Darrelle Revis announced this summer that he was “going to play until the wheels fall off.”
With wide receivers toasting him on a weekly basis, it looks more and more like No. 24 is driving the Flintstone Mobile.
The Jets cornerback’s decline is due, in part, to his questionable drive and lack of commitment and discipline to maintain his body.
“He’s done,” a Revis confidant told the Daily News. “If he had his way, he’d be done right now. He doesn’t want to play anymore. He’s made a lot of money.”
Although it’s impossible to get inside Revis’ head, people close to him sense that the guy, who once ate, slept and breathed football is gone forever, replaced by this sad version.
While he can’t say for certain what Revis is thinking, the Revis confidant put the cornerback’s season this way: “He tanked it.”
I don’t want to believe that. Jets fans probably don’t want to, either.
Revis should salvage his train wreck of a season by showing good faith to a man who has paid him nearly $100 million. It’s time for the aging cornerback to approach Woody Johnson and initiate a pay cut for next season.
Revis has waxed poetic about his love for this franchise. He wanted to be a “Jet for life.” He was supposedly downright giddy about “coming home” after two seasons in Tampa and New England.
Team Revis has always taken a cut-throat approach because the player’s skill level gave them leverage.
The Jets endured painstaking contract negotiations before Revis even played a snap in his NFL career, forking over Monopoly money to a special talent along the way. Now that he hasn’t lived up to his lofty new contract, it’s time to extend an olive branch to an organization that has made him a very rich man.
If Revis still loves playing the game like he says, it should be a no-brainer.
Revis’ $17 million heist this season should embarrass him. His poor effort and production should sting if he has any professional pride. He cheated his coaches, teammates, management and fans, who rightfully expected much more.
Revis used to be a game-changing force, but certainly isn’t worth the $13 million that he’s scheduled to make in the third year of his five-year, $70 million blockbuster deal that brought him back to the Jets last year.
There’s about as much chance of the president-elect curtailing his use of exclamation points in his tweets as there is of Revis getting that $13 million next year.
The Jets paid Revis All-Pro money this season, but received Pop Warner production. His latest indignity: Giving up two touchdowns to Patriots fourth-round rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell, including the game-winner last week.
The Jets will have to make a decision on Revis’ future by the second day of the 2017 league year (March) when a non-guaranteed $2 million roster bonus is due. The right move for Revis would be to approach Johnson and the rest of the brain trust right now with a fair resolution to reduce his pay.
It doesn’t need to get contentious as it has in the past.
Revis missed 21 days of his first training camp in 2007 due to a disagreement over the length of his rookie contract. He held out for 35 days in the fourth year of that deal because there was no way on God’s Green Earth that Revis Island was going to play the 2010 season for a measly $1 million.
These negotiations should be quick and easy. There’s no reason to go to the Roscoe Diner again.
Revis should tell Johnson & Co. that he’s willing to play for $6 million — the fully guaranteed portion of his 2017 salary — with performance-based incentives. The final two years of his deal ($10.060 million non-guaranteed base salaries in 2018 and 2019) are inconsequential. The Jets can simply cut him after 2017 with minimal financial ramifications.
If Revis re-establishes himself as a Pro Bowler in 2017, he’ll re-coup some of the money lost by taking the pay cut with the incentives.
For all the times that Revis felt underpaid, he surely knows that he’s laughably overpaid now. So, play for the $6 million guarantee next year and earn any additional amount by performing at a high level. It’s a sensible move for a player who has about $125 million in career cash earnings (and $50 million in the bank).
The current structure of Revis’ contract has off-set language. He knows that no team in this galaxy will offer him more than $6 million in 2017 after what everyone has witnessed this year.
Revis has suggested that he’s amenable to moving to safety in the future, but there’s no guarantee that A) The Jets would want to pay him $6 million to play a new position and B) he’d actually be a good safety given that he’s repeatedly shied away from contact this season.
Revis must take the proactive approach if he truly still loves the game — and his team. If he doesn’t, the truth will become clear.
If he doesn’t, maybe being a Jets for life was all nonsense. Maybe he really doesn’t want to play anymore. Maybe he has tanked it.