Revis agrees to 7-year deal with Jets
The Darrelle Revis saga is over.
After months of acrimonious negotiations, multiple stalements and a threat to sit out the entire 2010 season, the All-Pro cornerback finally reached a contract agreement with the New York Jets late Sunday.
”It not has only been hard on u guys, but it has for me too,” Revis wrote on his Twitter page early Monday morning. ”I just want to tell yall that I’m sorry for this process and I can’t wait to get back on the field.”
The new contract is for seven years, but it may void to a four-year deal. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
”Barring something unforeseen, we expect Darrelle to be here (Monday),” General Manager Mike Tannenbaum said during a conference call early Monday morning.
”This is an intermediate step to what we hope is an entire career of Darrelle as a Jet,” Tannenbaum said. ”For him to retire a Jet, for him to hopefully go to the Hall of Fame one day as a Jet and for him to be in our ring of honor.”
The 11th-hour agreement came to fruition after Jets coach Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson reportedly flew to South Florida on Sunday to meet with the team’s top defensive player and the NFL’s best shutdown cornerback.
”That was an important step in the process, but there was still obviously more work to be done,” Tannenbaum said. ”We spent all day looking at it and probably about (11 p.m. Sunday), we made a very significant breakthrough to finding a landing spot that was good for both sides.”
The agreement ends Revis’ 36-day holdout a week before the Jets begin their season next Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens. Revis planned to fly from his home in South Florida to New Jersey on Monday.
“To my family, [agents Neil Schwartz & John Feinsod] I love u guys I’m comin home baby!!!” Revis wrote on his Twitter account early Monday morning. “Revis Island LET’S GO.
“It not has only been hard on u guys but it has for me, too. I just want to tell y’all that I’m sorry for this process and I can’t wait to get back on the field.”
Revis clearly had outplayed the value of his rookie contract, which was to pay him $15 million over the next three seasons, including $1 million in 2010. After fellow All-Pro Nnamdi Asomugha secured a three-year, $45.3 million contract from the Raiders in 2009, Revis demanded that he be the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.
With that, he sought $16 million a season from the Jets, rejecting a 10-year, $120 million contract offer as well as a four-year, $40 million deal — largely because of the small amount of guaranteed money in the offers.
Revis’ agents were asking for a 10-year, $162 million contract, with more than $40 million guaranteed. His holdout began Aug. 1, when the team reported for training camp in Cortland. Tannenbaum said the nearly $600,000 in fines Revis accrued for sitting out would be handled by the team.
Tannenbaum acknowledged he wasn’t sure the deal would ever get done and said the Jets looked into trades for other cornerbacks over the weekend.
”This was one of those things where I really wasn’t optimistic,” Tannenbaum said. ”I really wasn’t. I’m an optimist by nature, but this was really hard. There was a lot of heavy lifting, a lot of work put into it.”
Since early August, the team and Revis’ agents agreed to keep all negotiations confidential after things got testy through the media.
There were some accusations made by both sides, with Johnson saying he was ”rebuffed” by Revis’ agents when he asked if he could be part of a meeting at the Roscoe Diner in Roscoe, N.Y. Schwartz responded by saying that was ”a blatant lie” and that Johnson was given ”incorrect” information. He also said he’d meet Johnson ”any time, any place.”
Ryan even got into it, suggesting he give the team a day off from practice so the entire organization could sit down with Revis, his agents and anyone else the star player wanted in an effort to complete a deal.
Then came a code of silence from both sides — and the fear that Revis could sit out the entire season, as his uncle once did. In the end, though, Revis will be back with the team in time to begin a season Ryan and the Jets are convinced will be special.
”I’m happy, I’m relieved,” Tannenbaum said. ”Obviously, Darrelle’s a great player. He’s our guy and he’s an important piece to what we’re trying to accomplish here. … I don’t think anyone wanted it to take as long as it did, but it did. Now, we can put it behind us and move on to Baltimore.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.