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Harris/Tannenbaum News Conference

Transcript of news conference with linebacker David Harris and general manager Mike Tannenbaum, after Harris contract extension was signed, Tuesday evening at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center:

MIKE TANNENBAUM: Thanks for everyone's patience today. We're happy to announce a long-term agreement with David. It's really an exciting moment for the organization and for me, personally. Last year we talked about four guys in particular, Darrelle [Revis], David, Nick [Mangold] and Brick [D'Brickashaw Ferguson], that we wanted to extend. Due to the complexities of an expiring CBA, it was a challenge to get David done, but it was a priority last year and it remained a priority this year.

We've been in communications with David's representatives, Jim Ivler and Brian Mackler. We want to thank them for their cooperation and patience, and congratulate David and Jiali Harris. We're really glad that he'll be here for a really long time. It was fortunate to be there when we traded up for David. From a GM's perspective, it's a dream to have someone like David, not only what he does on the field, but off the field and how he conducts himself in such a professional way. When you have those types of people, you do everything you can to make sure they never leave your locker room. With that, David, congratulations.

DAVID HARRIS: Thank you. I just would like to say, first off, thanks to Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan and Woody Johnson for showing confidence in me and allowing me to play my career out as a New York Jet. Last year, they pretty much gave me their word that I'd be a priority this upcoming year and they followed up on their word. I'd just like to say thank you to them. Today is a great day for me, my family, my wife, Jiali. I'd like to say thanks to my agent Brian Mackler and Jim Ivler at SportStars for getting this deal done. I would like to, from here, open it up to you guys.

On why he was so relaxed and confident that he'd get a long-term deal…

HARRIS: I was just patient about it. Every player takes it differently. Coming from a humble background, a blue-collar background, I knew that Mike would come through on his promise and I just wanted to focus on football and not focus on the contract and the business side of it. I just want to go out there and help my teammates win games and I'm glad that it's all done with.

On if Tannenbaum knew he was going to sign Harris this week…

TANNENBAUM: I was hoping we would. Ari Nissim who handles most of the negotiations did a great job. You always hope it gets done, there could always be bumps in the road but it was a priority and we always planned and budgeted for that. So even though with all the madness last week and we were in on dozens of deals, signed a bunch of guys, it was still a very important priority to us and we had obviously communicated that with David's agents. So our expectations were that it was going to get done, we had always budgeted for that scenario. So even though we signed player x, y and z last week, David's slot was always the priority.

On the core four now all being under contract…

HARRIS: First of all, I'd like to say there's really no core four, there's a core 20. This team is built around a lot of young guys that are improving. I'm thrilled to be able to play my career out with guys like Darrelle Revis and Bart Scott next to me. Playing behind Mike DeVito, Sione Pouha and those guys, they make coming to work every day fun. I'm just thrilled and ecstatic and it's a good feeling to know that I can put all this behind me and focus on football.

On if Harris knew this deal was going to happen today…

HARRIS: I didn't know if it was today or later on this week but it happened and we can move on.

On how much of a priority re-signing David was…

TANNENBAUM: He's a real traditional three-down linebacker and even when we play all of our substitution packages, going back to our playoff game against the Patriots, he had 11 DBs up for the game, David played so much. He can blitz, cover, he's good in between the tackles. I can say all these good things now that we signed him, but he is a three-down linebacker. In our game now where so many substituted defenses are part of it, that was really important.

And for me, from a team-building stand point, with the intangibles, how David goes about his work, those are the people you want to reward and celebrate and it's such an important message to us, for Rex, Woody and I, that's the message we are trying to send to the rest of the locker room. Do things that David does, again, offseason conditioning, OTAs, minicamps, all those things that's critical to us.

On how much flexibility this signing gives the team for signings over the next month…

TANNENBAUM: We will see what happens. I think there could be a couple more transactions, you never rule them out. It does free up the [franchise] tag for the future. I think it gives Dave the well-deserved security in the guarantees which he richly deserves, but for us, we talked about the other day, here's our team, and David hit the nail on the head, we have a good core now that they are signed to multi-year deals. Of course you are going to have some free-agency but David was a really important piece of the puzzle and helped solidify our team for the next few years on defense and heading into drafts and things like that, it helps with planning.

On the terms of the contract…

TANNENBAUM: It will be out there in 20 minutes anyway. It's a long-term deal. I think both sides are happy with it and I think like most contracts, both sides gave and found a landing spot that worked for everybody.

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