Whenever he was asked about Darrelle Revis last season -- and sometimes when he wasn't asked -- Rex Ryan gushed like few coaches have gushed about one of their players. When Revis finished second in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting to Packers CB Charles Woodson, the Jets' coach went on a rant, claiming Revis should've been the no-brainer winner.
Well, now Revis and his representatives want the Jets to put their money where Ryan's mouth is. According to Mike Lombardi of the National Football Post, Revis is seeking a new contract that averages at least $20 million per year. You knew he'd want more than $15.2 million (the cornerback standard, held by the Raiders' Nnamdi Asomugha), but $20 million? That's franchise-quarterback money. More, actually.
Here were the highest-paid players in 2009, based on yearly average:
DE Julius Peppers, Panthers -- $16.7 million
QB Carson Palmer, Bengals -- $16.2 million
QB Eli Manning, Giants -- $15.3 million
CB Nnamdi Asomugha, Raiders -- $15.2 million
QB Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers -- $14.7 million
QB Peyton Manning, Colts -- $14.0 million
As I wrote last week, this is going to be a difficult situation for the Jets. Publicly, GM Mike Tannenbaum has expressed an interest in extending Revis -- a positive step -- but $20 million a year? That's a lot of PSLs.
The Jets could keep Revis under his existing contract and pay him $21 million over the next three years, a bargain rate, but I have serious doubts about whether his agent, Neil Schwartz, would advise Revis to play this season for $1 million. Schwartz isn't afraid of a fight (see the Pete Kendall and Chris Baker contract disputes). Also remember that Revis staged a three-week holdout in his rookie year to land the contract he believes is outdated.
Revis, in an interview last week with ESPNNewYork.com, said the Jets promised him a new deal. He also said he wouldn't take kindly to a broken promise. Others would argue the other side, saying it would be Revis breaking a promise if he doesn't honor his contract by showing up training camp.
What we have here, folks, is a potentially nasty contract situation.