Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Conflicting Stories On The Revis Contract Mess

Interesting and actually informative post on ESPN this week, re: Revis's contract, with Rich Cimini getting into the nuts and blots of the contract issues. Here's what Cimini writes:
"There is a little-known rule in the NFL's collective bargaining agreement that is having a big-time impact on the New York Jets' stalled negotiations with star cornerback Darrelle Revis -- and it likely will sabotage any chance of signing Revis to a contract extension before the start of the season.

It's called the "reallocation rule,” and it explains, in part, why the Jets’ offer to Revis includes virtually no fully guaranteed money. By “fully” guaranteed, we mean it’s guaranteed against skill and injury, ensuring the player gets paid no matter what.

The rule states that, when doing a contract extension in an uncapped year, future guarantees against skill and injury must fit under the team’s 2009 salary cap. In the Jets’ case, that doesn’t leave much at all, as they had only about $300,000 in leftover cap space -- a relative drop in the bucket. They can offer more than that for skill or injury, but not both."
So, in essence the Jets can't offer Revis, as well as Nick Mangold and David Harris a big fat contract because or arcane and very bizarre rules. So what does Woody Johnson, Jets owner say about this scary dilemma?
"We're trying to put the best team on the field within the rules to win the Super Bowl. I guess the fans are going to have to have a little confidence in our ability to make that happen....The fans know that we are trying to win. We are using our best judgment—Mike Tannenbaum, all of the coaches and me as well."
OK, there's a lot of ways to read that: they have a plan to get Revis, Mangold and Harris under contract, or, and the interpretation I believe; they have no plan (trying to put the best team on the field within the rules) and he's cushioning the blow to let the fans know that they will/can replace them. Which would suck.

Harris, Mangold and Revis are not only the best or near the top of their respective positions, they are young. They have many good years ahead of them. Unlike LaDainien Tomlinson, they are on the way up, not down.

A couple of thoughts: One way around this is to pay Revis's entire salary as a bonus. As writes:

The Niners contract extension with linebacker Patrick Willis illustrated a structure that could be used to reward a young player while remaining 30% rule compliant. In short...the Willis deal was largely achieved via a $15.5 million signing bonus and $4.8 million supercede signing bonus.

Which, in a way, is what the Jets did with D'Brickashaw Ferguson when they resigned him last week. So, why not, if Revis demands, say, a 15 million dollar per year contract, pay him $50,000 in salary and the rest in various bonuses, thus avoiding the whole Salary Cap Rule mess? Would the Jets do that? Woody Johnson does not hurt for money; however, he may not want to set a precedent for future contract negotiations. And that seems to be the case—as the Daily News's Manish Mehta wrote recently, "At this point, it appears they’re unwilling to do that."

Next question: Can't the Jets rework a bonus of their current contracts to try and create space. The Titans just accomplished that with Chris Johnson. Granted the Jets have about a dime of current cap space, but it wouldn't hurt to try to renegotiate say, Sanchez's whopper of a contract to make it more cap friendly. No?

Admittedly, not being an expert in the byzantine NFL salary cap rules, I couldn't say what the Jets do for certain. But reading between the PoliticSpeak of Woody Johnson and of "getting the best team on the field within the rules" to me sounds like Jets fans everywhere sound start to accept the fact that the great draft class we had just a few years ago might not be able to be kept past this year.

1 comment:

Pete S said...

Something needs to be done with Revis at the very least, because that defense will not work nearly as well without him.

Revis' ability to limit the opponent's best receiver gives the Jets more opportunities to bring pressure without getting burned for it.