Darrelle Revis ends holdout with Jets
By Rich Cimini
Updated: September 6, 2010, 10:41 AM ET
NEW YORK -- After a seven-month stalemate often marked by acrimony, the New York Jets and holdout cornerback Darrelle Revis agreed in principle Sunday night on a new contract, the team announced early Monday morning.
Revis, whose holdout lasted 35 days, is expected to fly to New Jersey Monday to sign the contract. Barring any holdups, the All-Pro will be on the field in time to have a full week of preparation for the season opener against the Baltimore Ravens, a week from Monday.
"I'm coming home baby!!! Revis Island. Let's Go," Revis tweeted shortly after midnight.
Until the small hours of Labor Day, Woody Johnson and the Jets had given us little more than their version of April Fool's Day over and over and over again, writes ESPNNewYork.com's Ian O'Connor. Story
Revis will sign a four-year contract, GM Mike Tannenbaum announced. He declined to discuss the amount, but a source said it's a $46 million deal, including $32 million in various guarantees.
Under his old contract, Revis was due to make $21 million over the next three years, all of which was guaranteed until he didn't show up for training camp, voiding the guarantee. After a long holdout that resulted in $578,305 in fines, Revis secured $11 million in additional guarantees while committing an extra year to the team.
Tannenbaum wouldn't say if Revis will be responsible for paying the fines. He called it an internal issue, adding Revis and Ryan would discuss how to handle it.
"This is an intermediate step to what we hope will be an entire career of Darrelle as a Jet, for him to retire as a Jet and for him to hopefully go to the Hall of fame as a Jet," Tannenbaum said in an early-morning conference call with reporters.
Tannenbaum admitted that he explored possible trades for a cornerback over the weekend. While he did that, coach Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson took a spur-of-the-moment trip to South Florida on Saturday afternoon to meet with Revis, his mother and his uncle, former NFL defensive lineman Sean Gilbert. Gilbert once sat out an entire season in a contract dispute with the Washington Redskins.
The meeting was first reported by the New York Daily News.
Ryan met most of Sunday with Gilbert and Revis. By the time the meeting ended, both sides felt that progress had been made and their differences could be bridged.
At that point, negotiations heated up between the Jets and Revis' New-York based agents.
"Those guys going down there was a huge step," Tannenbaum said.
Revis has a home in South Florida, which he went to last week after spending more than a week with family in his hometown, Aliquippa, Pa. Ryan and Revis have a good relationship, and the Jets were counting on Ryan's persuasiveness to change Revis' stance.
"I really wasn't optimistic, I really wasn't," Tannenbaum said. "It was a hard set of dynamics. I'm optimistic by nature, but gosh, this was really hard. There was a lot of heavy lifting. This honestly and truly was really, really hard."
Despite the upbeat meeting in Florida, the two sides didn't have "a significant breakthrough" until around 10 p.m., according to Tannenbaum. That's when they agreed to the length of the contract and the total amount.
With Revis still in Florida, Tannenbaum negotiated by phone with the cornerbacks' agents, with Johnson available on speaker phone. Asked to describe Ryan's reaction when the deal was finalized, Tannenbaum said, "I think I had to medicate the head coach."
Revis made $15 million in his first three seasons. He wanted to become the highest-paid cornerback in the league, seeking about $16 million per season. According to family members, he was angry at the organization because he believed it reneged on a promise to make him the highest-paid corner.
Initially, the Jets offered Revis a 10-year, $120 million contract and a four-year, $40 million deal, but there was only a small amount of guaranteed money in each proposal. Revis' agents countered by asking for $162 million over 10 years, with more than $40 million guaranteed.
On Friday, several players told ESPNNewYork.com they were resigned to starting the season without Revis. One player said it was "a tragedy" that the stalemate got this far.
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this story.