- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Next week's mandatory minicamp? Check. Darrelle Revis said he's planning to attend even though he's not happy with his current contract. Beyond next week is a different story, as the New York Jets' star cornerback didn't rule out the possibility of a training camp holdout.
Revis, commenting Thursday for the first time since his one-day boycott of voluntary practices last week, also spoke cryptically about his plans if he still doesn't have a new contract by the start of the regular season.
"You'll know. It's not going to be hidden," he told reporters after practice. "... If things are not the right way, I need to sit back and view my career and see where I need to go from here."
By then, his options would be to request a trade or sit out the season, which is highly unlikely.
The easygoing Revis insisted he's not angry about the seemingly slow pace of negotiations, but there was a noticeable edge in his tone. He remained adamant about wanting to become the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, overtaking Nnamdi Asomugha ($15.1 million per year) of the Oakland Raiders.
Revis revealed that he has received an improved offer from the Jets, but it was rejected because he's "still not comfortable" with the total package. According to a league source, the Jets' initial offer included no guaranteed money, prompting him to skip practice last week.
Revis is believed to be seeking in excess of $16 million per year, comparable to Asomugha's average for 2010 and 2011. Asked if he's hell-bent on becoming the highest-paid corner, Revis replied, "Why wouldn't I?"
The Jets, he said, promised him a new deal as soon as last season ended.
Interestingly, there's language in Revis' current contract that could hurt his leverage. If he stages a training camp holdout, he would void $20 million in guarantees -- the combined total of his 2011 and 2012 salaries. He wouldn't forfeit the salary, just the guarantee -- a huge risk.
Revis said he'd have to decide whether "to let that money go and fight for something bigger or play it safe and go to camp." He's due to make $1 million this season, the fourth year of a six-year contract. Technically, the deal voids after the season, but the Jets will buy back the last two seasons for $5 million and $15 million, respectively.
Some believe the Jets are stalling because owner Woody Johnson has tightened the purse strings amid labor uncertainty in the NFL. That, too, has crossed Revis' mind.
"Not just us, but a lot of teams might be cheap this year because they don't know what's going to happen in the future with a lockout or not," he said.
Revis all but challenged the front office to re-sign the "Core Four" of veterans, which includes center Nick Mangold, linebacker David Harris and left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Mangold, upset with his negotiations, said Thursday there's a "50-50 chance" he will skip the minicamp.
"The Jets need to pay their guys," Revis said. "There's a lot of us in line right now. ... It's up to them to choose who they want to pay and who they don't want to pay."
The front office has budgeted enough money to sign all four players to long-term contracts, according to league sources. But having a budget and executing the deals are two different things.
In the meantime, coach Rex Ryan continued to rave about Revis, claiming he could have a Joe Namath-type impact on the franchise. Yes, he really said that, providing more ammo for Revis' agents.
"He's going to be a Jet forever," Ryan said. "If he's here long enough, which I anticipate he will be, will he go down as the best football player in New York Jets history? He's going to go down as one of them. I know about Joe Namath and all that, but this guy has that kind of ability."
GM Mike Tannenbaum must cringe every time Ryan opens his mouth.
There was an un-Revis-like moment in Thursday's practice, when he was beaten deep by Jerricho Cotchery -- a rare occurrence. Coaches and players seemed almost stunned, and Revis was fuming -- testimony to his competitiveness.
"You could see the steam coming off his helmet," Ryan said.
If the negotiations continue to drag, the Jets will see a lot of steam from Revis.
1dESPN Stats & Information