Revis contract quarrel coming to boil
June, 14, 2010
By Tim Graham | ESPN.com
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Hoo boy.
Darrelle Revis doesn't sound like a man about to back down from the New York Jets in his mission to be the NFL's highest-paid cornerback. And Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who has done his best to stay out of the contract quarrel, pushed back a little Monday.
Revis said he wasn't going to be a distraction, which is why he showed up for the start of mandatory minicamp Monday morning. But Revis removed himself from the field to prove a point.
"I felt a little light-headed today," Revis said with a laugh. "A little hamstring pull, too."
Revis later gave a straight answer about why he wasn't on the field with the rest of the first team toward the end of practice, admitting it was to show the Jets he could stop practicing whenever he wanted and that secondary coach Dennis Thurman was aware he wasn't hurt.
Ryan later responded by saying if Revis doesn't have his mind fully on football, then the Jets don't want him on the field anyway.
"If his situation is that he's got something on his mind and he's not focused 100 percent," Ryan said, "I really don't want him out there."
That's the least-diplomatic thing Ryan has said so far during the Revis contract drama. He has been trying to be considerate to his star player while remaining on the side of management. That might not be possible much longer.
AP Photo/Bill KostrounAfter working out with the team at the start of minicamp Monday morning, Darrelle Revis took himself off the field.
I asked Revis the ways he could see his contract situation unfolding.
"How they've been going on about it doesn't look good," Revis replied. "We'll see. It's not just me. It's Nick Mangold. It's D'Brickashaw [Ferguson]. It's David Harris. They tell us we're the core guys of this team, so why are you not treating us as one of the core guys?
"I feel the same type of way that Nick Mangold feels about it, too. As of right now, it doesn't look good. They haven't been doing nothing. They've sent proposals, but to me it's like an insult. You send me stuff with not-guaranteed money in the contract, that's not good. That's not a good look."
Given such discord among such important players, I asked Revis how their contract issues impact the team's disposition. He suggested his teammates have been supportive.
"The mood is OK," Revis said. "We like each other as a team. None of my teammates have come up to me and said 'You're a distraction.' They're pushing for it as well because they want to see you succeed."
Revis said he definitely would attend the next two days of minicamp workouts, but made no guarantees about training camp. He said he's prepared to be fined for missing training camp.
He wants a deal in line with Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who makes $16 million a year.
"They showed their loyalty to him," Revis said of the Raiders. "The number? That's the number. He set the bar. I feel that if I'm fighting to go over that, that's what it is."
Revis claimed Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum has told him he's the best defensive player in the league, the club's No. 1 priority and deserves to be the NFL's highest-paid cornerback.
"If you want to build a dynasty, you've got to start being loyal to some of your players around here, who's loyal to you out there on the field and go out there and play the best football they can," Revis said.