CORTLAND, N.Y. (WFAN/AP) – Darrelle Revis strolled in from the players’ parking lot to the Jets’ dorm with a few bags in his hands – and without a new contract.
“Hi,” the All-Pro cornerback said to reporters with a big smile.
In other words, yep, he’s here.
But he very nearly wasn’t.
Revis reported for training camp at SUNY Cortland on Thursday, as expected, showing up on campus despite saying last month during minicamp that he was unsure if he would. He was hoping the Jets would rework the $46 million, four-year deal he signed in 2010.
“It was close to that happening,” Revis said, “you know, for me holding out.”
He said he and his representatives went through several scenarios, and the one that made the most sense was to join his teammates for work.
“I want to be here and I want to be around the team,” Revis said. “I haven’t been to a lot of training camps in the past. I want to be here and get ready for this year. My focus right now is to try to dominate again and do what I do best to try to help this team win.”
Jets coach Rex Ryan said he “expected” Revis to show up.
“Obviously it’s great to have him, no question,” Ryan said. “You guys know how I feel about Darrelle, but I’m here to coach this team and obviously I’m happy he’s here, I’m happy everybody’s here.”
The cornerback’s teammates were happy to see him, too.
“Yeah, I’m always glad to see Revis,” said defensive tackle Sione Pouha. “There’s always a business side of it, and whatever he had to take care of, but to see Revis in there is great.”
The 27-year-old Revis is due to earn $13.5 million during the next two years after the deal – reached after a 36-day holdout in 2010 – was front-loaded with $32.5 million in the first two years. While Revis tried to deflect contract talk during the offseason, the cornerback thought the team might re-visit the situation this year and referred to the deal as a “Band-Aid.”
That left his status for training camp up in the air until he decided last week to not hold out in a contract dispute for the second time in three summers. Revis also held out as a rookie in 2007.
“I never said I was unhappy about my contract,” Revis said. “I know what I signed a couple of years ago. There were talks a couple of years ago about a “Band-Aid” and that was that. Now we’re here and now we have to move forward.”
Revis said his agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, set up talks with the Jets and general manager Mike Tannenbaum to discuss the contract in the offseason.
“I think they talked briefly, but that was it,” Revis said. “That was really it. There was nothing further.”
Revis said the Jets’ response, from what he heard, was that it would be handled later.
“I trust Mike and what he said, and we’ll see,” he said.
Revis acknowledged that the Jets never said they would revisit the contract after two years.
“It was a Band-Aid and you never know what day or what year you’re really going to discuss it and that’s how you have to look at it,” he said. “It really wasn’t anything big. I mean, it could happen in the season, it could happen after or it could never happen. So, as of right now, where my mind is, is getting ready for the season.”
Revis is unsure if he’ll have a new deal by training camp next summer, and he could become a free agent after the 2013 season.
“When you guys asked earlier in OTAs, yeah, I want to be a Jet for life,” he said. “If management don’t see fit (to) that, then I have to move on.”
But that’s a long way off – for now. Revis doesn’t anticipate any negotiations during the season because he thinks that could be “a distraction.” So, next spring could be a repeat of this year, with everyone wondering if Revis will get a new deal, and if not, if he’ll show up for training camp.
“Something’s got to happen sooner or later, in terms of my future with the team,” Revis said. “Like I said, I want to be here, and I hope Mike and Mr. Woody (Johnson) want me here. Besides that, I just have to play football and keep on playing the best that I can.”
Do you think there’s any chance the Jets let Revis hit free agency, or is a new contract an inevitability? Be heard in the comments below…
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