Revis, Jets need to be more reasonable about contract situation

Darrelle Revis wants to be the highest paid cornerback in the NFL.

The Jets want to give him a new contract, but they don’t want to pay top dollar for him.

Both need to step back into reality.

Revis has emerged as the best cover corner in the NFL. That moniker used to be in reference to Nnamdi Asomugha, which is why Al Davis gave him a $45.3 million contract in February of 2009.

But Davis is also completely out of his mind. The first two years of Asomugha’s contract ($28.6 million) are fully guaranteed. Another $4.7 million is available through incentives and in order to keep the cornerback under contract through 2011, the Raiders must pay him either the franchise number for quarterbacks that year, or $16.875 million (whichever is greater).

That’s what Revis wants from the Jets. Actually, he actually wants a contract larger than that and is willing to skip training camp until he receives it.

There’s no question that Revis is underpaid and if it’s true that the Jets didn’t offer him any guaranteed money in a recent proposal, then he was right to call their offer “an insult.” But if you’re GM Mike Tannenbaum, it wouldn’t be a good business decision to pay Revis what Asomugha makes. Asomugha shouldn’t even make what Asomugha makes and that’s not a dig on his ability as a player, that’s just stressing that his contract is ridiculous.

Tannenbaum can’t do for Revis what Davis did for Asomugha. He has an entire roster of players to think about and the Jets are trying to win a Super Bowl. He needs to put together a respectable deal to ensure Revis is happy and eventually reports to camp on time.

What constitutes respectable? Champ Bailey makes $9 million a year and turns 32 later this month. Dunta Robinson just received a new deal that will pay him an average of $9.5 million a year and he’s currently 28. Revis (24) is younger and more productive than both of them, so what if the Jets gave him $12 million a year with $25-30 million in guaranteed money? That would be respectable. Revis wouldn’t make what Asomugha makes, but again, the contract Davis gave Asmougha is absurd and it hamstrings the Raiders in other personnel decisions. Tannenbaum doesn’t want to do that to the Jets, but he still has to understand what the market currently dictates for top corners.

I think $12 million is more than fair and if Revis more concerned about being the highest paid cornerback in the league than he is about winning a Super Bowl, then shame on him. And if the Jets don’t want to pony up in order to pay the best corner in the league, then maybe Revis should protest his contract.

Either way, both parties need to come to their senses before this situation gets even uglier than it already is.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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