Thursday, May 31, 2012
Updated: June 1, 5:21 PM ET
Darrelle Revis bristles at deal talk
By Rich Cimini
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Three weeks after claiming he's happy with his contract, New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis fueled a new round of speculation Thursday by refusing to guarantee he will report for the start of training camp.
"I don't know," Revis said after the Jets' OTA practice, becoming testy. "That's all I'm telling you. I don't know if I am or I'm not."
Coach Rex Ryan said he expects Revis to be in Cortland, N.Y., on July 26, reporting day.
"I think Revis will be, yes," said Ryan, who declined to elaborate on the matter.
This has been an on-again, off-again issue since April, when Revis told reporters he might not show up for training camp. He has done it before -- he missed the 2010 preseason because of an acrimonious holdout -- and another potential conflict seemed to be gaining momentum.
Revis has two years and $13.5 million remaining on the contract he renegotiated two years ago. He earned $32.5 million over the first two years of the deal, with sources indicating he wants to maintain that average over a new, long-term contract.
But Revis recently downplayed his desire for a new contract, saying he's "cool" with his current deal.
"I signed it two years ago," Revis said. "I'm not unhappy about nothing."
The Jets appear dead set against giving Revis a new deal, so it's quite possible the All-Pro cornerback had abandoned his hope for another renegotiation.
Then came Thursday.
"Here we go with the contract questions," Revis said, smiling. "I'm here and I'll be playing. I'm getting ready for this season; that's all I can do. Anything with my contract, we'll deal with that in the future. Right now, I have to get prepared for this year."
When asked whether the contract matter is history, Revis bristled, saying he already had made his feelings clear.
"Whatever you want to write, I'm telling you I'm getting ready for the season," he said. "If something lingers, you'll find out. It'll be in the papers."
Asked point-blank whether he'll show up on Day 1 of training camp in late July, Revis turned noncommittal. He declined to explain why.
"Why do I have to answer that?" he asked.
In an interview later Thursday night with SportsNet New York, Revis hinted his agents are trying to pursue a new deal.
"I'm sure my representatives are doing the best they can to make it a long-term deal," he said. "But, as of right now, I'm still in this contract."
One of his agents, Neil Schwartz, didn't return a call for comment.
The two sides tried to hammer out a long-term contract two summers ago, eventually settling for a one-year extension on top of the three years that remained on his rookie deal. The new package was worth $46 million over four years.
At the time, it was described as a "Band-Aid" contract, with the two sides agreeing to pursue a long-term deal at a later date. When that later date might be is the sticking point.
The current contract includes a clause that prohibits the Jets from using the franchise tag. It also includes a provision that seemingly would dissuade Revis from holding out. If he's a no-show for training camp, it triggers a three-year extension, through 2016, at relatively modest salaries.
Ryan has said on many occasions that Revis and Deion Sanders are the best cornerbacks he's ever seen, and that Revis is a surefire Hall of Famer. On Thursday, Ryan made light of the comparison, suggesting Revis should be paid like Sanders -- knowing, of course, that salaries have increased since Deion's playing days.
"What I'm saying is, Deion Sanders made X amount of dollars, so Revis, sign that contract," Ryan said. "Go ahead and negotiate it now. I think that's being fair."