The New York Jets broke a whole slew of NFL rules to bring cornerback Darrelle Revis back to East Rutherford in 2015, according to a report from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
The Jets were fined $100,000 for tampering after team owner Woody Johnson said in December 2014 that he’d “love” for Revis to return to the organization that drafted him. Revis, of course, was playing for the rival New England Patriots at the time. He helped them win a Super Bowl before leaving to sign a five-year, $70 million contract with the Jets.
But according to Mehta, Johnson’s public comments were just the tip of the iceberg. Jets personnel reportedly engaged in several rounds of secret negotiations with Revis’ camp during the weeks immediately following Super Bowl XLIX, with Johnson signing off on the illegal recruiting efforts.
“Johnson’s words at that December press conference became the face of the tampering that ultimately prompted a $100,000 fine, but back-channel discussions with the Jets in February set the foundation for a Revis reunion,” Mehta wrote Monday. “Team officials in stealth mode communicated with Revis, Inc., through private cell phones and face-to-face covert meetings at the 2015 Scouting Combine rather than make calls from the team’s landlines at their Florham Park facility. No paper trails were a must.
“Johnson, the driving force behind bringing back Revis to right a wrong in his mind, endorsed all of it.”
Revis was voted to the Pro Bowl in his first season back in New York, but his play took a sharp nosedive in 2016, making his lucrative deal look like, in Mehta’s words, “a colossal mistake.”
Revis currently is embroiled in a controversy that has nothing to do with football. The 31-year-old turned himself in to police Friday after being charged with four felonies and one misdemeanor in connection with a brawl outside a Pittsburgh bar.
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