“Sooner or later, something has to happen.” -- Darrelle Revis, June 13
All spring, there was a question of whether Darrelle Revis would attend the New York Jets' mandatory minicamp. When he did, the star cornerback was asked if he planned to attend his team's training camp.
Each time, Revis was noncommittal.
He had held out as a rookie and then again in 2010. That year, when Revis skipped out in Cortland and was a subplot in HBO’s "Hard Knocks," his agents and the Jets came to an agreement Revis thought would be revisited in two years.
“Let’s be real. It was quoted that it was a Band-Aid,” Revis said in June.
Revis signed the four-year, $46 million deal just before the 2010 season and is due $13.5 million in the next two years. The cornerback expected it to be reworked this year, and he is arguably worth more.
But Revis showed up to camp this year, saying he’d learned from his experiences holding out, and that he wanted to be a Jet for the remainder of his career.
“Hopefully, they will see me as maybe the face or the franchise guy and lock me up,” Revis said in July. “But if not, then I think we all kind of know where it’s going in terms of, you know, I’m a person, it’s my career and I have to do what I need to do for my family. I think that’s the biggest thing.”
But now, Revis is out for the season with a torn ACL and when he comes back from the injury, an assumption easier to make given his athleticism and work ethic, his leverage in his contact negotiations will be different.
Instead of being a Pro Bowl corner, and arguably the best in football, Revis will be something of an unknown in terms of how much excellence remains in that left knee after the scalpel has done its work. Those are two very different positions when it comes to sitting at a conference table across from a general manager.
Or testing the market someday as a free agent.
Revis took a leap of faith, and it’s potentially a costly leap for any athlete. But the stakes are greater for any player who is at the absolute top of his game, like Revis was until Sunday.