The New York Jets have had quite the busy little offseason. They've acquired Antonio Cromartie(notes), Santonio Holmes(notes), Jason Taylor(notes), and LaDanian Tomlinson. They've cut ties with veterans Thomas Jones(notes) and Alan Faneca(notes), two players who helped the team's running game to great success last season. They had an excellent draft, which started with Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson(notes) unexpectedly falling to them at the 29th pick.
And now, they're talking to the NFL's best defensive player about what will most likely be a historic contract extension. Cornerback Darrelle Revis(notes), who played the position about as well as it can be played in 2009, is going into the fourth year of a six-year, $30 million contract. However, the language in the deal basically voids the final two seasons, making Revis a free agent after the 2010 season. The Jets could buy back the final two years for about $20 million, but they'd probably want something more cap-friendly if there is a salary cap next year and beyond. This year, Revis will make a base salary of $550,000 plus assorted bonuses - which, if he plays like he did last season, is what he should make per game. The Jets are thinking the same thing. From NJ.com:
"They came to me after the season," Revis said. "There were talks about them not wanting me to play for a million dollars. They're trying to renegotiate. We'll see. Me and (center) Nick (Mangold) have talked. Nick wants to get something done as well. This dude is the best center in the league. He deserves what he deserves. I deserve what I deserve. (Linebacker) David (Harris) deserves what he deserves. ... It's just a matter of time when everything works out and everybody will be happy."
No doubt. As we've discussed before, Revis' contributions to the NFL's best pass defense were absolute. And if you go by what head coach Rex Ryan has said about him, Revis shouldn't worry too much about the Jets throwing major dollars his way.
"If someone really went back and broke it down, this award (Defensive Player of the Year) wouldn't even be close. Would not even be close on who should win. I do know something about defense, and I have never seen a cornerback have this kind of year, with one exception -- maybe Deion (Sanders) when he was with San Francisco (in 1994)."
What might be a good baseline for a new Revis contract? Denver's Champ Bailey(notes) signed a seven-year, $63 million contract with the Broncos in 2004 after he was traded from the Washington Redskins. Green Bay's Charles Woodson(notes) signed a seven-year, $52 million deal in 2006, and the Falcons inked former Houston Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson(notes) to a six-year, $57 million contract just two months ago.
It's arguable that Revis made more of a difference to his team than any other NFL player - and at age 24 (he'll turn 25 in July), it's a good bet he'll be in that argument for the next few seasons. The Jets were a player or two away from a Super Bowl bid last year, and they know they wouldn't have been that close without their best player. Chances are good that the team is about to tell Darrelle Revis just that in a language that everybody can understand.