NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York Jets and New England Patriots are cornering the market on vindictiveness.
The Jets filed retaliatory tampering charges against their AFC East rivals this week, according to multiple reports, after Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he wanted to keep Darrelle Revis, the All-Pro cornerback who reunited with Gang Green on a five-year, $70 million deal in free agency.
New England previously filed tampering charges against the Jets and owner Woody Johnson, who told reporters he “would love for Darrelle to come back” on Dec. 29 while Revis was still under contract with New England. Johnson later said he misspoke.
The Patriots declined Revis’ $20 million option for 2015, and he hit the open market at 4 p.m. on March 10. Before the day was through, the 29-year-old Pro Bowler had an agreement in place with the Jets.
“As a fan, in March and April, I hate to lose (Revis),” Kraft said Monday at the NFL meetings in Phoenix, according to Newsday.
“We wanted to keep him,” he added. “We wanted him in our system. They are the team that drafted him. I think he feels a great commitment there, so we understand his going back and we’re sorry he didn’t stay with us.”
According to Newsday, the Jets are arguing that Kraft violated the rule that states, “Any public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media, is a violation of this Anti-Tampering Policy.”
The NFL sent investigators to the Jets’ facility in Florham Park, New Jersey, on March 8 to talk to new general manager Mike Maccagnan and other front office personnel in response to the Patriots’ initial tampering accusations, the New York Daily News reported. Johnson was not interviewed.
The league could dole out a fine and/or strip draft picks if it finds either team guilty of tampering,
“It’s just something the league is looking at,” Johnson said Monday, according to ESPN. “So, I’m not worried about anything. I’m worried about getting better.”