If the workforce as a whole was like the NFL in the sense that not coming to work was a normal, accepted practice for those seeking a raise, society would last maybe three days. No one would come to work. Ever.
The NFL is in the initial days of its holdout season, otherwise refereed to as training camp. Right now, there are only two names on the list of contractual camp delinquents, although those names are rather large. Mike Wallace and Maurice Jones-Drew are both in very different situations, but the impact their absences will have on their respective teams will still be massive.
There was nearly a third holdout: Darelle Revis.
The Jets cornerback who also holds the title of the best player at his position has been vocal about his displeasure with his paycheck throughout the offseason, even though his relationship with the team still seems at least amicable. He showed up for offseason workouts, but until just a few days ago he chose to neither confirm or deny reports that he was preparing to hold out from camp until he receives a restructured deal, even after he pulled the same powerplay just two years ago.
The good news is that he’s at camp in Cortland, New York, and he’s ready to go. The bad news, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, is that he almost didn’t show up.
“It was close (to) happening… for me holding out,” Revis told Mehta.
I’ll quickly repeat what I wrote this morning regarding Jones-Drew, because it applies to Revis too and it can’t be repeated enough as we sit here in late July in the heart of holdout season. Fans will look at their paycheck, and then look at the average NFL paycheck, and declare that holdouts reveal players as the true filthy, money-sucking bastards they really are. But holdouts aren’t solely about money; they’re primarily about market value, and being paid the proper salary to reflect the value determined by the league’s present market. And despite the fact that Revis is only two years into his four-year contract, he’s set to be dramatically underpaid this year.
The contract Revis signed in 2010 was heavily front-end loaded. In fact, it was so heavily front-end loaded that in 2012 Revis will be paid like merely a good cornerback, and not like the elite, game changing, shutdown corner he’s become. The contract is worth $46 million, and he’s already earned $32.5 million of that, which means with half of his deal still on the books he’s already banked 70.7 percent of his pay.
Including his roster bonus, he’ll make $7.5 million this year and then just $6 million in 2013. By comparison, Nnamdi Asomugha, the Eagles corner who signed a $60 million deal last summer, will make $26 million over the next two years ($11 million this year, and $15 million in 2013).
Revis is a laughable bargain this year, and he knows it, as he also told Mehta that “something’s got to happen sooner or later in terms of my future with the team,” or he may be forced to move on.
Storm, meet the calm that precedes you.