Lockdown cover corners in the NFL are priceless. The ability to sew up one side of the field and take a team’s top target completely out of the game is what football franchises drool for. So why are the New York Jets balking at the 10 years, $162 million that certified top cornerback Darrelle Revis is asking for? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO sports desk debates.

PG: If a rookie can get a record deal then Revis definitely deserves one. He’s earned that and after you average it out, that’s only slightly above the 15 million a season mark that the league’s other top corner, the Oakland Raiders Nnamdi Asomugha, makes. And in another few seasons, Revis’ deal will be outdated anyway.

SDR: The Raiders also have one of if not the worse track record(s) in the league as far as decision making and free agent deals. Using the contract that Oakland gave Asomugha as the basis on what a cornerback should get paid is recipe for disaster. And keep in mind Asomugha’s name was inserted into trade rumors not even a full season after Oakland gave him that deal. The team knew it was absurd and what Revis is asking for is absurd, especially after only one truly great season.

PG: The Washington Redskins also have one of the worse track records in the league but you can guarantee that Albert Haynesworth’s contract will be the basis for any star defensive tackle up next for a free agent payday. And how can you say Revis doesn’t deserve a record deal after only one great season when it’s record deals given out annually to rookies that haven’t even taken one snap in the NFL?

SDR: Considering the circus that has revolved around him, Haynesworth’s contract might actually work against defensive tackles. Historically, guys who get paid that much money tend to slack off. Teams rarely see a return on their investment when they break the bank for these types of players. I don’t necessarily agree with rookies coming in and grabbing record deals but you can make an exception for quarterbacks. You’re talking about guys that are the face of a team, franchise carriers in most cases. You just can’t pay skill position guys that much money; one knee, hamstring or ankle injury & their season is shot.

PG: Quarterbacks get hurt just like any other player. All NFL players depend on their legs to make things happen and when it comes to being the face of a team, Revis Island is the biggest star on the Jets squad. And you can believe that teams are going to continue to pay these high salaries because it’s already been done. Just like with JaMarcus Russell, every No. 1 pick after him got better deals and the same is going to continue to happen in free agency.

SDR: When it comes to this type of money (10 years, $162 million), spending it on quarterbacks is always going to be the better investment because teams aren’t just spending it on production; we’re talking about leadership, marketing and ticket sales. The Jets can take some pages out of the books of annual contenders like the Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants. They’ll find the highest paid guys on those rosters are quarterbacks and the difference salary wise between them and their roster mates isn’t even close. The only teams who spend franchise quarterback money on other positions are the Raiders and Redskins, annual bottom dwellers in their respected divisions. Revis may very well get his bloated contract, but if the Jets are smart, it won’t be with them.

 

Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley

AFRO Sports Desk