- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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Hold the hysteria, people. Nothing has changed with the Darrelle Revis situation. Absolutely nothing.
No, the New York Jets haven't conducted any formal talks with Revis' agents, according to sources. And, yes, the Jets listened to teams at the scouting combine that inquired about the star cornerback, sources confirmed. Does this mean Revis is finished with the Jets?
Headline writers are hyperventilating, but check the calendar -- it's Feb. 26. This is the first inning of a nine-inning game that could, in theory, stretch all the way to the trading deadline in late October. Nothing is imminent.
As I reported on Friday, the Jets are intent to let his play out, perhaps through the summer.
Take this to the bank: Unless Revis gives the Jets a Tom Brady discount, there's no way he'll land a long-term contract with them before the NFL draft. They want to see him on the field, healthy, before they commit mega-money to a cornerback coming off major knee surgery. As GM John Idzik said last week at the combine, their top priority is to make sure Revis gets back to being Revis.
So does this mean Revis will be traded before the draft? I wouldn't rule that out because I do believe the Jets would deal their best player if the right offer came along. Owner Woody Johnson is concerned about their ability to re-sign Revis, according to sources, and he has instructed his football people to quietly gauge the market. And they're doing that.
Problem is, it'll be hard to receive fair value because of the injury. We're also in a flat-cap era, and teams -- many of which are squeezed against the salary cap -- may be reluctant to meet Revis' asking price, believed to be $16 million a year.
So the Jets will wait. In the meantime, there will be posturing, lots of posturing. The enmity between the Jets and Revis' agents runs deep, back to 2007. Neither side wants to make the first move, so what we have is a staring contest.
It's hardly news that the Jets have yet to open negotiations with Revis. After all, he still has a year left on his contract and they have other front-burner issues that need attention.
At the same time, they owe Revis' camp a courtesy call. If they truly have an interest in re-signing their best player, they should contact the agents to express that sentiment and to set up a time to talk, even if it's a month from now. But the situation is so toxic that they're reluctant to engage in small talk. Idzik called Revis a month ago, but it was only to smooth things over after fumbling Revis-related questions in his introductory news conference.
The Jets have to be careful here. Their brand took a big hit last season, the fan base is angry and Johnson has PSLs to sell. If he alienates his best player and trades him for a second-rate package, it'll be a public-relations disaster of epic proportions.
As for Revis, he needs to chill, concentrate on his rehab and gear up for an extended poker game between his agents and the Jets.
1hField Yates and Rich Cimini