FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Woody Johnson is open to bringing back Darrelle Revis.
One problem for the New York Jets owner: The Pro Bowl cornerback is under contract for another year with the New England Patriots.
During his news conference Monday to announce the firings of coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik, Johnson was asked about not being able to sign Revis last offseason. Johnson said he didn’t think he could land him, based on his previous experience with Revis’ agents.
“Darrelle’s a great player,” Johnson said. “I’d love to have Darrelle come back.”
Because Revis, who spent his first six seasons with the Jets, is on another team’s roster, the Jets owner could be accused of tampering. An NFL spokesman declined comment when asked if the league might look into Johnson’s comments.
Johnson later clarified his remarks, with the Jets’ official site tweeting out the owner misspoke.
A team media relations staffer tried to intercept the initial question by saying Johnson couldn’t comment — but the Jets owner went ahead and spoke about the team’s first-round draft pick in 2007. New York traded him to Tampa Bay in 2013, and Idzik drafted Sheldon Richardson with one of the picks the Jets acquired from the Buccaneers.
“There’s a lot of emphasis on one player,” Johnson said. “We made a trade with the Buccaneers and we got a one and a three. We got a fairly good player in return for that, I would say.”
Revis became a free agent last offseason when the Buccaneers cut him because of his hefty contract, and it appeared he could be a fit for the cornerback-needy Jets.
Instead, Revis signed with the Patriots for a deal worth $12 million this season. Revis was selected for the Pro Bowl, while the Jets mixed and matched several players at cornerback on a defense that struggled with its secondary.
“If I had thought I could have gotten Darrelle for that, I probably would have taken him back,” Johnson said. “It was our best judgment to do what we did.”
The second year of Revis’ deal is a team option that would pay him $20 million next season with a monstrous cap hit of $25 million. So, Revis could potentially become a free agent again if the Patriots don’t renegotiate.
And that could potentially give Johnson and the Jets another chance to bring back one of the franchise’s most successful players.
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