Florham Park, NJ – On Labor Day afternoon, the Jets welcomed Darrelle Revis to the team with the simple message of “get back to work.”
Minutes after signing a new four-year deal that will make him a member of the Jets for the foreseeable future, Revis addressed the media and discussed his new contract that ended his holdout. The agreement for the deal was reached late on Sunday night but was not signed until late afternoon on Monday; the new contract for the All-Pro cornerback is rumored to be worth $46 million dollars.
On a Monday morning conference call just hours after the agreement was made, general manager Mike Tannenbaum said the team and Revis’ representatives had found a “landing strip” where they could touch-down and make a deal happen. Revis said that was exactly the case as both parties came together to get a deal done.
"At this point we just came to a middle [ground] and found what's best for the football parties,” Revis said.
This past weekend, Jets’ owner Woody Johnson and head coach Rex Ryan along with other representatives of the team flew down to Florida to meet with the cornerback, whose holdout took him through the entirety of training camp. Johnson said that the Jets offered the player the chance at a four-year contract in addition to a longer-term deal.
While not openly critical of the player, Johnson seemed displeased that his star player and the best cornerback in the league had to resort to a holdout that ended just one week before the season starts for the Jets. Two weeks ago, the Jets’ signed center Nick Mangold – who had hinted at a holdout during mini-camp – to a new contract midway through pre-season. Before training camp started, the team also tied-up left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson to a long-term deal that made him the highest paid player at his position in the NFL.
Neither Mangold nor Ferguson missed any part of mini-camp or training camp to get their new deals with the team, a point that seemed to be in the back of the owner’s mind.
“You’d like to think that you can get something done without doing this,” Johnson said of the holdout.
Throughout the process of the contract, Revis tempered his desire to play this season with his stance that he needed a new contract with guaranteed money.
"There's the business side and the football side,” Revis said. “This is something I'm learning as well.”
While he did not practice on Monday, Revis did fly in to New Jersey and arrived at Newark International Airport shortly after noon local time. He met with his teammates in what was termed a warm reception.
“There was a bit of some joking and some razzing going on,” Ferguson said. “But it’s all in good spirits and fun. We’re glad to have him back – he’s a special player for us.”
Now with the biggest distraction of the offseason cleared away and Revis expected to practice on Tuesday, the Jets can focus on improving on last year’s 9-7 mark and run through the playoffs that culminated in an appearance in the AFC Championship Game.
“Everyone has a piece to that puzzle,” Ryan said. “Darrelle just happens to be [holding] a larger piece.”
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012