There has been a lot of talk in Jets camp regarding Darrelle Revis' contract issues. He has been called by his own coach ?The best player in the NFL.? That is pretty high praise considering he plays on the defensive side of the ball and he doesn't even play a central position like middle linebacker. Further still, Rex Ryan repeatedly uttered these words during a contract year for Revis. Bold comments are nothing new for Ryan however, as he routinely plays his big guy jolly persona to the ?fullest.? If you ask me, if his appearance were that of Jerry Jones, and he looked like a melting ghost, he wouldn't be seen as such a Santa like figure who could do no wrong.
Ryan's bravado may have literally cost the Jets. However, regardless of what Ryan said, it is a fact that the Jets need Revis to solidify everything they want to do on defense. They blitzed 57% of passing plays last year, tops in the NFL, and they were able to do this without getting burned because Revis locked up the top receiver every game. It his is maximum security prison defense that makes the Jets defense truly special. Without Revis completely negating receivers like Chad Ochocinco and Reggie Wayne, the Jets all out blitzing style that was so successful last year, would completely fall apart in the upcoming season.
When a team sends out a mass blitz they are rolling the dice on many different levels. If they are able to get to the quarterback before he can get rid of the ball, then the blitz is successful. Even if the blitz makes the quarterback hurry his throw or check down to another receiver, the blitz has still done its job. However, the blitz also puts added pressure on the conrnerback to cover a receiver 1v1 in the open field. This is something that only top corners can do on a routine basics. If you put a lessor corner on some of the top receivers, the Jets defense could quickly plummet down the rankings. When one domino falls, the rest must as well. The line between a dominating defense and an exposed defense is one Darrelle Revis.
Also consider, the highest paid cornerback in the league, Nnamdi Asomugha, who makes north of 15 million dollars. Who pays a corner that much money? Revis should send Al Davis a thank you note, because that ridiculous contract set the bar sky high for a position that historically never got paid near that mark. Revis is also in the prime of his career, he is 25 and has at least 8 very productive years ahead of him. If ever someone should get paid, it is him. So many times people are paid for what they did in the past, in Revis' case, his future is as bright as anyone's in the league.
I hear very ignorant people say, ?why is he being such a jerk, why is he demanding so much money?? To these people I would point out that the football organizations are bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars because of the players. Look at the Jets organization alone, Thomas Jones had a career year last year and only got paid 900,000 dollars. When his contract was up did the Jets reward him for his fantastic year? Hell no, they sent him packing because they figured his best years were behind him. There is no loyalty in the league and for people to call the players jerks is unfair. One can also look at Leon Washington who was having a breakout year last year before his injury. Did the Jets give him a chance to work his way back into the lineup? No way, they got rid of him too rather than pay him what he deserved.
Football careers are so short that I do not blame any player for trying to get as much money as he can. The rate of injury is so high, and the moment they are seen as loosing a step, they are shipped out of town. The unions in football are not a shell of their baseball counterparts, and contracts can be voided at the drop of a hat. If the Jets are smart and they want to avoid a backlash on many different levels, ownership better pony up and pay this man.