NY Jets contractual questions answered
June 21, 8:24 AMNew York Jets ExaminerTyson RauchPrevious Comment Subscribe Subscribe
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Based on the numbers, Darrelle will be in camp
Bill Kostroun/APThe New York Jets are facing some very difficult contractual decisions as they have several players looking for new deals. Recently Jason Fitzgerald of NYJETSCAP.com took the time to break down some of the contracts of the players that have been capturing headlines. If you are not familiar with NYJETSCAP.com, it is arguably one of the most informative Jets sites on the internet.
Tyson Rauch- New York Jets Examiner: Jason, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. As you know everyone in Jets nation is in a panic over Darrelle Revis' contract situation. Can you explain Darrelle's current contract?
Jason Fitzgerald, NYJETSCAP.com: If you can remember back to the summer of 2007, you will remember that the Jets and Revis' agent entered into a long negotiation with the sticking point being the length of Revis' contract. The Jets won that battle and Revis agreed to be under contract to the team through the 2012 football season. As part of the compromise the Jets paid Revis far above market value for his draft slot, and came up with a very unique contract structure that would pay Revis a large amount of money in his final two years, if he proved to be a good football player.
The unique part of the deal will follow the 2010 season. Revis earned the option to void his contract by participating in 35% of the defensive snaps in his rookie season. Revis will void his deal the week after the Super Bowl by paying the Jets back a portion of his advanced money he had received in bonuses throughout the years. That number should be around $1.29 million dollars. In turn the Jets can "buy back" Revis' contract by increasing his 2011 and 2012 salaries to $5 million dollars and $11 million dollars. $15.7 million of that total is completely guaranteed, and the other $300K is due to Revis in the form of workout bonuses which are essentially guaranteed as well. The Jets also placed incentive based escalator clauses into the deal which Revis can earn based on performance. There are multiple ways for Revis to earn them, but the basic way is for him to earn two more Pro Bowl berths before 2012. If he does, his 2012 salary will jump from $11 million to $15 million.
To put how good of a deal Revis received into perspective, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, drafted number 4 overall in 2006, will earn with escalators no more than $15 million in the final two years of his contract. Revis, selected 11 slots later, can earn $20 million. Revis' unhappiness is tied into his pay for the 2010 season, which is only $550K and why he has threatened to hold out. The Jets did protect themselves from such a holdout by placing a clause into Revis' contract stating that he would lose those $15 million in guarantees if he were to hold out of any mandatory mini-camp or training camp to try to obtain a new contract. Another wrinkle that could affect Revis' ability to hold out is that he only has three years of service in the NFL. If Revis does not report to camp by early August, Revis will not earn an accrued season of service in the NFL, leaving him with just three years of service when he voids his contract. Players with only three years of service are restricted free agents. There could be a possibility at that point that the Jets would not "buy back" the contract and instead treat him as a restricted free agent, which would pay Revis a far lower salary than the buyback money. Both of these scenarios more or less ensure that Revis will appear in camp on time regardless of his deal.
Revis is reportedly looking to be the highest paid cornerback in the NFL, which would be in the $16 million per year range. How would you break down Darrelle's real market value?
JF: This $16 million number being thrown around by Revis is due to the head-scratching contract that the Oakland Raiders gave to CB Nnamdi Asomugha which was essentially a three-year contract for $45.5 million. There are a few problems with using that deal as a guideline for a long-term extension for Revis. One is that the contract was signed by the Raiders, who have a terrible reputation around the NFL for their personnel moves. Often contracts such as these are thrown out in negotiations. Secondly, Asomugha was a free agent when he signed his contract. There is far less negotiating power on the player's side when he has multiple years remaining on his contract. Finally there is the fact that this is just a three-year contract for Asomugha. $15 million per year for three years is much different than $15 million for six or seven years.
I'd place a value on Revis by comparing the three-year total received by the Eagles Asante Samuel, $32.1 million, to Asomugha's total. Asomugha's contract represented a 42% raise. If we apply that same figure to the total dollar amount of Samuel's contract to set the "six-year value" of the Asomugha deal, we end up with a contract that averages around $13.5 million per season rather than the $15 million number that Revis' camp is using. That would be Revis' value if he was actually a free agent or one season removed from being a free agent. Considering Revis is under contract for three more seasons, he has to accept a discount on that number. I think a fair figure would be between $11.5 and $12 million a season.
What type of contract would you offer to Revis that would be deemed fair by both parties?
JF: I think a fair contract would be to offer Darrelle somewhere between $67 and $70 million on a six-year contract. Such a deal is going to pay Revis as the best corner in the game and set him up for another lucrative contract at the age of 30. The Jets should guarantee at least $33 million of the contract, and could guarantee him as much as Asomugha if they wanted to. Darrelle is so good that it's likely he will earn that figure anyway, so it really does not hurt the Jets to make that goodwill gesture to Revis. Financially, Revis should be happy with that contract as it essentially has him playing out his current deal and gives him the three-year "Asomugha extension" on top of that.
From the Jets' point of view they can lock up Revis through the prime part of his career with such a contract. I think at a real athletic position like cornerback you would much rather be paying for current performance than paying for past performance. By locking up Revis through age 30, they are paying for a great athlete. By waiting a few more seasons and paying him through the age of 33, the Jets are going to likely pay for a few years of downward play as he ages. This also gives the Jets' salary cap flexibility and would allow them to go cap free for 10-15% of the contract by signing him in the uncapped year. I think it would be a strong deal for both sides.
Center Nick Mangold is another player starting to cause waves as he is looking for a new contract. Understanding that Nick is in the last year of his rookie deal, what type of contract can you see the Jets offering?
JF: Mangold is the best center in the NFL and I think you could make an argument that he is the best interior lineman in the game. The market-setter for centers was the Rams' signing of Jason Brown to a five-year $37.5 million deal. Mangold is going to shatter that number. Guard Jahiri Evans just signed a contract for seven years and slightly over $56 million and Mangold is likely going to average about that number per year. I think Nick will likely end up with a six-year contract that approaches $50 million with somewhere between $22 and 24 million guaranteed.
Linebacker David Harris is also in the last year of his rookie deal, one that appears to be a bargain based on his performance. What do you think would be a fair deal for Harris?
JF: Harris is a little tougher to predict than the other two players because he will only have four years of service when his contract expires. With the uncertainty of the CBA, there is a 50/50 chance that the restricted free agency rules will be changed and the Jets may be able to treat Harris as an RFA. This is the reason why the Jets have not seriously approached Harris about an extension. The contract the Jets gave Bart Scott last season (six years, $48 million) is being used as the high-water mark for middle linebackers. Neither the Texans' DeMeco Ryans nor the 49'ers' Patrick Willis exceeded that total, so the market has not risen the way the cornerback market or market for centers has risen. Ryans and Willis are both considered better players than Harris, so David should not be at the top of the market the way Revis and Mangold are. I believe Harris will probably grade out similar to how former Jet Jonathan Vilma graded out, which is around $7 million per season. If Harris is set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2011, I think the Jets would likely offer him a deal for either five years at $35 million or six years at $43 million. Guarantees would likely be around $15 million. Though injury is always a concern for a player, Harris can maximize his value by playing the season out and proving that he can be just as good as Willis and Ryans.
TR: Jason, thank you again for taking the time to answer these questions. This is some valuable information that you shared which I am sure shed some new light on the contract negotiations that Gang Green will be facing. Once again, please be sure to check out NYJETSCAP.com.
i think most posters here have been saying about the same thing. with all that money being thrown around, if revis thinks he's the best and wants to be paid the highest of all corners then he really needs to wait until his contract expires and negotiate from a position of strength. right now the jets can dictate and basically bury him for 3 seasons. now if he were being reasonable, he could probably get the jets to sweeten his current contract so he would earn way more this season and maybe even more until the end of his contract. it's all about the guaranteed money and he's got another 20m or so until the end of his contract just there for the taking. he'll at least get close to asomaugha money and play on a better team to boot.