Rookie CB Darrelle is finally officially a NY Jet. (Jet Insider.com Photo)
After weeks of patiently waiting for the move to be made, Jets fans can finally breathe a huge sigh of relief. The team’s top draft choice Darrelle Revis has signed a contract with the Jets and spoke at a press conference that was held long after the practice session was over.
General Manager Mike Tannenbaum came out to the media room just before 9PM to announce the deal as reporters waited around the complex for nearly five hours after practice ended anticipating the news. Tannenbaum spoke in length about how fortunate both sides came together to find a contract that they can both agree on in order to get the former Pittsburgh star to Hempstead. The contract was reached at around midnight last night, and the two parties spent most of today with the paperwork, which explains Revis’ absence from practice.
“We reached an agreement principle and we spent better part of today working through the nuances and technicalities of a very complicated contract,” Tannenbaum said. “It took a long time, but we’re glad this is over and were excited to put Darrelle on the field.”
Revis’ agent, Neil Schwartz, was just as ecstatic about the finalizing of the deal.
“We both had a desire to see Darrelle in camp,” said Schwartz. “Each side had needs, and the contract that was presented to us addressed what each side wanted. We were ecstatic to make a deal, and I am happy that he is a member of the Jets.”
Revis, who was working out in Phoenix while his dispute raged on, was a very happy camper about putting an end to a holdout that he admits took a toll on him personally.
“It was tough being out for so long and I thought it would never end,” said Revis. “We are glad to get the process over and done with. I am happy and the Jets are happy. I’m excited to be in the NFL and I’m going to do whatever I can.”
Tannenbaum said, “This was a tough negotiation. I knew the landing spot on the deal was really small, but I was resolute in the fact that there was a landing spot that was good for Darrelle and good for the Jets. I am just happy we found that spot.”
Details of the contract were not mentioned by either side, other than that the length of Revis’ contract was 47 pages. However, several sources are confirming that the basic structure is six years with a total value of $36MM. The reason for the dispute, however, was over the CBA, which according to Schwartz, contained “conflicting language”.
Even though the holdout has been put to rest once and for all, an even bigger question now pops up in the minds of the Jets and their fans: Can Revis be able to make up for lost time? The only thing Revis would want to do is to get right to work.
“I’m only a rookie, and I’m still learning a lot of things,” he said. “I know I still got some work to do, so I’m going to keep working and do what the coaches ask me to do.”
Regardless, Jets fans will be sleeping well tonight, knowing that the final piece in the team’s secondary puzzle has finally been solved.
Regarding practice today, in a relatively short session (a little more than 2 hours) the Jets returned to the practice field on Wednesday for a final full practice before they face the Vikings at the Meadowlands on Friday.
With star RB Thomas Jones sidelined, head coach Eric Mangini did not make it clear in his pre-session press conference whether or not Jones, or for that matter the whole group of players who were out during this week’s sessions, will get some time in Friday’s match, stating that it depends on their progress.
“With that whole group, it’ll come down to where they are right up to game time,” he said. “We’ll go through that process because that’s important to medical staff, players and coaching staff. You try to assimilate that because you have lot of game day decisions about injuries in regular season. We’ll be smart about it and make the best decisions.”
Jones’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus told the media early in the week that his client has a strained calf and will probably be out for at least a week or two. Look for the team to sit Jones out as long as it takes to have him 100% healthy for the opener against the Pats.
Even with those outside factors occurring, practice went on as usual for Gang Green under hot yet tolerable conditions while donning their practice shorts and upper pads. Some of the players on the team donned different colored jerseys as part of the scout team. The scout team appeared today to give the starters a look at plays the Vikings will run against them on Friday. Because of this, some of the highlights were made during the 11-on-11 and two-minute drills as the majority of practice proved to be mellow and inconspicuous.
Much like yesterday, the Jets had both their good and bad moments. Some of the highlights included broken passes by the defense, respective interceptions by Kerry Rhodes and Andre Dyson, a long reception by WR Evan Prall, and a diving catch by Wallace Wright, who made up for his botched catch earlier in the day.
The concerns came near the end of practice during the two-minute drills for the respective offensive teams. For the first team, the blow was an errant pass that was picked off by Andre Dyson. In the second-team offense’s case, all it took was an inability to get the ball deep into field goal range.
Like the running back position, the secondary has been short handed recently with injuries to CBs Justin Miller and Drew Coleman, and S Eric Smith. Even with the injuries, the optimism is still there for whoever is still standing.
“We’ve been OK,” said Rhodes. “We got a lot of young guys over there so we just make them take a lot more reps to take some pressure off of us. They’ve done a good job.”
With the injuries to the secondary and Revis’ much anticipated arrival, it will be interesting to see how many of the other players will hold down the secondary with Minnesota coming to town.
Assistant Coaches Speak Out
The assistant coaches were available to the media at the end of practice today to speak about the team’s progress in this year’s training camp. With their turn to speak to the press given to them, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton had a lot to say regarding that progress.
Coach Schottenheimer shared with the media his hope and interest in the running game in light of Jones’ injury.
“The one thing when you have a guy that has to miss any practice is that it should hopefully give us an opportunity to find out about the other guys we have behind him,” he said. “Alvin Banks and Danny Ware are two young guys that we have some feeling for, and should get a good opportunity to go out under the bright lights.”
Meanwhile, Coach Sutton emphasized that even with the new season upon all in the football world, the mantra remains the same in that every player is expected to take advantage of the opportunity when it is given to him.
“Every season you start over, it’s a clean slate and you can never count on things being exactly as you ended,” he said. “The people that step in there have to step in, that comes from us as coaches that if you’re the guy in there you expected to perform at a certain level. We try to prepare every player.”
The list of the walking wounded remained the same today. Jones, Miller, Smith, Coleman, Stacy Tutt, Joe Kowalewski, and stayed sidelined for the duration of practice, as did Tim Dwight and Matt Chatham, who are on the PUP list.
DL Kimo von Oelhoffen did not partake in the day’s activities, as he observed the defensive line drills without having a helmet by his side. He was also seen doing stretches on the turf field while the rest of the team did their thing on the grass.
Dillon a Jet?
There has been a few rumblings that the Jets may be interested in veteran RB Corey Dillon could be on the Jets radar to add depth. Dillon who was released by the Patriots this off-season knows Mangini from his New England days. While stating that anything can be possible, Mangini prefers to focus on the cards he is dealt with right now.
“We’re focusing on the guys that are here right now,” he said. “But I am open to possibilities.”
A Happy Ending After All
Both offensive teams had a regrettable ending to their respective two-minute drills. However, there was a light moment afterwards. Kellen Clemens punted the ball into the waiting arms of Sione Pouha. Once he made a catch, the players on the field erupted in cheers and shouts, and gathered around Pouha to celebrate.
There was an interesting selection in music choice prior to today’s session as Ray Charles was heard over the sound system. Other music selections of the day included Bruce Springsteen, Notorious B.I.G., The Beastie Boys and Ice Cube.
Mangini’s no Fred Astaire
MTV was at practice today interviewing players about the coach blaring music at every practice. The players, who included Jonathan Vilma, Nick Mangold, Chad Pennington and others were asked to critique the Coach’s music library and comment on their favorite types of music. The most interesting question was to S Kerry Rhodes who was asked who is the best and worst dancers on the team.
“Best dancer? That’s easy,” said Rhodes. “CB Justin Miller. He’s got some great moves. Worst is Coach Mangini. He’s unequivocally the worst dancer I’ve ever seen.”
Thursday’s practice will be closed to the media and the public. The Jets will take on the Minnesota Vikings on Friday at the Meadowlands at 7 pm. Be sure to check back to JI for complete reports!
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