Sunday notes: Tension between Jets, Revis

April, 14, 2013
4/14/13
5:00
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Checking out the Jets and the rest of the NFL:

1. Doctor, doctor, give me the news: It's always something with Darrelle Revis and the Jets. If it's not a contract issue, it's a silly dispute over his attendance in the early stage of the offseason program. Another source of friction has come to light: The Jets weren't happy last October when Revis decided to have Dr. Russell Warren -- the Giants' orthopedist -- perform the surgery on his knee, sources said. The Jets expressed their disappointment to Revis and they haven't let it go, according to the sources. Naturally, it has chafed Revis.

Publicly, the Jets downplayed the matter in October, with former GM Mike Tannenbaum saying, "I have a great deal of confidence in our doctors and training staff. However, ultimately, these decisions are up to the preference of the player, and we respect Darrelle’s decision. We are all just focused on making sure he has the resources and support he needs for a successful recovery."

Yahoo! Sports reported recently the Jets wanted Revis to use doctors from Atlantic Health (the team doctors), which has its name on the team's facility in Florham Park, N.J.

Darrelle Revis
William Perlman/USA TODAY SportsDarrelle Revis
In the big picture, it's not a game-changing dispute, but it's symptomatic of a relationship that has frayed over the years -- a marriage that could be in its final days. Much to his chagrin, Revis will report Monday to the off-season program, but first he has a stop in Manhattan -- a check-up and MRI with Warren.

2. The Pitts: Former Jets great Curtis Martin, who once said Revis has the ability to be one of the top 10 players in league history, told me Friday he wouldn't be upset if his old team traded his fellow Pitt alum as long as it had a long-term benefit for the Jets.

"I would try my best to keep him, but at the end of the day, team is always first," Martin said after taping a "CenterStage" interview on the YES Network. "If keeping him means that [other] things have to suffer, that would be the only way I'd let him go -- which I think is the right decision. If the whole team is going to suffer long term, then maybe it's a necessity."

Martin was alluding to the cap ramifications of re-signing Revis, who is seeking in the neighborhood of $15 million a year. From all indications, the Jets don't want to extend Revis' contract, which explains why they're engaged in trade talks with the Bucs. Martin called Revis a phenomenal player, but the Hall of Fame running back said no successful team is built around one player.

"Anytime you lose a player like Revis, it's hard to replace him," Martin said. "I don't know that they'll be able to replace Revis as much as compensate for him being gone. Sometimes you can compensate better than you can replace. I've seen teams do it a lot. Sometimes things like that make a team jell together better in other ways. Hopefully, that can happen if they do lose him."

3. Lights, camera, action: Hollywood will make its presence felt on the first night of the draft. A movie titled "Draft Day," starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner, will start shooting during the first round. Costner plays Sonny Weaver Jr., the fictional GM of the Browns. Garner, whose character also works in the Browns' front office, plays his love interest.

Basically, the story revolves around the wheeling and dealing that precedes their first-round pick. Maybe Costner can place a call to the fictional GM of the Jets and make a fictional offer for one of their fictional quarterbacks.

4. Off the Mark: Maybe Mark Sanchez's name did come up in the Revis trade talks with the Bucs, but there's virtually no chance of him being dealt before the draft. Think about it: Why would the Bucs pay a guaranteed $8.25 million to one of the lowest-rated quarterbacks in the league? Unless Sanchez agrees to rework his contract and take a pay cut or the Jets agree to eat a chunk of the salary, it's not happening. Also consider this question: Who would replace him? The Jets couldn't go into the season with David Garrard and Greg McElroy, so they would have to pick a quarterback in the first or second round -- and they wouldn't know if that's possible until they're on the clock. If they do select, say, Geno Smith, the trade rumors will start flying again.

5. A Saint marching in? If the Jets trade for Saints RB Chris Ivory, a restricted free agent, I suspect they would negotiate a multiyear contract after he signs his one-year, $2 million tender. It wouldn't make much sense to give up a draft pick -- cost certainty for four years at a relatively inexpensive salary -- for a one-and-done. Presumably, they wouldn't draft a running back.

6. Austin Power: The most intriguing possibility for the Jets at No. 9 is West Virginia WR Tavon Austin, who visited with them last week. He's the top playmaker in the draft, but could they take a smurf (under 5-foot-9) that high?

Here's ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper: "The Jets have a ton of needs. They need a playmaker. If they wanted to take a versatile kid like Austin who's going to change that scoreboard, I don't think anybody would have a big issue with it. They may say it's a slight reach, but so be it. Slight reaches sometimes turn out to be great players."

7. Another Gastineau? The Jets are showing interest in small-school pass-rusher Armonty Bryant of East Central (Okla.), who visited with them last week. Bryant, projected as a late-round pick, recorded 26.5 sacks in his career, breaking Mark Gastineau's school record. I wonder if Bryant has a sack dance.

7.a. Local flavor: The Jets hosted Rutgers DB Logan Ryan on a top-30 visit. One of the most interesting players at the Jets' local workout was Fordham kicker Patrick Murray, an FCS All-American with the rare ability to punt (46-yard average) and kick field goals (25-for-30). He also attended the Giants' workout for local prospects. Murray played his high school ball at Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey.

8. Pace 2.0: I wouldn't be shocked if the Jets re-signed OLB Calvin Pace, whom they released before free agency in a cap-related move. They signed ex-Charger Antwan Barnes but are still thin at the position. There's pro-Pace sentiment within the organization -- if the price is right, of course.

9. The original draft guru: It's around this time every year when I really miss an old friend, Joel Buchsbaum, who died 11 years ago at the age of 48. He was a pioneer, the original draftnik. Nobody did it better than Joel, who worked out of a cramped apartment in Brooklyn. I know NFL writers who still refer to the Pro Football Weekly draft preview as "my Buchsbaum." As in: "I just got my Buchsbaum in the mail."

10. Crystal ball: Possible trade-ups in Round 1: The Dolphins (12th overall) are hurting for a left tackle and may try to move up for Eric Fisher or Lane Johnson. They would probably have to get ahead of the Cards (No. 7). If the Bucs (13th) get frustrated with the Jets and abandon the idea of dealing for Revis, maybe they try to jump up for Alabama CB Dee Milliner. They would probably have to give up their 2014 first-round pick, but they might figure Revis would cost about the same in terms of trade compensation.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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