The Jets announced the pending release of cornerback Darrelle Revis tonight with a statement from owner Woody Johnson
“Darrelle Revis is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Jets uniform,” said Jets owner Woody Johnson. “His combination of talent, preparation and instincts is rare and helped him become one of the most dominant players of his generation. I appreciate Darrelle’s contributions to this organization and, wherever his career takes him, his home will always be here with the Jets.”
Revis has a $6 million salary guarantee that should still be owed to him unless his recent arrest allowed the Jets to void the guarantee.
Revis and the Jets have had a rocky contractual history through the years. Revis’ first holdout with the Jets began as a rookie in 2007 as the two sides fought over the inclusion of a sixth year in his contract. In 2010 Revis held out after a spectacular 2009 campaign and received an extension after the urging of his head coach Rex Ryan to get Revis back on the field. In 2013 Revis was again unhappy with his contract and then traded to the Buccaneers for a first round draft pick.
Revis signed a record setting $96 million contract with the Buccaneers but was released after just one season and then landed with the Patriots in what amounted to a one year $12 million contract and saw him receive a Super Bowl ring. The Jets, suffering both on and off the field, immediately saw benefits to bringing Revis back in the fold in 2015 with a frontloaded contract that contained $39 million in fully guaranteed salary.
From day one it was clear Revis was not the same player who left the Jets back in 2013. He struggled at times in 2015 though was rarely exposed. By 2016 Revis was being routinely burned in coverage and openly stated that his future was going to be at Safety. Slated to count $15.3 million on the salary cap with a $15 million salary there was no way the Jets could do a safety experiment at those numbers. His recent arrest probably made the decision to move on rather than attempt to renegotiate easier.
The Jets will create $9.3 million in cap room with the release and should stand close to $27 million in cap room following the releases of Revis, center Nick Mangold, tackle Breno Giacomini, kicker Nick Folk, and linebacker Erin Henderson. They should be expected to release more veterans in the coming days and should easily get to $40 million in cap space.
Revis does have offsets in his contract so the Jets would get some salary cap relief in 2018 if Revis does continue to play in 2017. There are teams that will be interested in Revis at $1 million but it stands to be seen if Revis is willing to play the year on such a low contract when he can simply call it a career and collect his $6 million in full from the Jets.
As a procedural matter I don’t believe the Jets can process Revis’ release until March 9 because of the manner in which guaranteed salary is generally treated on the salary cap. My interpretation of the rule is that all money would accelerate into the current league year which will still be 2016 until March 9. The Jets don’t have enough left over cap space for the move to be processed using 2016 cap space. I could be wrong on that however. Either way I will process the release later tonight to better depict the Jets cap space for free agency.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.