Darrelle Revis must have very high standards.
The New York Jets’ cornerback just fired his two long-time agents who helped him earn $101 million in his first nine seasons.
And this year, Revis is set to earn $17 million, a lot of money for a cornerback on the downside. Revis is coming off a pedestrian season, but since his $17 million is guaranteed, there’s nothing the Jets can do to lower his salary, which they’d surely like to do.
In fact, his 2016 contract figure is so profligate, it has hurt the Jets’ ability to sign other players, such as star defensive end Mo Wilkerson and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Sounds like his former agents Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod did a virtuoso job. So why did Revis fire them?
Right now it’s a mystery, one that has many around the NFL scratching their heads. The agents are taking the high road.
“Jonathan and I wish him the best of luck,” Schwartz said to ESPN.
It’s not like Revis is in the middle of a negotiation that isn’t going well. In 2015, his agents got him a five-year deal for $70 million. So, he’s not due for a new contract anytime soon. His former agents get the commission on this contract, so whoever Revis hires to be his new agent(s) will be like the Maytag Repairman, without a lot to do. And when his current deal expires, there is a chance his career will be over. He’ll be 34, old for an NFL defensive back.
So why might he have made this surprising move? It could be ego-driven.
Revis has always prided himself on being the NFL’s highest paid cornerback, and that isn’t the case anymore since Washington just gave Josh Norman $75 million over five years. Or perhaps Revis doesn’t feel he remains the agents’ most important cornerback client in New York anymore. In March, the agents got free agent Janoris Jenkins a huge contract with the Giants.
But whatever the reason, Revis probably made a big mistake, and it has nothing to do with money. Schwartz and Feinsod have a lot of media friends. Let’s put it this way, they are very helpful to journalists prone to present their info as though coming from inside the NFL.
Can you say “league source?”
So often when their clients struggle on the field, the media criticism is tempered. Some reporters don’t want to bite the hand the feeds them. If you rip their clients, the information spigot could get turned off. It’s the same way in political reporting.
Revis didn’t play particularly well for the Jets last year, but it was hard to tell based on most of the media coverage he received. His agents acted as great buffers for him. Now that they are gone if the cornerback struggles this year he will likely get hammered, since the reporters who were drinking from the Schwartz/Feinsod trough have nothing to lose now.