After Monday's first practice, Jets head coach Rex Ryan told reporters that he would prepare his team like Darrelle Revis is not going to be with the Jets. And then at some point before a special teams workout, Jets owner Woody Johnson told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap in a taped interview that he is not optimistic a deal will be struck with the star corner this season.
Schaap asked Johnson if he felt Revis would be playing for the Jets this season.
"My gut feeling is, I would say, no," Johnson said.
In a separate interview following this afternoon's training camp practice when, the Jets' CEO and chairman said, "The answer is no," when asked if he was optimistic a new deal could bring Revis in by opening night, Sept. 13 against the Baltimore Ravens.
"I think based on the meeting we had last Friday that Mike had, that's the conclusion," said Johnson of a meeting that took place between GM Mike Tannenbaum and Revis' representation in Roscoe, N.Y. "That's my feeling at this time. Things can be flexible but as of right now there's nothing new."
When Revis did not report for camp on time on Aug. 1, Tannenbaum informed the media that the Jets had offered a long-term deal that would have made Revis a Jet for life, a short-term contract, and a meeting. Those three were all initially rebuffed, but the two sides met five days later and there was no progress in the negotiations.
"I think fundamentally there wasn't a change," said Tannenbaum, standing to the left of Johnson in a media tent. "There were some technical changes to it that we looked at and talked about. Fundamentally there really is no change. Right now we can't find something that makes sense for both sides."
The one thing the Jets and Revis' agents agree upon is that the 5'11", 198-pounder has outplayed his contract. He has become one of the finest players in the league, having appeared in the last two Pro Bowls, and was voted the team's MVP last season after he picked off six passes and was credited unofficially with an NFL-leading 34 passes defensed.
"We spoke for three hours and we left that meeting with a pretty good sense of their position, and I think they had a pretty good sense of our position, but again let me just reiterate that the lines of communication have been open," said Tannenbaum. "We have spoken countless times. Ari Nissim [director, football administration] and Jackie Davidson [manager, football administration] do a great job of preparing and we communicate so that has not been the problem. The problem in this situation is that we have a very fundamental difference of opinion on what the compensation should be. When we will talk next, it's hard to say."
In three NFL seasons, Revis has started 48 regular-season contests and has totaled 14 interceptions, 62 PDs and 222 tackles. He stated numerous times during the offseason that he wants to be the NFL's highest-paid CB and that would mean eclipsing the Raiders' Nnamdi Asomugha's three-year, $45.3 million deal with $28.5 million guaranteed that was signed in February 2009.
"I think there's a lot of different ways to get to a landing spot for both organizations to feel good about. Any one deal is not about one contract," said Tannenbaum. "The contract you're referencing is a significant issue in our deal but it's certainly not the only one. I'm proud to say about our organization that we've been able to solve a lot of other issues working around different contracts so I don't think this is a one-contract issue."
If Revis does not return, the Jets will enter the season with three new starters in the secondary. Antonio Cromartie is playing corner, Brodney Pool replaced Kerry Rhodes at safety, and either rookie Kyle Wilson, the No. 29 overall selection from Boise State, or veteran Dwight Lowery, a third-year vet, will play opposite Cromartie.
"My thing is I'm just coaching this group. We'll coach this group," Ryan said. "That's all we can focus on right now is getting this team ready. We have to prepare like he's not going to be here. If he comes walking through the door, that's fine."