NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Woody Johnson is apparently still lobbying for Darrelle Revis within the walls at Florham Park.
The New York Jets owner “has been involved in serious internal discussions” with rookie general manager Mike Maccagnan to potentially bring back the All-Pro cornerback in free agency, according to the New York Daily News.
Revis will hit the open market next week if New England declines to pick up a $20 million option for 2015 that comes with a massive $25 million cap hit. But the Super Bowl champion Patriots are expected to make a push to retain the 29-year-old on a new contract.
Every one of the Patriots’ rivals in the AFC East has strong ties to Revis. He was drafted by the Jets in the first round of the 2007 draft and quickly blossomed into the top corner in football. The man who was New York’s general manager at the time, Mike Tannenbaum, now runs football operations for the Miami Dolphins. Rex Ryan — Revis’ coach for four of his six years with the Jets — was hired two months ago by the Buffalo Bills, who will reportedly be in the mix if Revis becomes available.
The Jets have the cash to make a big offer. They are about $55 million under the salary cap and stand to gain an additional $10.5 million if they cut wide receiver Percy Harvin, according to ESPN.com.
Johnson found himself in hot water for speaking about Revis during a news conference in January. After he fired Ryan and general manager John Idzik, the team owner said “I’d love for Darrelle to come back.” Though he later offered a mea culpa for misspeaking, tampering charges were filed against the Jets.
The Jets traded Revis, whose relationship with the team had been fractured due to multiple contract-related holdouts, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013. He was cut after a strong season coming off ACL surgery and signed with the Patriots in 2014, resulting in his first Super Bowl ring.
Revis played all 16 regular-season games for New England, recording 47 combined tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and two interceptions. He added three tackles, a sack and an interception in the postseason.
Antonio Cromartie, the other half of the Jets’ vaunted cornerback tandem, is set to become a free agent and could be another attractive option for New York, which struggled to defend the pass last season.