Mike Tannenbaum News Conference

Transcript of general manager Mike Tannenbaum's news conference with reporters Saturday evening:

On the latest on Darrelle Revis…

We're disappointed that he's not here. It's really his prerogative not to be here. The lines of communication will remain open, and we'll see where we go.  I can tell you this, that over the last 72 hours we offered a long term deal that would've made him a Jet for life, we offered him a short-term deal which a lot of you have referred to as a "band-aid," and we offered to get together and all three of those were rebuffed.

On what's next…

The next step is the lines of communication are opened and we remain committed to finding a solution that makes sense for him and makes sense for us.  Two things that we all agreed upon is that Darrelle outplayed his contract and it needed to be addressed and that he has three years to go on his contract. With that said, we have to find something that works for both sides and we remain committed to doing that.  When that will happen is hard to say but he's not here and that's his prerogative and we'll move forward from there.

On when they will talk next…

Well like I said, what we've done in the last three days is made three different offers and all those offers were rebuffed.  Lack of communication hasn't been a problem. In this situation we've talked frequently so it is hard to say what will happen next.

On being back in Cortland…

Its great [laughs]. No its great and we're really excited. We think it's a great environment. Going back to when Woody Johnson and I interviewed Rex, had just built this beautiful new facility, the Atlantic Health Jets Facility Training Facility, and we planned to have training camp there, the one thing Rex wanted to do is go away because he said they were going to leave as individuals and come back as a team and that's exactly what happened.  Cortland has been great, and it's interesting when Rex said that I know that we had a successful camp when we start with 40 players and 40 cars and come back with 40 players and 10 cars, and that's exactly what happened. We're excited to be here.  Sal Alosi, our strength coach, has a picture of Rex at the A&W that says don't serve this man, so we're going to be a little more health conscious this year.

On whether the Revis situation will linger…

I'm an internal optimist, I work all the time, I'm here to solve problems, it's so hard to say but we remain committed to finding something that will work for everybody. We are in a situation where we are in the last year of a collective bargaining agreement so that lays another layer of complexity to it, but we want to get something that makes sense for both sides. 

On what the Revis problem is…

We have a disagreement on total compensation.  Again, the two things we can agree upon is that he played extraordinarily well and he outperformed his contract, he has three years to go on that contract.  Just to give you a little more detail, the first thing I did for the offseason. The Tuesday after we lost the Colts game we were in Mobile, AL and we called his agent and said we have to get something done.  We have spent more time, more effort, more man hours, [manager, Football Administration] Jackie Davidson, [Director, Football Administration] Ari Nissim, Rex, Woody Johnson, discussing this situation and we're trying to solve the problem and come up with something that works for both sides and again the two things we can agree upon is that he outperformed his contract and has three years to go.  So on those two variables, we need to find out, how we can find a landing spot that works for both sides.

On an offer of being the highest paid cornerback in the league…

I don't want to get into the specifics of the offer because I just don't think that's right.  What I can say though is he has three years to go and we're in a really interesting dynamic with the last year of the collective bargaining agreement, with all the complicated rules.  We've told them multiple times that we're completely flexible to signing bonuses, option bonuses, roster bonuses and how guarantees are done and what we've seen around the league that there's a myriad of ways that things have been solved in terms of how veterans have been extended.  It's hard, it's complicated, but hopefully there's a solution that's good for them and good for us.

On how else the deal could get done…

Well, one of the things we offered was just to get the other side to talk, that was me driving to his house to see him and his agent, Rex Ryan to see him and his agent.  And again, that was just more of our way of saying we appreciate what you've done we're really glad you're a Jet, we want you to remain a Jet for a long time and understand how well you've played, we recognize that.  Here are these other issues, let's collectively move forward and see where we can land that's good for you and good for us.

On if the meeting was rebuffed…

We did not have the meeting.

On the reason for that…

You would have to ask them.

On what else that could be offered…

I try to remain flexible as far as solving problems, and I've done enough deals in my career to know that if you can get an agreement on total compensation that typically, you can solve other problems. You've got to get in a room, you've got to hash it out, you've got to work through these rules that are extraordinarily complicated for all of us. But once you reach an agreement on total compensation, you got the big problem solved and then you can knock out these small ones. It's hard but if you move forward in a collaborative partnership, you can find a solution.  But again, fundamentally, we don't have an agreement until the compensation is agreed on, that is threshold issue we have. 

On how close the two sides are…

That's a very subjective question. Darrelle feels that we're far enough apart that he didn't want to be here. That's a very subjective question and it's hard to answer.

On how much they would offer on a one-year deal…

I just don't want to get into the specifics, but we did offer what everyone here is labeling as a "band-aid." But that didn't work. We felt like we made three legitimate offers, one was a non-financial offer.

On if he is upset at the situation…

No I wouldn't say that.  I am paid to solve problems.  I am really fortunate to have this position and I go into every situation thinking it will work out well.  You go back to Rex Ryan. Rex grew up in the Midwest.  His brother is a lawyer in St. Louis and we were able to convince Rex to come to the Jets.  You look at Brett Favre, Brett was coached by Jon Gruden and he lived 40 minutes away, didn't like New York, knew nobody on our staff, and we convinced him to come.  I'm the eternal optimist.  It doesn't serve the organization well to say, "Here, we're inflexible, we're not going to do anything else."  I'm here to solve problems, we're a great organization, we have great resources, and when that solution will come is hard to say, but it hasn't been because of lack of communication.  They have been great in terms of responding to us.  It's just we have a fundamental disagreement on total compensation.

On if there is a disagreement on what it means to be the highest paid cornerback…

Once you get through total compensation, you have to look at three-year money, four-year money, all the other ancillary issues that come along after that.  But again based on my experience and history, most problems typically are solved once you get through obviously the threshold of total compensation.

On if he is putting a "full-court press" on the Revis negotiations…

I wouldn't characterize it as a full court press.  I would say that since the Tuesday after we lost to the Colts [in the AFC Championship Game], we have reached out proactively to address this situation.  We're going to continue to work on it until we can get it solved.  There have been ebbs and flows, but we are not standing here today because of a lack of communication or a lack of effort on our part or their part.  Again, if you look at all the other things we have been able to accomplish from all the trades and all the signings, we did at various times pursue alternatives to improve the team, but this was the first thing we tried to address after the season.  

On if his two offers to Revis were 'take it or leave it' offers…

That's really not my style to say that it's the last offer.  I don't believe in that philosophically.  I will say that we felt those two offers were substantial offers, they were fair offers, but I don't like to make characterizations like that.   

On if Revis is willing to have Revis sit out for all of training camp…

You would have to ask [Revis] that. 

On if guaranteed money is a pressure point in the negotiations…

We don't have an agreement on total compensation.  We have told them repeatedly that we have flexibility on all the other deal points.  I think once we get over the hurdle of total compensation, based on my history and experience, usually there is a landing spot there.

On if Revis needs to make the next move…

I don't believe in that [philosophy] either.  I can call them again.  We'd like him here.  He is one of our best players, obviously.  We are a better team with him than without him.  With that said, whatever we wind up doing on a contract, it has to be something that makes sense for both sides.

On if he is willing to make a new offer before Revis' next call…

We always look at different variables.  Maybe there is a third way of approaching this.  I'm not really sure. We're looking at it.  We want to make sure that he is compensated fairly.  We're not looking for a one-sided agreement.   

On if he has dealt with rejections 'across the board' during any other negotiations with a player…

I get rejected a lot [laughter]. 

On if Revis has forfeited the money from the final two years of his contract…

I don't want to get into those details, except to say that him not being here tonight is considered a holdout.  We are going to reserve all the rights that we have.  There are rules and policies in place and we're going to move forward from there.   

On if the holdout fines are in effect…

Yes.

On if he has spoken with Revis directly and if he plans on speaking with him again soon…

I spoke to Revis a few times during the off-season.  I haven't spoken with him in the past few weeks.  I texted him a 'Happy Birthday' a couple of weeks ago, which I try to do with all our players, but I'm not perfect.  I'd be happy to meet with him.   

On if he received a thank you text from Revis…

No, I didn't [laughter].  Like with all the other players, not all of my texts are returned [laughing]. 

On if that is something he would consider as reaching out personally…

We want Revis to be here for a long, long time.  I'm really proud that we drafted him.  He's a good person and obviously a very good player.  If there is more conversation and more people in the room, I'm all for it.  I think we have to look at this in a collaborative, problem-solving way.  I wouldn't say it is a totally unique situation, but it is fairly unique because of the three years [remaining] and how well he's played and being in the last year of the CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement].   

On if he would consider calling Revis in the next 24 hours…

He has agents, so I think from a protocol standpoint, I have to go through his agents.  I respect that process.

On being hesitant to give Revis a big signing bonus…

If you look around the league at, not only contracts that our players have agreed to, but that a lot of other players in the league have agreed to, there are other ways to get guaranteed money, even in this complicated environment that we're in.  We have signed plenty of players with similar structures.  I think one of the attributes of being a good negotiator is being a good listener.  Every player is a little bit different.  Some want more risk, some want more upside.  That's what makes the world go round.    

On if Woody Johnson has given him any parameters in regard to limitations in contract offers….

I think the easiest and most logical way to answer that question is, the economically easiest way out would have not been to approach D'Brickashaw Ferguson and reach an agreement and not to approach Darrelle Revis at all.  Obviously, by doing those things, we have the resources firmly in place to remain competitive.  Resources have never been a problem for us.  This is an issue fundamentally about, having a good faith disagreement on what total compensation should be.

On not giving big signing bonus money right now…

As I communicated to them, we are flexible on all those other issues.  Once total compensation is in place, you can move forward.  When you talk to 10 players, five may say, "Well, I want my contract to look this way" and five may say, ["I want my contract to look that way."]  We just went through that with Kyle Wilson.  I think Wilson really likes his contract.  It may be a little different than what Dustin Keller's [contract] looks like, but I think Dustin Keller and Kyle Wilson are both happy with their contracts.  They were both picked in the same part of the draft. 

On if he has had contact with Revis' agents today…

No, I have not spoken with them today.  We had the conditioning run and the drive up here.  This is not about, "No one is calling each other."  We reached out to him on the Tuesday after we lost to the Colts down in Mobile [Alabama].  We have talked to them frequently.  That is not the issue here.  It's not any of the schematics or anything like that.  It's just a disagreement on the amount of money.  

On if this situation dampens the rest of the preseason…

Yes.  I am disappointed that he is not here, but that's his prerogative and, running the team, we have to do that in a responsible fashion.  So, sure, we want him here and, hopefully, there will be a landing spot sooner rather than later.  I am not happy he's not here and we are going to keep working hard finding that solution.  Hopefully, it's sooner rather than later.         

On if yesterday was the last day he contacted Revis' agents…

Yes, I believe so.  Or maybe Friday night.

On if Friday night was the most recent time Revis' agents rebuffed an offer…

Yes, I believe it was. 

On if he sees a circumstance where Revis comes into camp without a new agreement…

That's a question you would have to ask him.  I don't know.

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