Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Owner mum on Darrelle's contract
By Rich Cimini
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Maintaining the organization's non-confrontational stance regarding Darrelle Revis' contract situation, Jets owner Woody Johnson sidestepped questions Wednesday night, refusing to say if they're willing to renegotiate the star cornerback's deal.
"I expect Revis to be playing for us in 2012," Johnson told reporters at MetLife Stadium, where he was honored by Daytop New Jersey, a substance-abuse treatment center for teens and young adults.
Revis, 26, hinted as recently as last week that he might not report to training camp. He has two years, $13.5 million remaining on the four-year, $46 million contract he signed after an acrimonious holdout during the 2010 preseason.
The contract is frontloaded, with Revis making $32.5 million in 2010 and 2011. Although he hasn't complained publicly, he'd like to maintain that annual average over a long-term deal that allows him to finish his career with the Jets.
Team officials have steered away from making any comments that might inflame the situation. Johnson said it's team policy not to comment on contracts, although Johnson was quite outspoken during the holdout two years ago.
"Darrelle Revis is a very important part of the New York Jets," Johnson said Wednesday night. "We drafted him, so we know exactly how good he is. We respect his talent. He's an integral part of the team. He's been great at all our practices, respected by teammates."
Asked if he's concerned about a holdout, Johnson said, "I don't get concerned before I have to be concerned."
The sticking point could be a promise the Jets may or may not have made to Revis during the last negotiation, which amounted to a one-year extension on his rookie deal. At the time, both sides described it as a "Band-Aid" contract, agreeing to work toward a long-term extension at some point.
Revis evidently believes that time is now. The Jets, from all indications, have no intention of renegotiating before next year. His current deal includes a clause to dissuade him from holding out. If he's a no-show in training camp, it triggers a three-year extension for a total of only $9 million.
Johnson wouldn't say if he's surprised to be answering contract-related questions less than two years after the holdout.
"I really always anticipate the best, so I don't really look for problems," he said. "We're trying to build a whole team. We have a lot of things we have to put together to build a winning team, not just one player, albeit an important player. We have 53 players, 53 people that are going to make the team, and everybody's got a different situation. We've got to make it all work."
Johnson also addressed why the Jets declined an opportunity to appear on HBO's "Hard Knocks." He felt the timing wasn't right, plus "we just did it (in 2010). We didn't want to be piggish about it." The gig eventually went to the Dolphins.
There have been rumors of lagging ticket sales, but Johnson insisted that isn't an issue.
"I don't want to be Joe Namath, but I guarantee we'll be sold out," he said.
Johnson, speaking publicly for the first time since the start of OTAs, didn't have much to say about Tim Tebow's impact on the team.
"It's really the locker room that decides what impact he's had," the owner said.