Darrelle Revis is taking his public dispute with his former agents to the courtroom.
The Jets cornerback sued Neil Schwartz, Jonathan Feinsod and their sports agency Schwartz & Feinsod, LLC in Westchester Supreme Court last week, according to court documents provided by CourthouseNews.com.
The lawsuit pertains to an endorsement deal Revis signed with Healthy Beverages, LCC, which produces Steaz, a green-tea based energy drink and alleges Schwartz “secretly and unilaterally increased” his legal fee on the deal from 10% to 50% without informing Revis.
According to the complaint, Schwartz had Revis initial a series of pages with the legal-fee changes in January 2015 without “explaining the contents” or “giving Mr. Revis time to read it or a copy to read at a later date.”
The pages were an addendum to a one-page agreement for the Healthy Beverages endorsement deal, which Revis signed in the meeting.
At that point in time, Revis was playing for the Patriots and “was focused on the playoffs and the Super Bowl,” documents say. Revis alleges Schwartz took advantage of his divided attention. Revis claims he signed the agreement and initialed the pages with the legal-fee amendments because he “trusted” Schwartz.
Schwartz’s attorney Mario Aieta refuted all of Revis’ accusations in a phone interview with the Daily News. “The allegations are false,” he said.
Revis parted ways with Schwartz and Feinsod this offseason, roughly a year after the agents negotiated the five-year, $70 million contract — $39 million guaranteed — Revis signed with the Jets before the 2015 season. Schwartz and Feinsod negotiated all of Revis’ NFL contracts, dating back to when the cornerback was drafted out of Pittsburgh.
Aieta believes Revis filed the lawsuit in an attempt to avoid paying Schwartz and Feinsod the agent fees they’re owed on the cornerback’s most recent megadeal with Gang Green. Aieta estimates the fees to be “many millions of dollars, versus the Healthy Beverage contract, which is not.” Revis hasn’t lived up to the huge contract, especially this season.
Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets.
(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Aieta called Revis’ lawsuit “a waste of time” because of the “arbitration agreement that applies to any dispute between players and agents in the NFL, pursuant to the NFL Players’ Association.” The NFLPA appoints an arbitrator in such cases.
“Revis, of course, is a participant and has agreed to arbitrate disputes of this nature,” Aieta told The News. “As have Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Feinsod, as has every single professional football agent and every single professional football player.”
Aieta is confident this lawsuit will not hold up in court.
“There is a list of precedent as long as my arm suggesting that this is going to be arbitrated,” he said. “It’s not going to go anywhere in Westchester County Court.”
Both parties remain engaged in the arbitration, which is still pending. Aieta said he “doesn’t believe” Revis has the option of pulling out of the arbitration.
Aieta said his client will respond to Revis’ lawsuit by motioning to stay and compel arbitration. “No surprise there,” he said.
In September, Revis accused Schwartz and Feinsod of taking “a shot” at him through a leaked report stating the cornerback was “out of shape.”
“If that’s how they want to approach it, that’s how they approach it on their end,” Revis said. “It has nothing to do with me.”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News