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The Trade: ‘Very Hard to Do...Best Thing to Do’

Posted Apr 21, 2013

Transcript of a conference call by owner Woody Johnson, general manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan with Jets reporters on Sunday evening following the trade of Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay:

JOHN IDZIK: Good evening, everybody. We wanted to take this opportunity to formally announce the trade of Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Obviously when it involves a very talented player who's had a significant impact to our team and our community, there's much, much thought put into a move like this. And there are many factors involved, multiple factors involved in a move of this magnitude. So it's not taken lightly.

Darrelle had a desire to remain a Jet for his career, and I can share with you that we genuinely wanted to follow through with that desire, as well. We shared that desire. However, it's not as simple as player wanting club and club wanting player. When it comes down to something of this magnitude, there are many factors involved, and I'd just like to outline a few of them so that you can gain a feel for what we were considering and then ultimately how we came to the conclusion that we did today.

First of all, fitting a deal of historical proportions into our short‑term and long‑term plans is very difficult. Whenever you start to leave what would be construed as normal deal with respect to the player's position, his experience, and you're doing something so‑called out of the box, that takes a lot of consideration. You know, ultimately we're chartered with managing the most competitive 53‑man roster that we're capable of doing.

When you do factor in a deal, then again of historical proportions, that can have an impact on your ability to make potential roster moves both now and in the future. So that was a factor.

Secondly, there is the timing of a potential extension. Darrelle as everyone knows is in the final year of his contract. Darrelle as everyone also knows is in the midst of rehabbing a very significant knee injury, the first significant injury that he has had to deal with. So really until we see him through completion of rehab and playing without inhibition and playing the way we know Darrelle can play, there would always be a degree of uncertainty there.

That said, we know Darrelle, we know his approach. He's a professional. He approaches everything with vigor, and so we were optimistic that the outcome would be positive, but until you go through it, you never know for sure.

Darrelle was understandably motivated to do a deal as soon as possible. On the other hand, from a timing standpoint, we were more apt to wait a little bit to see more returns.

Thirdly, the probability of eventually reaching a mutually acceptable extension, you had to take that into account. It became quite evident, we had some discussions with his representation, and it became quite evident to us that there was a substantial difference between Darrelle's view of his value and ours. So we felt like there would have to be a significant change on either side in order to create a path toward reaching an agreeable deal for the long‑term. So you had to really weigh that into the situation, too.

And lastly, a player of Darrelle's stature certainly garners a lot of attention. That's been illustrated by the high level of speculation that has circulated around the Jets and Darrelle ever since my arrival. With that, whenever there's an inclination or even a perceived inclination that Darrelle may be available, you're going to field a lot of calls, and it was never our intent to proactively go out and shop Darrelle. It was never our goal to have Darrelle leave the Jets; on the contrary, as I stated before, we wanted Darrelle to remain a Jet for the long‑term ideally.

But Tampa reached out. They expressed a sustained and sincere interest in Darrelle, and generally as things go in the National Football League, there's a lot of kicking tires, there's a lot of speculative type of discussions with respect to trades, but as you get closer to the draft, those talks become more real. And that's in general what happened here.

Once we reached a point with Tampa and they presented an offer that we felt merited serious consideration, we discussed it at length internally, and we really ultimately came to the conclusion that this was the best thing to do for the Jets at this time.

So we feel like trading Darrelle, although it's very hard, very hard to do, that this was the best thing to do for really all concerned, given the circumstances. First and foremost, from our standpoint we received very valuable compensation that necessitated making a decision prior to the draft. Again, ideally we would have wanted to wait to see ‑‑ let things play out a little bit more, but with the draft this week and with compensation entailing the draft, that sped up the timeline a little bit.

We feel like this year's draft is going to help bolster our roster, so that was certainly a factor in our decision. Darrelle on his side felt like he would be in a place where he could continue his rehab with a more realistic chance of obtaining an extension at his desired value, because again, it became quite evident to us that was not going to happen here. And in the end, given everything that was under consideration, we just felt like it was the right thing to do.

So I'd like to say that the New York Jets are extremely grateful to have had Darrelle on our roster for six very memorable years. He gave us everything he had. He performed at an extremely high level. He was a great leader in our locker room. He's a great guy in the community. But in the end, again, for all the factors that we had to weigh, we felt like this was the right thing to do first and foremost by the New York Jets and what we have to do as a team, and then also it happened to benefit Darrelle, as well.

We wish Darrelle continued success in Tampa and for the remainder of his career, and we would open it up for any questions you may have.

On if the trade signals the Jets are sacrificing something in the short term to build for the long term...

IDZIK: No, I wouldn't characterize it as sacrifice. I think any time you contemplate a trade, we're always going to have both the short‑ and long‑term interests of the club in mind, because we feel like with the compensation we received, we're going to get some ‑‑ we're going to gain some short‑term benefits, that we're going to get some very valued players on our roster. They're going to help us in years to come.

I don't think it's quite that simple, that we're sacrificing a short‑term versus long‑term. We do look at both of those.

When we made this decision, we felt like this was the best for both the short and long‑term success of the New York Jets.

On if Idzik found that once working alongside GM Mark Dominik in the Buccaneers' front office helped with these negotiations...

IDZIK: Well, I don't know that it had any impact on the deal itself because in the end it's going to be do you feel like the compensation is worthy of consideration and ultimately do you make an affirmative decision on it. But that said, I certainly know the Glazers, have a lot of respect for them. I know Mark, I've known him for years. It makes it easier from the standpoint of just communicating back and forth, and there's a trust level there. From that standpoint, yes, it made things go a little more smoothly, but in the end the compensation has to be such that you feel like it's good for your club.

On if he was aware of reports that Revis' new deal with Tampa Bay didn't have any guaranteed money and if the Jets would have offered such a deal...

IDZIK: Well, again, we haven't seen the deal with Tampa Bay, and we're not going to comment on anyone else's deal, much less our own. I can say this, that it became abundantly clear to us that his value was such that we wouldn't get there, that that just didn't fit with what the Jets had in store.

On what kind of input Rex Ryan provided before the trade was made...

IDZIK: Well, of course Coach Ryan is on the call so I'll let him speak to this, as well. I can say that ever since I've been here, Rex and I have been joined at the hip. All things that we do, they're going to be collaborative. They're going to involve everyone's input. And certainly Rex was heavily involved in the discussion and the ultimate direction we headed.

We discussed this often. Like I said from the start of this call, when it deals with a player of Darrelle Revis' stature, you're going to think every angle, and we did. We did so in this case, and it certainly involved Coach Ryan, it involved our staff and it involved Woody Johnson, involved everybody here.

So this was an example of a collective effort, collective thought, and then ultimately reaching a decision we felt was good for the Jets.

On Ryan's reaction to the trade...

REX RYAN: Well, no, I can tell you this: It doesn't come as a surprise. This has been talked about, as John has talked. We've been discussing the possibilities of a trade with Darrelle, and I was involved in the entire process. And again, you look at the big picture, you know, as we've talked about short‑term and long‑term. I think this, as in all good trades, will benefit both teams. Darrelle Revis was an outstanding player for us, for myself since I've been here as a head coach. He was tremendous. And as John talked about earlier he gave everything he had to this organization, was a tremendous player.

You go back, I don't take back one word that I've ever said about Darrelle Revis. I believe that he is the best corner in football without question. But make no mistake; as I mentioned the day I took the job five years ago, that we will play great defense, and the standard we've set as the New York Jets will not be diminished. We believe that we will have an outstanding defense this year and in the future, as well.

On Johnson's reaction to the trade...

WOODY JOHNSON: You know, John and Rex have pretty much summed it up. I mean, we're always looking for ways to improve the team both short‑ and long‑term, and this process, as John went over, was a complicated process of making a decision. It was complicated because it's not just the team's desire to keep a player and the player's desire to be on that team; there are a lot more factors that came in, and John went over those.

It was a decision that we deliberated on for quite a while, because I know it's important to our fans, and it's important to us, and we wanted to come up with a decision that was the best for the New York Jets, and that's the decision we arrived at. And I think it was the correct one.

On how Johnson can convince Jets fans that the Jets are trying to win in 2013...

JOHNSON: You know, I've been at this a while now, and there has never been a year where I haven't tried to win using everything that I have and trying to build a team that is capable of doing that. This year is no different. I mean, we've had great years and we've had some years that are disappointing, i.e., last year. But my objective and my willingness to do anything that I can do to make the team better is there.

This decision was part of it. We're constantly making hard decisions to try to make the team better and more competitive for our fans. That's who we work for, and we don't ‑‑ I don't want to give anything but 100 percent effort to this, and I know John and Rex are committed to it and so is everybody in the building. We're committed to putting a team on the field that's a winning team and doing it in a deliberative and sound way. I'm encouraged. I think we've got some young players that will be better. We'll have the opportunity to pick up some very good players in the draft, and I'm extremely optimistic.

On when Ryan came into the loop and knew of the proposal to trade Revis...

RYAN: Well, I don't think, first off, I never had one conversation with any other team, any coach, any general manager, anybody directly, absolutely no conversation whatsoever. Where my conversation was with John when he discussed a possibility that a team was very interested in Darrelle, and that was when I guess you could say I was brought in the loop. But as far as myself having a conversation with anybody in another organization, absolutely had zero contact with anybody.

On Ryan being more specific on how the trade provides benefits to the Jets in the short and long terms...

RYAN: Well, again, I think there's a lot of ifs on a lot of fronts there. Why don't we get through the draft and then we'll see how everything starts going into place. A lot of decisions are made, as I mentioned before. We will play great defense here. I don't think that's even a question.

We're a football team that has a No. 1 corner. We're fortunate to have Antonio Cromartie here. So there's a lot of factors that go into every decision, as we've mentioned, but again, when you look at the process and the things that John talked about before, that's why the trade was made.

On if Ryan thinks the trade has made his team better...

RYAN: Well, again, nobody can tell how does a trade make you better, make you worse, are you talking about for one week, are you talking about a season, are you talking about a future? I mean, nobody really knows. Nobody has the answer to that. We don't even know who we're going to select at those picks. So a lot of things will be decided.

I will say this, and I mention it over and over again: We will play great defense to the New York Jets' standards, and that's how I've approached it from the day I took this job. I knew it would happen, and I'm telling you it'll happen again. We will play great defense, continue to play great defense, and that's not a slight to Darrelle Revis whatsoever. Darrelle Revis is a tremendous player, he's been a tremendous player, and I think he'll continue to be one, as well.

IDZIK: I'd like to briefly address that by saying that any decision we make, when we say it's in the best interest of the New York Jets, we feel like it's going to make us better.

On other teams interested in trading for Revis and when the Bucs made their first formal offer...

IDZIK: Well, again, we won't get into specifics or timelines, or I can just say that, again, a player of Darrelle Revis' stature is going to garner a lot of interest, and you kind of wade through that. Some of it initially, I think there's a lot of clubs kind of kicking tires, and you try to decipher what's real and what may not be as real, and I think as you get down the line closer to the draft, if there's a club or two that has constant contact with you, then you know it's real.

Eventually you get to a point where they offer something that you have to pay attention to, and that's what happened with Tampa. That's when you know that you should discuss this, not hypothetically, but should we make this move. And that's what happened with Tampa Bay.

On how Johnson can fairly judge Ryan's coaching performance after the loss of Revis and other starters this offseason...

JOHNSON: How do I fairly judge? Well, I think I'm pretty fair judging. Rex, I know, I have a lot of confidence, Rex is going to do what he says he's going to do on the defense for sure because he's done it every year he's been here. I think he's a very, very good head coach. I've said that before. And he's going to be also given a lot of young players that we're going to pick up some very, very good talent, I hope, in the draft, and I think he'll make the best use of it. I have a lot of confidence, also, in our coaching staff, Marty and the other coaches I think are the perfect combination for what we have as a team and where we want to go.

On if Revis' injury hurt the Jets' ability to get the compensation that a player of his caliber might command had he been 100 percent healthy...

IDZIK: Well, it definitely muddies the water a little bit. If we had the luxury of time, if we had the luxury of Darrelle not having been injured, not having gone through rehab, then I think things would be a lot clearer both from our standpoint and in the case of a potential trade any suitors. So yeah, that's definitely a factor in it.

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