Softening Corner Market Could Lower Revis’ Asking Price

Daniel Marcus

A midst all of the news surrounding Darrelle Revis between trade rumors, Twitter wars, and his health following knee surgery, few outlets have really entertained the idea of the Jets keeping their All-Pro Cornerback. The main sticking point when it comes to any hypothetical negotiations between Revis’ team and the Jets is his purported asking price of around $16 million per year. In a vacuum, I would say Revis is worth every penny but the NFL does not operate in a vacuum and it is untenable to pay a Cornerback like a Quarterback.

Revis didn’t just conjure that $16 million figure out of thin air, no, the only reason his demands are so astronomical is because two of the NFL’s elder statesmen owners did the simple arithmetic and came to the realization they can’t take their money with them when they die. For those of you that don’t get the reference, I am alluding to the now late Al Davis and his still-kicking former AFL counterpart, Ralph Wilson who when faced with their own mortality threw ungodly sums of money to players that were not really deserving. Davis gave Nnamdi Asomugha the princely sum of $15 million a year over three years, a contract which he ultimately opted out of and not to be outdone, Ralph Wilson went on to give Mario Williams the most lucrative contract a defensive player has ever seen (6 years, $96 million, $50 million in guarantees).

Considering Revis views himself on par with these players he is looking for comparable money but what he will likely soon find out is that those two contracts are anomalies, the likes of which may never be seen again in the NFL for a defensive player, especially a Cornerback. In sports every-so-often an owner will go crazy and sign a player to a ridiculous contract (just ask the Yankees) but the market ultimately corrects itself. My contention and that of many executives around the league is that no one will be willing to shell out $16 million per year for Revis’ services even if he may prove himself to be the best Corner to play the game.

The Jets may have found themselves in the middle of a perfect storm of sorts, where most of the league will be trying to pinch pennies on player salaries considering the nominal salary cap increase from last year. Couple the cap situation with the fact that more and more teams are unwilling to pay big money to corners especially to Nnamdi and Mario Williams-esque contracts. Very few players are getting Nnamdi Asomugha money these days, including Nnamdi Asomugha. No, I think Darrelle Revis will find out that his services are worth no more than 13 or 14 million per year and will ultimately have to lower that lofty asking price of his.

By the same token, it only takes one Ralph Wilson or Al Davis to create the market that Revis is looking for but even if he is traded, he will find out that very few teams are willing to part with two high-round draft picks (probably a 1st and a 2nd) and then shell out $16 million per year on top of that. Right now it seems the Jets are dead-set on trading him and going into “full-rebuild mode” but they may find themselves in an advantageous bargaining position that will allow them to keep him. If Revis is truly committed to staying with the Jets it would behoove him to come off that asking price a little bit before he finds out that no one else is willing to pay it either.