Or at least, they should play this season. Word is starting to circle that the New York Jets are close to a deal with Darrelle Revis, which was first reported via a Tweet from Tim Cowlishaw that I was fully ready to call b.s. on, so touche and good for you, Tim — unless you still turn out to be wrong.
The Jets have also agreed to a monstrous deal with center Nick Mangold (7 years, $55 million), so as of now it’s fair to say their front office is taking care of business. The Mangold deal has huge implications in strengthening the position of another player who is currently holding out, the Patriots’ Logan Mankins. According to an ESPN Boston report, Mankins is so put off by the way negotiations have gone that he is prepared to sit out the entire upcoming season. As Mike Reiss points out, the current collective bargaining agreement requires a player to report by week 10 of the season in order for that year to count toward their free agent status, meaning if Mankins sat out the entire year the Patriots could go through the same fiasco with him again next season if that part of the CBA doesn’t change.
Rest assured, players like Mankins, Revis, and Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill of the Charges will suit up week 10 at the absolute latest. Why? There are many reasons, the biggest being the potential threat of a lockout looming for 2011. The aforementioned players are holding out for the obvious reason of wanting more money — a lot more money. If they miss this season and 2011 is locked out, that’s two years removed from live NFL game action. What team would want to sign them to a mega-deal after that?
That’s why the teams seem to have the power right now in most of these situations. The Revis situation is a bit unique because he’s an absolute game-changer for New York who they need right now. But guys like Mankins and Jackson need to play more than the Patriots or Chargers need them to play. They won’t get their money if they stay away from football for an extended period of time. I understand the point they are trying to make, but is it worth the risk when they could play this season for over $3 million and be essentially guaranteed the big contract they’re looking for after that? As of right now, it apparently is. But I expect the priorities of each player to shift as the regular season grows nearer. After all, why should this year be any different?
Report: Logan Mankins not budging [ESPN Boston]