Woody Johnson holds press conference on Revis
CORTLAND, N.Y.- It wasn’t on the menu, but the a la carte press conference by Jets owner, Woody Johnson, about the ever-growing Darrelle Revis contract situation, was certainly a popular dish at the first day of training camp.
As the reporters covering the Jets on a sunny Monday afternoon were vigorously typing away on their laptops and rewinding their voice recorders, we were told not to leave because “Mr. Johnson” was on his way in to give an impromptu press conference. As if there wasn’t enough going on, suddenly anyone who wasn’t typing away was scurrying to get the necessary tools ready.
When the elevator reached the fourth floor and the doors opened, there was a crowd of reporters with recorders and cameramen from SNY and HBO patiently waiting to hear what the Jets owner had on his mind about Darrelle Revis holding out from training camp.
“Am I disappointed? Yes. I would like everything to be clear sailing until we the Super Bowl and then be done,” said Johnson after briefly greeting a few familiar faces. “Part of running a team is dealing with disappointment. You want to make things right for the team and players. So, yeah, I am disappointed.”
The emphasis would be on disappointed as he used that word numerous times to describe his feelings on the issue. A rather weak choice of words considering Revis has turned down not one, but two contract extensions and face-to-face meeting to discuss the details of their negotiations. Where Revis wants to be the highest paid cornerback in the N.F.L.—complete with guaranteed bonus money and security, Johnson wants what he is calling “total compensation”.
Johnson on why the re-signing has stalled: “The main issue with us is total compensation. When you get to details like guaranteed money and length on contract—all those things are apart of a contract, but to get to the part where we negotiate those—we’re too far apart. I’d love to sit down and negotiate and be flexible.We want to give him something he wants but what the team is comfortable with, a two-sided deal.”
He was very candid, and very concise with all his answers; making sure to take his time, look the reporter in the eye and answer the question to the best of his ability.
“I’ve been with the team 11 years,” Johnson said, “and we’ve never had an inability in our resources to sign whoever we wanted. If Darrelle wants me to sit down with him, I will. Where ever he wants.”
It was clear Johnson was attempting to send a message and speak out on behalf of the Jets’ front office as he was very careful to stroke the ego of Revis, yet still making it clear that he does not want this to carry out much longer.
“I’m disappointed because he’s currently under contract. We were just giving him options that were good for him and us…I’m an optimist, I think [a new deal] is possible.”
He would go on about a story of Revis where, as a boy growing up in an apartment with his family, he gave up his bedroom for his brother while he slept in the hall. “That’s Revis. That’s the Revis I think of,” said Johnson.
By the end of the press conference, one thing was for certain. Johnson clearly wants to get a deal done, but not at the expense of ruining their future—especially with the danger of a lock-out looming for the 2011 season.
“Just because you want to do something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. [But] the sticking point is total compensation. We haven’t talked about [guaranteed money and length of contract], but we’d be happy to do so.”
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