By Jeff Capellini, WFAN.com
Every now and then a player comes along who attempts to reinvent how the rules are written. Darrelle Revis is a very special talent. No one will ever dispute that. But this idea that he deserves special treatment during a time of organizational chaos shows he’s not quite the team guy he wants you to believe he is.
The Jets may have a new general manager and basically a new coaching staff, but that doesn’t mean they have the first clue what their plan is personnel-wise going forward. They are in the most radical state of transition that I can remember in my near 35 years of watching them. Odds are they are still formulating an approach on how to move forward and leave the last two years under former GM Mike Tannenbaum in the rearview.
The Jets have a plethora of holes to fill and, with Tuesday’s announcement of a bunch of cuts, are barely under the salary cap enough to even say with any conviction they know what the next steps will be to re-fill their cupboard. Some of it will be addressed during the draft, but considering the talent pool they’ll have to choose from it’s difficult to say if they’ll get any immediate impact. They should be able to build for the future at positions of need, but if you are hoping for someone they select to take the league by storm, well, you might have to temper your enthusiasm just a bit.
There’s just no way to know.
This Revis thing bugs me because he wants to know his future before the Jets really know his future, which is ironic considering this is the same guy who held out twice and threatened a third not really caring about the Jets’ future. He wants a phone call. He wants to know about a potential trade. He wants to know if he’s going to get paid. It’s all about him, when the reality is he’s going to likely end up in a good situation with all the dollars that go with it, regardless if that situation is with the Jets or not. I don’t think a lot of teams are overly concerned about his knee, because the man has been diligent in his rehab, is a physical specimen in every way and was the beneficiary of medical science that is improving in leaps and bounds by the day.
You add all of that together and, in my opinion, Revis will be Revis again, or maybe even better than what he was prior to tearing his ACL.
The diehard Revis supporters worship the guy and understandably so, but they often conveniently overlook the fact that he signed a few contracts and then tried to change the rules, and the Jets and their fans were left in a lurch, trying to figure out how or if they should pay a player who doesn’t just want to be the highest paid at his position, but wants to be among the highest paid in the game. I mean he wants to rival the top flight quarterbacks in salary, playing a position that, let’s face it, does not directly determine the outcome of games anywhere near as often as the responsibility that falls on the shoulders of a Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or any other elite signal caller you’d care to mention.
Now is this appropriate? That’s for the Jets to decide, but is such a complex decision to ponder it’s understandable that it is taking as long as it is for the organization to get to a place where it can live with itself either way. So Revis has to understand that this isn’t the Jets playing tit for tat due to his past holdouts, though there are many who wouldn’t blame them if they did. It’s about making probably the most important decision that has ever faced the franchise.
Maybe Revis’ comments weren’t all about bravado. Maybe he’s lost some self confidence, which I get considering this is the first time he’s ever been legitimately injured. Maybe he thinks he’ll never get the monster contract he’s craved now that he may perceive himself as somewhat damaged goods. Like I said earlier, I do believe he’ll get whatever he wants eventually, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Revis right now thinks he can. Either way, the Jets are under no obligation to give him a head’s up as to their plans, though I do believe they would if they actually knew what their plans are.
It’s no secret owner Woody Johnson has soured on Revis the off-the-field guy, and that’s not to say he’s not a good man or charitable or there for the fans. Johnson is pretty much sick and tired of the dog and pony contract show Revis puts on every time he’s not happy, this holding the fans and organization hostage emotionally because he knows he can. Johnson may have decided long ago to move on from Revis, if you believe the rumors and unsubstantiated reports.
But that doesn’t mean he won’t change his mind, now that he has different people chewing his ear. Maybe John Idzik really likes Revis and wants him to be part of the future, and, more importantly, can find a way to make it work financially. Maybe Rex Ryan has more of a say in personnel than you have been led to believe. Either way, this owner has to trust his football people, who are now somewhat different than what he was used to dealing with before.
Again, this is a massive decision, one that will benefit the Jets regardless of how they choose to go.
But they have to get it right. They have to leave no stone unturned. They either have to get a king’s ransom by trading Revis or make him an offer that appeases him but also doesn’t blow up their cap situation for several years. The Jets are trying to avoid the bad decisions of the past and even though Revis is Revis, perhaps giving him what he wants will eventually come back to bite them when Revis isn’t Revis anymore. There are just too many numbers to crunch and aspects of an organizational future to think about to be hasty just because one extraordinary player has a different, albeit more accelerated, timetable for getting something done.
Revis just needs to chill. That’s the best advice I can offer. He can talk until he’s blue in the face. He can make all the headlines he wants. He can have his people carry his message to the ends of the Earth.
But at the end of the day the Jets are going to do what is best for a team of many, not a team of one. They owe that much to themselves and the legions of millions that pay the bills.
Read more columns by Jeff Capellini and follow him on Twitter at @GreenLanternJet
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