Mike Tannenbaum's "Things-to-do" list, created last Janaury:
Contract extension for D'Brickashaw Ferguson: Check.
Contract extension for Nick Mangold: Check.
New contract for Darrelle Revis: Checkmate?
The news Sunday that the New York Jets are close to a long-term extension for Mangold is a win for Mangold and a win for the Jets -- in more ways than one. Not only do they lock up one of their best players, but it bolsters the Jets' case against Revis. Now who's being unreasonable?
Obviously, the Jets are in a deal-making mode. I haven't seen the numbers on the Mangold deal, but this was a difficult contract to negotiate because of the 30 percent rule. (The rule states that, in an uncapped year, a player's salary in an extension can't increase by more than 30 percent of his previous year's pay.) If the Jets were able to clear that hurdle, satisfying Mangold, why can't it happen with Revis?
Chances are, Mangold accepted a deal with "rolling" guarantees, a la Ferguson. Revis wants no part of that kind of deal; he wants fully guaranteed money (i.e. a huge signing bonus). It's his right to ask for that, but his leverage is diminishing. Remember, he has three years left on his contract, so there's no sense of urgency for the Jets.
You know when there's a sense of urgency? If the defense gets torched by the Baltimore Ravens on opening night, that's when the leverage shifts to Revis. Is he willing to hold out that long? Is he willing to take that chance? He might have to because, barring an injury at cornerback, the Jets are showing no signs of buckling.
In the spring, the Jets were accused of being cheap, strapped for cash because of lagging PSL sales. That, some media types theorized, was holding up the deals for the "Core Four." (The fourth is David Harris, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal.) At the time, the Jets were saying they had budgeted enough money to sign all four to new deals. Not many believed them, but now they've taken care of Ferguson and Mangold.
If it were just one, you could call it a fluke. But two? Those players were willing to take the Jets' money. Why not Revis?