The No. 1 issue facing the Jets as they prepare for training camp (10 days and counting) is the status of CB Darrelle Revis, who may decide to stage a holdout for the second time in three years.
On Monday, ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen said he'd be surprised if Revis shows up for the start of camp, July 26, in Cortland, N.Y.
"The Jets, I think they're going to see what Revis does, because he's playing as if he's one of the top five football players in the NFL," Mort said on "Mike & Mike in the Morning" on ESPN New York 98.7 FM. "Everybody understands they may not be a contender without Revis ... He's kept everybody guessing. I'm almost going to be surprised if he's there Day 1."
Revis has been non-committal, saying he's not unhappy with his current contract but making it quite clear that he believes he was promised a long-term deal. It has been a few weeks since we touched on this, so let's review the particulars:
Revis has two years, $13.5 million remaining on the four-year, $46 million contract he signed after an acrimonious holdout in 2010. He's due to make $7.5 million this season, including a $1 million roster bonus (already paid), a $1 million workout bonus (already paid) and a $1 million reporting bonus (he'll forfeit that if he's a holdout). He'll make the rest ($4.5 million) in base pay.
There is a holdout clause in his contract, which, in theory, should be a deterrent. If Revis holds out, the deal runs through 2016, with only $9 million in total compensation from 2014 to 2016.
Revis believes his current deal is a "Band-Aid" contract, a short-term fix after the two sides failed to hammer out a "retirement" contract. He thinks the Jets led him to believe he'd get a new deal after two years. He also believes he should be one of the highest-paid non-quarterbacks in the league. Over the next two years, he'll be the second-highest paid defensive back on the team, behind CB Antonio Cromartie ($16.5 million).
From the Jets' perspective: They believe it's a three-year "Band-Aid," not two, and that his total compensation from 2010 to 2012 is more than fair -- a total of $40 million, including $32.5 million over the last two years. At $13.3 million per year, he'd still be the highest-paid cornerback in the league, based on annual average over the three-year span. They paid him an $18 million option bonus last year; the size of that payout suggests the Jets always saw this as a three-year commitment. It behooves them to extend the deal before the 2013 season because they can't use the franchise tag on him in 2014, per a clause in the contract. If they waited until after the '13 season, he'd hit free agency and be a goner.
Considering Revis' track record, I wouldn't be surprised if he holds out. But I'd be really, really surprised if the Jets gave him a new deal.
And away we go.