New York Jets player Darrelle Revis is entering the third year of his approximately $70 million five-year contract with the team. He is slated to receive a $13 million base salary ($6 million fully guaranteed) and a $2 million roster bonus this season, but only if he remains on the Jets roster. Unfortunately, the cornerback may not be making the flight back to “Revis Island.” Revis has become the latest professional football player to force owners and the National Football League to consider if they can reprimand a player for off-the-field conduct and if a criminal indictment is necessary to find a player violated league conduct policies.

In connection with an altercation in Pittsburgh on February 12, 2017, police have charged Revis with two counts of aggravated assault, one count of robbery, one count of conspiracy, and a misdemeanor charge of making terroristic threats. His preliminary hearing has been adjourned to March 15, 2017. The $2 million roster bonus, as well as a portion or all of the $6 million guaranteed salary, is due from the Jets if Revis is still with the team on March 10, 2017.

Whether the Jets can negate Revis’ entire salary (including the roster bonus and guaranteed money) will depend upon contractual provisions. His contract can be voided under certain circumstances, including being fined or suspended for conduct detrimental to the team or for violating the NFL’s conduct policy. Moreover, the contract’s general catch-all clause allows the Jets to void the contract if Revis “engages in personal conduct reasonably judged by [the Jets] Club to adversely affect or reflect on [the Jets] Club.”

The NFL is investigating whether Revis may have violated league policies, too. If the Jets or Commissioner Roger Goodell issue any disciplinary decision prior to a court ruling, Revis and the NFL Players Association likely will file a grievance subject to their collective bargaining agreement’s arbitration procedures to challenge what conduct, actual or alleged, violates these clauses and whether Revis is owed at least a guaranteed portion of his salary.

This is not the first time that franchises and Goodell have considered punishing a player for non-football-related actions. In recent years, sanctions have ranged from suspensions for league policy violations (i.e., Josh Gordon and Le’Veon Bell) to immediate termination for actual or alleged criminal offenses (i.e., Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, and Josh Brown). These prior determinations, however, were subject to both positive and negative criticism. Thus, waiting for the court’s final determination on Revis’ criminal charges could delay a decision by the Jets camp or the NFL, which, in turn, would require the Jets to issue him at least $2 million on March 10, 2017. Quite a dilemma.



Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Ryan C. Chapoteau Ryan C. Chapoteau

Ryan C. Chapoteau is a principal in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers ranging from early stage startups to Fortune 50 companies throughout a broad spectrum of industries in workplace law matters.…

Ryan C. Chapoteau is a principal in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers ranging from early stage startups to Fortune 50 companies throughout a broad spectrum of industries in workplace law matters.

Ryan has experience litigating in federal court, state court and before administrative agencies, while also appearing regularly at arbitrations and mediations. Ryan defends employers in a wide variety of employment matters, such as discrimination, disability and leave management, harassment, and retaliation claims as well as wage and hour cases. Ryan’s experience includes single-plaintiff litigation along with collective and class action lawsuits.

Ryan also ensures his clients receive up-to-date guidance on applicable federal, state, and local labor and employment laws to provide preventative advice and counseling, ranging from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, the New York State Labor Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law. He also counsels clients on all aspects of their employment relationships, including developing and implementing human resources policies, conducting workplace investigations and trainings, issuing discipline, as well as providing insight on relevant industry trends.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Ryan worked at a worldwide law firm and received a client service award while concentrating on insurance coverage and employment law matters.

While in law school, Ryan participated in the Boston University Civil Litigation Program where he litigated matters concerning employment, housing, family and disability law. He also served as an Articles Editor for the university’s Public Interest Law Journal.  Ryan graduated law school with honors in a concentration in Litigation and Dispute Resolution.

Outside of work, Ryan devotes his time to mentoring students from his alma matters, Phillips Academy, Muhlenberg College, and Boston University, as well as supporting Prep for Prep, a not-for-profit organization focused on the educational advancement of minority youth in New York City.