- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- The two sides decided to make nice. Now they will try to make a deal -- quietly.
"Both parties have had conversations to clear the air and will continue to negotiate with the hopes of reaching an agreement," they said in a joint statement. "From this point forward, all discussions regarding these negotiations will remain confidential."
It was an abrupt and curious end to a war of words that escalated early in the week, when Revis' representatives said the Jets are "blatant liars." Coach Rex Ryan fired back, saying the agents are a "blatant joke." He all but mocked their negotiating tactics, proposing a Town Hall-style bargaining session in the presence of the entire team.
By noon Thursday, both sides were on lockdown. Ryan, whose lexicon doesn't include the phrase "no comment," refused to address the matter. Asked about his All-Pro cornerback, the talkative Ryan looked at the Jets' public relations director, turned back toward reporters and said: "Can't talk about it."
For the first time in weeks, Revis' agents didn't return calls for comment.
Why the sudden change?
Perhaps the Jets decided to shut it down after being criticized for waging a public-relations campaign that included a media blitz by owner Woody Johnson, who made ominous statements about Revis' chances of playing this season. On Wednesday night's debut of HBO's "Hard Knocks," GM Mike Tannenbaum painted a grim picture of the negotiations.
But it's possible that Revis called for an end to the mudslinging after watching the "Hard Knocks" episode and seeing his teammates and coaches at camp without him, according to a person close to the Jets' defensive star.
Presumably, the public posturing -- and acrimony -- is over. Now the question becomes whether the two sides can hammer out a deal.
The Revis camp says he won't report to camp until he receives a new deal; he's refusing to play for the $1 million he's due to make this season. He's seeking $16 million per year, which would make him the highest-paid cornerback in the league by surpassing the three-year, $45.3 million extension Oakland's Nnamdi Asomugha signed last offseason. Revis has not commented publicly since minicamp in June.
The All-Pro cornerback has missed 12 days, including Wednesday, since the team reported for training camp at SUNY Cortland.
The Jets reportedly have offered $120 million over 10 years, although it's unclear how much of that is fully guaranteed -- a major sticking point, according to the Revis camp. Because Revis still has three years remaining on his current deal, the Jets are taking a hard-line stance, refusing to yield to what they believe are outrageous demands.
"We will not be bullied by anybody," Ryan tells Johnson and Tannenbaum in a conversation on "Hard Knocks."
And so the soap opera continues. Several players said they supported Ryan's unorthodox idea to have Revis & Co. meet with the entire team, but Braylon Edwards wasn't one of them.
"I wouldn't be open to that," the wide receiver said. "Once you do something like that, it means somebody is bigger than the team. I love Revis to death, and I have no problem with his situation and what's going on ... but in terms of taking the whole team to see Revis, I feel like that makes someone above the team. So I wouldn't agree."
Safety Jim Leonhard offered a different perspective, saying, "That's how Rex handles business. He wants everything to be open, out in the air."
Reminded that Ryan said he'd cancel practice to hold such a meeting, Leonhard said, "We're sending out mass text messages to Revis, trying to get this done -- maybe about eight hours on a two-a-day."
Offensive tackle Damien Woody was all in favor of such a meeting.
"If I could send a message, it would be: Come on up here," Woody said. "He can just come on up and we'll meet at some restaurant or wherever the case is. Having practice off, yeah, that would be pretty sweet."
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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