First, the Revis point of view.
Darrelle Revis is the best cornerback in the NFL, this is not in dispute. Forgetting about dollar figures for a second, but just talking about value, the best player at a position should be paid as the best.
Which Darrelle Revis was paid like, in the first 2 years of the contract. He earned $32.5 million over the first two years of the contract, for an average of $16.25 million each year, which is higher than what Nhamdi Asomugha earned in those years, $16.1 million per year.
However, Revis is going to earn a very pedestrian $13.5 million over the next two years, and will not be the highest paid player at his position. Now, I hear you all groaning when I say that $13.5 million is pedestrian. Of course I am not saying that it is a lot of money. What I am saying, is that in talking pure value, forgetting about dollar figures, Revis is now not being paid to his value.
Look at Asomugha’s stats versus Darrelle Revis, and it’s not close. For his career Darrelle Revis has batted down 95 passes and picked off 18, while Asomugha, over a much longer career, has knocked down 59 and intercepted 14.
Just like any of us, football players need to maximize their worth while they can. At 26 years old Darrelle Revis is in the prime of his career. He has stated he wants to retire as a New York Jet, and with the low average career span of a football player (3.5 years), he must get his money when he can. He could be looking at his final payday now, and wants to cash in.
Any Jets player remembers what happened to Leon Washington. Washington was unhappy with his deal, but played on into 2009, when he suffered a severe leg break that cost him the balance of the 2009 season. He was subsequently traded a year later when the Jets wouldn’t re-sign him to a long term deal.
No player wants to lose out on a dime, it’s the nature of a human. Revis is no different.