Darrelle Revis is the undisputed champion of cornerbacks in the NFL. Since the 2009 season he has been widely recognized as one of the few true shutdown corners in the NFL and his head coach, Rex Ryan, has only amped up that talk.
While his on-the-field achievements are without question, Revis has had some problems with the Jets off the field. He has already had two hold-outs as a member of the Jets; his rookie season in 2007 and in 2010 following his first All-Pro season. Despite getting one of the highest contracts ever for a defensive player following his second hold-out, there is speculation that he could hold out again this year. Even with all this speculation, there are plenty of reasons why he won’t hold out in 2012.
One of the biggest deterrents for Revis holding out this season is a clause in his contract which would add an additional three seasons if he were to hold out again. Clearly, Revis wants to get the best out of his NFL contracts, and has a realistic outlook of the lifespan for NFL players. For him to hold out and activate that clause in his contract would force him to miss out on prime free agency years. Even if he isn’t happy with his current situation with the Jets, Revis knows the value of cashing in on years that he still has control over.
Another important factor that Revis has to consider is the way he played following his hold-out in 2010. While he still played at a high level that season, he was hampered by a hamstring injury and had to take a few games before he could play at the standard he set for himself. Revis takes pride in his status as one of the game’s best defensive players, and another extended hold-out would chance another drop in his level of play. If he still wants to be known as “Revis Island,” he knows that any signs of weakness could change that reputation.
While Revis may not be directly affected by the feelings of the fans if he holds out again, his fellow teammates could take issue with another hold-out. The past two seasons Revis has spent as one of the highest paid players on the team, and expressing his discontent for an already agreed upon contract could cause an issue with his teammates. There have been stories recently that tight end Dustin Keller is upset with his contract, and there are certainly other players on the team who may not sympathize with Revis’ contract dispute. A player of Revis’ caliber is credited as a leader for the Jets’ defense, and if he were to hold out again his status among his teammates may drop as a result.
While a drop in salary may not seem fair considering the last two years have been as good as any cornerback’s in the NFL, Revis agreed to this contract in 2010. There are plenty of reasons to hold back from another ugly contract dispute this season. An educated look at the situation shows that the Jets star cornerback playing out his contract this season would make a lot more sense than any hold-out would, for Revis as well as for the Jets.
By Eric Gustafsson