An article with this headline was going to be written regardless, but these waters have officially been muddied even more now that Darrelle Revis has been arrested and charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor. Of course this incident makes it more likely that the Jets will part ways, and it might even benefit them by saving them money they otherwise might've had to eat, but it's the when part that is most up in the air now.
On March 10 Revis is set to receiver a $2 million roster bonus, if he's still on the roster after the 10th he Jets would be on the hook for his full $13 million salary for next season. Of course this arrest could change that if he's convicted or even indicted or even if he's not but Roger Goodell still decides to suspend him. If the Jets release Revis before March 10 they would still have to pay him the $6 million in guaranteed money unless Revis ends up getting suspended, then they'd be able to recoup at least some of that money. So the question becomes do the Jets just eat the $6 million and cut him loose - there were plenty of reasons to think the Jets might try to restructure the deal but that's out the window now regardless of the legal outcome - or keep him around and bank on him being suspended.
The answer is simple, the Jets should release him before the March 10 deadline. Not out of some false moral obligation, but because he's simply not worth anywhere near $13 million as a player even if this arrest never happened. The details of the incident are sketchy all the way around, it sounds like the two victims were in the wrong, intoxicated and borderline harassing Revis, but it also sounds like either Revis or his friend, or both, handled the situation poorly. In all likelihood Revis will never be indicated, the charges will either be dropped all together or he'll plea down to only misdemeanor charges. In that case Revis would likely face a suspension under the personal conduct clause, but that would likely only take away part of the $6 million.
The NFL has said the are investigating the situation and that they will let the legal system play out before making a decision on a suspension. Unless this case gets dropped soon this process will likely carry out well into the season, but almost certainly past the March 10 deadline. The Jets shouldn't bother to wait, not for a couple million and not even for that full six million.
Before this arrest the Jets were certainly considering cutting Revis anyway, but they were definitely thinking about the optics of cutting someone who is probably the best player to ever wear a Jets uniform. This arrest, regardless of the outcome, makes it easy for the Jets to justify and win the PR battle. The Jets need a complete rebuild anyway, especially of their secondary, it's time to cut their losses and move on. Not because of some moral high ground, but because it's in the best interest of the product they will put out on the field.
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (email@example.com)