In their most detailed comments since rumors surfaced the team might be shopping Revis, coach Rex Ryan and new general manager John Idzik said they expect Revis to return from his season-ending knee injury as a Jet.
“With respect to clarity, I don’t know that anything has really changed, because we really have always wanted Darrelle to be a part of our team,” Idzik said at the league’s annual scouting combine in Indianapolis. “That has not changed. I think there’s been rumors or stories published, and it’s really hard for me or anybody in our organization to speculate and answer to all the rumors or stories that we hear. With respect to Darrelle, we have always wanted him to be a part of the New York Jets.”
The stories about Revis’ potential departure had become so consuming that after Idzik walked to the podium and introduced himself to reporters, he spent the next eight minutes talking almost exclusively about the star cornerback.
When Idzik finished, it was Ryan’s turn to speak his mind, and, as usual, he didn’t mince words.
“When I called Darrelle up I said, ‘Darrelle, let’s face it, the man [Idzik] hasn’t been on the job for 24 hours, and now you’re going to get traded?’ I thought that was kind of interesting,” Ryan said. “And I said, ‘You know, it’s not accurate. Plain and simple, it’s not accurate.’ I told him that. If he was to be involved in a trade, I think he and his agents would know about it, as would the general manager and myself, I would think.”
That’s not where the Revis story ended Thursday.
Less than 24 hours after Revis and Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman traded barbs on Twitter, Jets brass was pulled into that, too.
Ryan didn’t seem overly concerned, and Ryan may have even fueled the Twitter war by saying, “I don’t know him [Sherman] well enough to compare him to Darrelle Revis, but if you put yourself in that company, that’s the company you want to be with. That’s the company you want to be with, that’s for sure.”
Seattle general manager John Schneider took a different tack.
“We know Richard, and to us, it’s not a really big deal. It’s what makes him who he is,” Schneider said. “It’s one of the things that made us fall in love with him, and it gives him the confidence to play the way he plays. He feels that he’s the best cornerback in the league, and God bless him.”
The bigger question may be where all this goes now.
Revis is one of the highest-paid players on a team that just cut five players to get under the league’s mandated salary cap, and his contract is up after next season. He is scheduled to make $6 million in 2013 as he tries to return from the left knee injury.
Right now, at least, the Jets are saying those things don’t matter. They want just want their top cover cornerback to focus on getting healthy and playing football.
“My focus with Darrelle right now is to aid him in any way we can in his rehab so that he returns to the player that we all know he is,” Idzik said. “What’s good for Darrelle is good for the New York Jets.”