Florham Park, NJ - Instead of making preparations for the postseason, the New York Jets are spending this time to look ahead to how things can get back on track for the organization. Owner Woody Johnson, general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles have many decisions to make in the upcoming months that can shape the direction of the team in 2017 and the near future.
One decision involves future Hall of Fame cornerback Darrelle Revis - you know - the $70 million man with $39 million in guarantees.
Two offseasons ago, New York's front office saw an opportunity to bring Revis back. The owner knew his secondary needed a facelift. The general manager knew that meant a blank check was coming in his direction. That led to the multi-year deal that turned Revis Island green once again. But, after a year of disappointment and underachievement, the front office hinted that 'honeymoon' feeling is long gone.
"My feeling towards Darrelle is different, I think. He's going to be a hall-of-famer. There's no question," said Johnson. "He's one of the best players to ever put on a Jets uniform, that's for sure. Or any uniform. I mean he just had such an unbelievable talent and it wasn't his best year. But a lot of guys didn't have good years this year. So, my hats off to Darrelle on a great career."
Maybe, Johnson does have a career in politics because that answer was as safe as a politician would have scripted. It was almost as clear as who was starting at right tackle in practice during the season - Brent Qvale or Ben Ijalana. It is actually almost as clear as whom the starting quarterback will be in 2017. Catch a pattern?
Johnson offered no clarity on what the future holds for Revis. He was mum on if he wants to bring the corner back for next season. That leaves room for speculation because Maccagnan added to the haziness.
When asked whether or not Revis was worth the money on his contract, Maccagnan said: "I will say this, with all of the players and their contracts, I'm not going to necessarily weigh in on that right now."
It goes without saying the Jets need to sit down and truly weigh in on Revis' situation. The performance given did not match the pay received. Five passes defended and an interception in Week 17 of a hapless season does not equate to a team-high $17 million salary. That doesn't include the countless number of times Revis was exposed on a deep route or gave a lackluster effort on a tackle. On most teams, that costs a player a job.
But - again - it's Darrelle Revis.
"Darrelle, maybe self-admittedly, he has high expectations for himself," said Maccagnan. "I don't think he necessarily played to probably how he felt his expectations were for this season. We have high expectations for Darrelle also in terms of his play. Going forward, that's something we're going to sit down with all of the players this offseason and examine that. I'm not necessarily going to weigh in on Darrelle or that situation right now."
The Jets can't afford to hurt feelings. Football is a business. If holding onto Revis' lucrative contract means the team's quality will suffer then organizational preferences need to be re-evaluated. The cornerback turns 32 this offseason. New York would have to restructure his contract to the guaranteed portion of the $15 million he is due to make this season - $6 million. If Revis is open to restructuring that contract, the door is wide open for a return.
Revis can still be an effective player in the right system. His days of going toe-to-toe with elite wide receivers in the league are over. He's no longer a bump and chase cornerback. But, a discount and possible move to safety can benefit the Jets and prolong Revis' career.
"I think with Darrelle, we're going to sit down with him and I don't really want to speculate, per se on any particular player in terms of what we're going to do. But we'll look at (moving Revis to safety) this offseason and make a determination going forward."
The future for Darrelle Revis is uncertain and the Jets front office didn't help the cause with their comments.
Joe Barone is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)