This Labor Day, New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis will be getting ready to do something he hasn't done in a while: go to work.
According to multiple news sources, Revis reached an agreement on a new contract from the Jets late Sunday night. Revis quickly reached out through his Twitter account to announce his excitement over the end of his holdout, and to apologize for the protracted nature of his contract dispute.
"I'm comin home baby!!!" Revis wrote on his Twitter page early Monday morning. "Revis Island. Let's go. It not only has been hard on u guys but it has for me too. I just want to tell yall that I'm sorry for this process and I can't wait to get back on the field."
Manish Mehta from the New York Daily News reported that the deal was four years in length, with a total value of $46 million dollars, $32 million of which are guaranteed, but FOXSports's Jay Glazer reports that it is a seven-year contract that is voidable after four years. Revis previously turned down a 10-year, $120 million deal because it had a low amount of guaranteed money, but NFL teams this offseason have been reluctant to hand out guaranteed money because of uncertainty over whether there will be a season-long lockout in 2011. Because of this, guaranteed money became a major point of contention between the two sides, and Even as late as Friday, one Jets player, who chose to remain anonymous, told ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini that "guys just think it's a tragedy that it has come to this and that it couldn't be worked out." Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum didn't expect to be able to strike a new deal with Revis, discouraged by the lack of progress in the negotiations.
"We just felt like it was not going to get done in the traditional dynamic," Tannenbaum is quoted by Mehta as saying. "...There wasn't a lot of activity for a while. We talked. Weeks would go by, nothing would happen. Then things heated up again... The whole time, I wasn't optimistic until the last few hours."
As evidenced by HBO's "Hard Knocks" documentary, the Jets were extremely worried that Revis would sit out for an extended portion of the season. Revis's uncle and main advisor Sean Gilbert sat out the entire 1997 season due to a contract dispute when he played defensive tackle for the Washington Redskins, and Cimini's story quotes another anonymous Jet as saying he wished Revis would get advice from someone outside of his family, ""someone with a clear mind outside the situation". In case Revis chose to follow in his uncle's footsteps, the Jets invested their first-round draft pick this year in Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson. Wilson and offseason trade acquisition Antonio Cromartie played well together. Because of Wilson's inexperience and Cromartie's struggles with a hip injury the past couple of years, it was thought that the cornerback position would be the undoing of the entire defense. However, in the three games in which the starters played, the starting defense allowed only one touchdown.
Revis's return to the Jets is considered a huge upgrade to the defense at left corner, and the nickel position as well now that it is now going to be manned by Wilson. The Jets face the Ravens, who added Anquan Boldin and Donte' Stallworth to their receiving corps that already included Derrick Mason and Todd Heap, on Monday Night Football in Week 1. The next four weeks, their defense will play against Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Brandon Marshall, Lee Evans, Percy Harvin, and possibly Sidney Rice if he returns from hip surgery by Week Six. - Hank Koebler, IV
Hank is a sports journalist attending the University of Missouri's school of journalism.
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