Revis Comes Back to the Jets

In a scene right out of professional wretling, Darrelle Revis and the Jets have mended fences after a two year split and Revis is “coming home” to wash out the taste of the last two years. According to Manish Mehta its a big deal with $48 million in the first three years and $70 million as the total contract value.

It’s a bit of an odd contract in that the last two years are actually designed to push the value of the contract down from an annual value perspetive, which is often not the case, at least not to this extent. It gives the Jets a sense of a “compromise” on the deal while also being some type of bagaining chip in future negotiations with younger players who would be productive at the back end.  Revis can also claim he took less than his worth to come back to the team he loved. At heart this is a 3 year deal for $16 million, the number Revis always craves. In many ways the deal is the contract that Revis wanted, at east on the front end, in 2010 when the relationship between the team and player began to go bad.

Speaking as a Jets fan I think this was a move the team had to make. This isn’t a football move. This is about recapturing a fanbase that was disgusted with the Jets the last two years, primarily in 2014. It is well known that Revis made an attempt to come back last season to the Jets but the Jets wouldnt really even take the call. When things got so bad at the end of the year owner Woody Johnson basically came out and said if he knew Revis would have played for $12 million last season he would have made the move for him. That is going to open the Jets up to tampering charges since Revis was under contract at the time, but coming off the darkest run since 95-96 he had little option.

Because the Jets spent no money the last two seasons and built up a giant salary cap surplus the move really has no negative repercussions financially. They have so much space that adding one player at $16M per year in cap dollars isn’t a major problem, especially with no viable QB on the roster that will be due an extension. By the time they find a QB Revis will either be off the team or making $11 million per year, a much more manageable number.

Revis played his hand perfectly last year, which was something I talked about when he signed with New England. The cornerback market was depressed and Revis came off a lame season in Tampa Bay that saw limited interest. He wisely took what he expected to be a one year contract (though he almost outsmarted himself by continuing to aim for the $16 million metric) to allow Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman reset the cornerback market. The minute you saw Byron Maxwell and Kareem Jackson getting huge money you knew Revis was going to score big if he got to free agency.

We’ll see where things go for the Jets, but their new front office is off to the kind of start that will keep them popular with fans and media of the team. Thats important to surviving the town and making it look like you are making every effort to get better fast. The team has made moves that are reminiscent of the Mike Tannenbaum run in 2008 and 2009 that completely remade the image of the team from the Herman Edwards/Chad Pennington group to the Rex Ryan/Revis group that nearly made the Super Bowl.  Nobody can predict the future but it’s at least a start in changing the culture of the team.