Revis Threatens to Holdout: Does the NFL’s best corner deserve a bigger contract?
The word out of the Revis camp is that he is threatening to hold out for the 2012 NFL season. You will remember in 2010 he held out for 24 days and ended up signing a four-year contract. The deal was heavily front-end loaded. Now, as he is set to make considerably less, he wants his pie.
But before we get into whether or not Revis has the clout to hold out, let’s first determine how his contract stacks up against the game’s top shutdown cornerbacks. For comparison of their contracts, I used Charles Woodson, Nnamdi Asomugha and Joe Haden (honorable mention to Jonathan Joseph, who could very well be included in this group).
Darrelle Revis signed for $46 million over 4 years in 2010. The contract was heavily front-loaded, and contained huge guaranteed money ($32 million). Revis has already collected $32.5 million of that money over the first two years. The two years remaining are set to pay him a total of $13.5 million. Revis contract averaged to $11.5 million per season, however if he were to renegotiate it today, it would mean he collected $16.25 million per season over the life of the deal. Throwing this contract out now, and redoing it would have significant salary cap implications for the New York Jets.
Haden signed with Cleveland in 2010 (props for sticking with the Browns by the way… pasture could be greener elsewhere) for $50 million over 5 years, at $10million aveage, with an added $12million bonus upon signing and $26 million guaranteed. I like the length of this deal for Cleveland because I think Joe will be legitimately at the top for a while.
Charles signed a 5 year deal with the Pack for $55million, making his average salary $11million per. Set to expire in 2014, I am not a fan of this contract, from a Packers standpoint. Yes, he is still an elite shutdown guy, but I must point out that he was born in 1976. For a corner, he is getting up there.
At $60million over 5 years, at an average of $12million per, and a $1.5million signing bonus, Asomugha is a contract I want if I’m the Eagles. His deal doesn’t expire until the conclusion of the 2016 season, Phili has a legitimate shutdown guy, who is still improving, at what I consider a reasonable fee considering the importance of the position.
A few years ago this would be a non-issue. Darelle Revis was the best shutdown man in the NFL, and in my opinion perhaps the game’s most talented player at any position. I remember my father, who knows his football, telling me as I grew up that aside from perhaps the quarterback, the shutdown corner is oftentimes the team’s most talented athlete. One-on-one coverage is obviously much easier for the receiver (not to minimize the receiver, however), and knowing when you can rely on the safety for help is difficult.
Ranking Contract Value Amongst Elite Shutdown Cornerbacks:
Given Darrelle Revis’ current contract, here are what I feel are the best values amongst the group of four top shutdown CB’s:
1. Darrelle Revis – When factoring in his signing bonuses and guaranteed money he makes the most, but he deserves that! If he plays the next two years with his current deal, he is by far the best value. If he holds out and gets his new contract, which would be for an insane amount of money, then perhaps his great value drops. Stay tuned.
2. Nnamdi Asomugha – I like this deal a lot. He is an elite corner, is paid as such, and has age on his side. Nnamdi is a shutdown guy extraordinaire, and Eagles fans should be happy with this young man for at least a few more years.
3. Joe Haden – A good deal, however, I like him so much I wonder if we have a situation where Revis signs for much bigger money, thereby upping the ante, and at the same time making Haden’s contract look relatively small…or at least a very good bargain.
4. Charles Woodson – Maybe I’m biased, I don’t know. Woodson is a great player and has been for a long time. I am just not sure that he remains at the top of his game for a few more seasons. I can see a drop-off in performance looming.
Back to Revis:
Revis claims he is unsure of his future. “ I just don’t know. I’m not saying I am going to hold out. I’m not saying I’m not,” the NY Jet told the Revis told the Daily News earlier this week. He says his focus is on the team, but that his agents are doing what’s best for him. ”It’s my career, and I’m in control of it, what I can do,” Revis shared with the NY Post. “I know I’m under contract. We’ll hash that out when the time comes.”
In 2010, as I mentioned earlier, Darelle had the upper hand because he was without question the game’s marquee shutdown man. However, in 2012 does he still have that distinction, and therefore the same bargaining power? If he is not the premiere CB, then who might reign supreme this year?
While Revis still has to be the top CB right now, there is no indication he will be the next Darrell Green, who played until he was 70, give or take. The window for Revis to cash in is closing and he knows it. It’s not like he isn’t going to be good 2, 3, 4 years from now – he just likely won’t be the best.
…and that is the last word.