The League

Dave Goldberg
Sports Reporter

Dave Goldberg

Covered the NFL for the AP for 25 years and now is a senior NFL writer for Fanhouse.com

Show him the money

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Those of us who knew Buddy Ryan know hyperbole runs in the Ryan family. But when New York Jets coach Rex Ryan called Darrelle Revis the best player in the NFL last season, he wasn't THAT far off. Rex probably doesn't regret his statement even though he's making an excellent argument for Revis as he stays away from training camp seeking to become the NFL's highest paid cornerback.

In fact, I don't blame Rex or Revis or Neil Schwartz, his agent.

I blame Woody Johnson, who is demonstrating why owner is the most important position on any team in any sport. Just look to another New York team, the Knicks, and its owner, James Dolan, as an example of how a team can be dragged south by a bad owner.

Johnson doesn't get a lot of things, starting with the fact that he thinks bluster will turn around the fans in a region that is probably divided close to 60-40 for the Giants over the Jets. Before he let his best player hold out, he was getting in a silly debate with Roger Goodell and the Giants over who should play the first game at the new stadium, then gloated over the fact that the Jets are on the back pages of the New York tabloids and the Giants aren't. (The Giants don't care a whit.)

In any case, there are enough Jets fans to fill the new stadium and it's hard to fight 85 years of tradition and the fact that the Giants have been to four Super Bowls and won three since the only time Woody's franchise ever did anything. That "anything'' was huge, the Super Bowl III win that proved the AFL's equality with the NFL, but it was two generations ago and since then the Jets have struggled.

So now, coming off a trip to the AFC championship game with a chance to establish themselves as relevant, Woody is blowing it.

Forget the Super Bowl bluster and go for the long term.

The Jets have enough good young players to become what NFL teams aspire to be -- one that is in the playoff picture every season, as the Giants usually are. They have a nice nucleus of young players assembled by GM Mike Tannebaum, including Revis, quarterback Mark Sanchez, center Nick Mangold, running back Shonn Greene and, perhaps, this year's No. 1 pick, cornerback Kyle Wilson.

Begin by signing Revis, who IS the league's best cornerback if he's not the best player.

Johnson is willing to spend -- he paid $60 million to left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, taken fourth overall in 2006. Ferguson is a good guy to have at a critical position, but he's not as good as center Nick Mangold, who was drafted 24 picks later the same year and is very unhappy to still be playing on his rookie deal although unlike Revis, he showed up in camp.

Revis wants about $15 million a year or more to pass the Raiders Nnandi Asomugha as the highest paid CB. The Jets, who built up Revis, keep saying no and even had the chutzpah this week to blame Al Davis for paying so much to his guy.

There's no cap this year and there are ways to structure a contract to allow Revis to SAY he's the highest paid.

Show him the money.

By Dave Goldberg  |  August 11, 2010; 10:45 AM ET  | Category:  Collective Bargaining Agreement , Dave Goldberg , NFL , New York Jets Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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Nonsense. The owner is showing restraint in player salaries and that is good. He is willing to give Revis a good raise but he is not willing to upset the entire league pay structure. After all Revis does have an existing contract.

And anyone who pays for a PSL is an idiot.

Posted by: AlG1 | August 12, 2010 6:51 AM

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