Schwartz agreed to a satisfying deal. Revis signed a six-year, $30 million contract with $11 million in guarantees. He's scheduled to make a base salary of $550,000 this year, but that doesn't include bonuses.

Creating even more tension in Florham Park: Revis isn't the only contract concern for the Jets.

All-Pro center Nick Mangold wants a new contract before training camp. Then you have Pro Bowl left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and inside linebacker David Harris, last year's leading tackler.

I wonder if those three will total $20 million a year combined.