Revis wants to be around the Team.......
Darrelle Revis on reporting to camp: 'I want to be around the team'
William Perlman/The Star-LedgerDarrelle Revis decided "a couple days ago'' to report to training camp, rather than hold out for a new contract.
CORTLAND, N.Y. — Darrelle Revis pulled his gray Mini Cooper into a spot outside the SUNY Cortland dorms a bit after 4 p.m. Thursday. It had been three years since the Jets All-Pro cornerback had reported to camp here, and Thursday, Revis made sure it wasn’t four.
Revis had dangled the possibility of a holdout all offseason and said he was “close” to doing so. But a “couple days ago,” he decided to come to camp.
“I want to be around the team,” Revis said. “I haven’t been to a lot of training camps in the past, so I just want to be here and get ready for this year. My focus right now is just trying to dominate again and do what I do best to help this team win.”
For the Jets, eager to start again after last year’s disappointing 8-8 finish, having their best player in the building was welcome news.
They are back in Cortland, where their team was forged in 2009 and 2010, when they appeared in back-to-back AFC Championship games. Driving into town, quarterback Mark Sanchez said he felt the “magic” from those years here, and that it was their job to reclaim it.
“We’ll start tonight,” coach Rex Ryan said, “and we’re going to build a football team.”
And yes, they will build it with Revis present and accounted for. The 27-year-old All-Pro cornerback has held out twice in his five-year career, and had left the door open to doing so again. But he and his representatives reviewed several scenarios this offseason and elected not to do so this year.
Perhaps one factor was the response they received when approaching the Jets about reworking his deal. In 2010, Revis signed a seven-year contract which voids to a four-year, $46 million contract if he does not hold out. When his agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, approached general manager Mike Tannenbaum about redoing his deal with two years left, Revis said the “brief” talks did not go anywhere.
“The response was, ‘We’ll deal with it later; we’ll handle it later,’ ” Revis said. “I trust Mike, and what he is saying, and we’ll see. Like I said, my situation is a little bit different from others, but it has to boil down to something sooner or later of getting a deal done or not.”
Does the situation have the potential to linger? Revis expressed several feelings this offseason that he stands by. He would like to be a Jet for life, and is seeking a long-term deal with the club. He also believes that both sides agreed his current deal was a “Band-Aid,” but acknowledged there was no promise it would be removed before the 2012 season.
“Just like you guys heard, it was a Band-Aid,” Revis said. “You never know what date or what year you’re really going to discuss it, and that’s how you’ve just got to look at it. ... It could happen in the season. It could happen after. It could never happen. So as of right now, I think where my mind is, is just getting ready for the season.”
Revis earned a total of $32.5 million over the first two years of his contract, including an $18 million option bonus, and is scheduled to earn $7.5 million in 2012 and $6 million in 2013.
He said he is not sure if he will have a new deal by this point next year. He is due to become a free agent after the 2013 season, and the Jets do not have the power to tag him, so that is where and when he has leverage.
Revis would, of course, be open to negotiating during the season, but believes Tannenbaum would not do so, because it could be a distraction.
“Something’s got to happen sooner or later in terms of my future with the team,” Revis said. “I want to be here, and I hope Mike and Mr. Woody (Johnson) want me here, but besides that, I’ve just got to play football and keep on playing the best I can.”
So for now, he says that is his focus. When Revis ran into coach Rex Ryan in the hallway Thursday, Ryan said he was glad to see him. Revis told his coach he’s excited for the season and ready to go play football. After last year’s drama-filled season, the Jets are working to create a positive vibe in their locker room, and Thursday, Revis was playing the part.
“Everybody is happy, everybody is on a positive note. We’re just excited,” he said. “It is a new year, and we’re just trying to do what we can to get back to that AFC Championship Game and, hopefully, go further.”