Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Updated: August 26, 9:00 AM ET
Darrelle Revis looms large at practice
By Rich Cimini
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- The Ghost of Darrelle Revis continued to hover over the New York Jets on Wednesday night at a public practice at Hofstra University, the team's former year-round home.
Players chatted about their missing teammate on the bus ride from New Jersey, discussing the swirling, out-of-town media reports about an imminent contract extension -- unsubstantiated reports.
Some of the 10,000 fans in attendance chanted his name. One fan heckled Mike Tannenbaum, yelling to the general manager, "Hey, Tannenbaum, get Revis!"
Afterward, perhaps the most talkative person at Shuart Stadium -- Jets coach Rex Ryan -- declined to answer a question about Revis, citing the confidentiality agreement between the team and Revis' agents.
Welcome to the Revis holdout, Day 25.
"I won't even look at it," said linebacker Bart Scott, referring to the reports about Revis' supposedly being on the verge of signing a new deal. "I won't believe anything until I see him. Why get your hopes up?"
If they were hoping to catch a cameo of Revis on TV, tough luck. Revis didn't appear on camera in Episode 3 of HBO's "Hard Knocks," which aired Wednesday night at 10. Steve Sabol, the president of NFL Films (which produces the show), shot down speculation during an appearance Wednesday with Jody McDonald and Brandon Tierney on 1050 ESPN Radio.
On Tuesday, when Tim Cowlishaw of The Dallas Morning News tweeted that Revis had taped a TV interview that would air Wednesday, it fueled speculation that the Pro Bowl cornerback was going to appear on "Hard Knocks," perhaps delivering a bombshell announcement related to his holdout.
"Guys are wondering what's going on, but at the end of the day, until we see him physically walk in our locker room, it's not done," tackle Damien Woody said.
The latest report of an imminent Revis contract came late Tuesday from KDKA TV in Pittsburgh, where Revis grew up. On one of its Twitter pages, KDKA reported that Revis is close to signing a 10-year, $150 million contract, including $65 million in guarantees.
That means no fewer than three media outlets have reported this week that Revis is on the verge of signing a blockbuster deal. The Jets, citing the gag order, have declined to comment on the reports.
The Dallas Morning News reported that Revis' agents were to meet Tuesday night with Jets officials. No such meeting took place, according to a league source.
During a lunch break at the NFL owners meeting Wednesday in Atlanta, Jets owner Woody Johnson was asked by ESPN's Sal Paolantonio about reports that the team is close to a deal with Revis.
"We've sworn not to talk about it, but I don't know where this stuff is coming from. It's not done until it's done," Johnson said.
There are strong indications the two sides aren't close to an agreement. That doesn't preclude Revis from accepting one of the offers on the table and showing up without notice, but based on the hard-line stance conveyed by his agents at the start of training camp, that would represent a dramatic turnaround.
Revis reportedly is seeking $162 million over 10 years, while the Jets have offered $122 million over the same number of years. The Jets also have made a short-term proposal, about $40 million over four years.
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.
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