I should start by saying this is nothing personal. I don't know you - I don't know much about you.
This is not a personal attack - it's strictly business.
But you should know all about that - you're making a business move of your own right now.
And it's the wrong move, if you ask me.
So you decided to hold out - not reporting yet to Jets training camp.
I have to say that I kind of saw this coming. I have an impression of you as a ballplayer that you're a little more focused on the individual aspects of the game rather than the team. Exhibit A is the picture at left, which was immediately following the Jets' loss to the Colts in the AFC Championship Game. I have to say, even if it's being taken out of context, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth that you don't look all that bothered that your season was over when at the same time I, to name one person, was quite upset.
But that was then, this is now. You want to be the highest-paid cornerback in the league, with a deal exceeding the one the Raiders gave Nnamdi Asomugha. Well, I hate to break it to you, Darrelle, but it's really not good business to do what the Raiders do. Can't blame the Jets there.
I feel like you're only making yourself look worse with the holdout. The Jets made two offers to you - a long-term offer and a short-term offer - which apparently wasn't enough for you. It's not like they're shunning you - they want you there. And you not being there is only making you look worse.
(I'll say this here - I understand there's a catch with money in the NFL that is not guaranteed. I understand that you play a sport that is very physical, and that there is no promise that if you finish out your current deal that if you get hurt tomorrow there may not be a 'next' deal. I understand all that...though my understanding of front office matters is admittedly limited. But you put your name to a contract...and to me that is the number one thing here. You signed a contract that you're not honoring right now. Talk all you want about 'outplaying your contract'...but it's not like we're talking peanuts here. You've already earned $15 million over the past few years, and you can obviously afford the $16,000 a day it's costing you to hold out, and the holdout also cost you a guaranteed $20 million over the next two years. Just know that I understand all that and still think you could have handled this better.)
The bottom line here, Darrelle, is that the Jets need you - but life goes on without you. They're not canceling training camp because you're not there. And still, they want you. I've seen uglier situations because the team won't even think about negotiating with the holdout. But that's not happening here - and it won't, if you're reasonable.
Back off your demands a little bit. The Jets are willing to pay you - just not to the point you expect. (I won't even mention the fact here that you've had two good seasons...and that does not a Hall of Famer make. I think you're a great football player - but play the game and be great and the money will come.)
And know that when you do come back, the fans will still love you...so long as you do what you've done for the Jets the past couple of years. It's just that, after all this, speaking for myself, every time I see you play down the road, I'll have it filed in the back of my mind that I didn't love the way you went about your business with the Jets.
Again, nothing personal. Just the nature of the business.