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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Kendall not being muzzled

General manager Mike Tannenbaum said on WFAN radio Tuesday that the Jets haven't told unhappy guard Pete Kendall to keep quiet about his complaints with the organization.

"We're not asking Pete to shut up," Tannenbaum said. "He can say what he wants to."

Kendall hasn't been shy about expressing his displeasure with the team, which has turned down his request to increase his salary from $1.7 million to $2.7 million. He has also said repeatedly that he would like to be traded or released.

When asked about Kendall's future with the team, Tannenbaum responded, "At the end of the day, the best players are going to play. He's on the team, he's practicing hard. ... The best players will be here."

Houston not an option

Despite the Jets' current lack of depth at running back, coach Eric Mangini said he hasn't spoken with Cedric Houston, the running back who quit the team just before training camp.

"I respect the decision he made," Mangini said, indicating that it was Houston who chose to cut ties, not the Jets.

"That's something that he decided," Mangini said, "as opposed to us at the time saying, 'We're changing directions.' "

Why so many injuries?

The Jets have had several injuries over the past 10 days, including Jones (strained right calf), cornerback-kick returner Justin Miller (hamstring) and backup free safety Eric Smith (hamstring). Mangini was asked if he might reassess the team's strength and conditioning program because of this.

"I don't think having injuries at a certain time causes you to assess it at that point," the coach said. "Sometimes I think that just happens, where you get that block of injuries in one period."

-- J.P. Pelzman

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Corner's holdout seems all but over

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

By J.P. PELZMAN

STAFF WRITER

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- As the Jets were closing in on finally signing first-round draft pick Darrelle Revis, Mike Tannenbaum was asked how long the cornerback's contract would be.

"It's about 50 pages," he said with a smile Tuesday night.

But the Jets' general manager declined to comment on how many years the contract would cover as he took a short break from the ongoing negotiations, which appeared to be in the home stretch. Revis was expected to be signed Tuesday night or early this morning.

Tannenbaum said, "We've made substantial progress and I'm optimistic. We have some more work to do, but I'm optimistic."

Tannenbaum's and Revis' representatives, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, met Tuesday morning and continued talking throughout the day. Revis' contract impasse was driven mostly by the fact that the Jets were seeking an ironclad six-year deal to prevent Revis from being a free agent until after the 2012 season, while Revis and his representatives wanted a five-year contract.

"Neil's here and we're committed to seeing this thing through," Tannenbaum said. "Barring something unforeseen, hopefully we'll have a resolution soon."

Revis' agents believed the marketplace for Revis, the 14th overall selection, had pretty much been set by the fact that only one selection lower than No. 5, 10th overall pick Amobi Okoye of the Texans, had signed a six-year deal. And Okoye's deal is easily voidable, according to reports.

Revis has missed 21 practices plus the preseason opener against Atlanta. Tannenbaum said that it was "premature to say that" Revis could be on the practice field today at 2 p.m., but added that "it could happen. It's certainly a possibility."

St. Louis signed Nebraska defensive lineman Adam Carriker, who was taken in front of Revis at No. 13, to a five-year contract. It is reportedly worth $12.8 million and Carriker could earn more than $14 million with incentives. More than $9 million of it is guaranteed.

Florida State linebacker Lawrence Timmons, the 15th overall pick, signed a five-year deal with the Steelers that could be worth more than $15 million with incentives. It includes just over $8 million in bonuses.

Earlier in the evening, a source indicated Schwartz also believed that "significant progress" was being made in the contract talks, which had been stalled for more than two weeks before heating up Monday and Tuesday.

While Tannenbaum refused to divulge any details, he said that the contract would be "good for Darrelle and good for the Jets."

He also noted that Ari Nissim and Jacqueline Davidson of the team's football administration department had helped to come up with the creative solution.

"I'm really fortunate to work with two smart people upstairs," he said.

The Jets traded up 11 spots to select Revis, who was expected to compete with David Barrett and Justin Miller to start at right cornerback opposite left corner Andre Dyson.

Miller currently is sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Dyson said Monday he believed Revis could get up to speed quickly once he arrived.

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First-rounder, Jets close to making deal

Revis and Gang Green start to turn corner

BY RICH CIMINI

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Wednesday, August 15th 2007, 4:00 AM

amd_jets.jpg

Darrelle Revis, a highly regarded cornerback from Pitt, has missed 19 days of training camp and 21 practices.

With about six minutes remaining in the Jets' preseason opener last Friday night, GM Mike Tannenbaum called one of Darrelle Revis' agents, already in attendance at Giants Stadium, and invited him downstairs to talk in Eric Mangini's office. It broke the stalemate in negotiations and sparked five days of intense discussions, which culminated yesterday with a marathon session.

As of last night, the Jets were close to finalizing a contract with their first-round pick, ending the team's longest rookie contract dispute since Keyshawn Johnson's 24-day standoff in 1996. Revis, a highly regarded cornerback from Pitt, has missed 19 days of training camp and 21 practices. Unless there's a last-minute snag, he will be on the practice field this afternoon at Hofstra. It was unclear whether he would play Friday night against the Vikings.

"We've made substantial progress and I'm optimistic," Tannenbaum said last night. "We're committed to seeing this thing through. Barring something unforeseen, we should have a resolution soon."

Revis' two agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, echoed Tannenbaum's optimism in a statement released by the team. They were planning to pull an all-nighter at the bargaining table, if necessary. Chances are, both sides will sleep on it and sign the deal today.

Only one other pick remains unsigned, Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell, No. 1 overall.

There was no confirmation on the length of the contract, a major sticking point, but it's believed that five- and six-year proposals were still on the table. The Jets had been holding out for six years, the maximum for players chosen in the top 16. (Revis was 14th.) The club apparently softened its stance Monday night, when Tannenbaum huddled with owner Woody Johnson to brief him on the negotiations.

Yesterday, Revis' Rockland-based agents arrived at Weeb Ewbank Hall around 8:30 a.m., prepared for a long day of meetings with Tannenbaum. By early afternoon, word had leaked that they had made significant progress. Tannenbaum said the two sides discovered a creative solution to their differences. The contract likely contains a unique structure that helps the Jets, who didn't want to surrender the sixth year.

The breakthrough comes at a critical time for the Jets, who are counting on Revis to be an immediate contributor. He will compete with Andre Dyson, David Barrett and Justin Miller for one of two starting jobs. If the dispute had lasted another week, it would've jeopardized Revis' ability to make an early impact. Even now, he'll be hard-pressed to catch up. The Jets traded up 11 spots for Revis, giving up first- and second-round picks, so they expect big things.

For that reason, the Jets' objective was to sign him for six years, keeping him away from free agency until 2013, but their bargaining position was hurt by the current market. The 13th and 15th choices, the Rams' Adam Carriker and the Steelers' Lawrence Timmons, respectively, signed five-year contracts. The other picks from 10th to 16th signed six-year deals that void to five via easily attainable incentives. The Jets have long been opposed to voidables.

Carriker got $9.4 million in guarantees, meaning Revis should come in slightly below that on a five-year deal.

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From Rich Cimini's Blog

(This was posted late last night!):)

Expect Revis to Practice Tomorrow

This is my fourth post today, which might be some sort of record, but I want to keep you folks up to date on the Darrelle Revis situation. So here goes:

At 8:17 tonight, GM Mike Tannenbaum walked into the press room at Hofstra and reiterated what he had said earlier in the day to the talking heads on the radio. He said the two sides have made

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With Jets' Jones Out, Houston Enters the Conversation

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Running back Thomas Jones has an injured calf, but expects to be ready for the season opener.

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By KAREN CROUSE

Published: August 15, 2007

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., Aug. 14 — When Jets tailback Thomas Jones crumpled to the turf with an injury to his right calf muscle during practice Sunday, some of his teammates said they thought of Cedric Houston, the running back who abruptly left the team on the eve of training camp.

Cedric Houston left the Jets before camp. He averaged 3.3 yards a carry last season.

They were not the only ones. In Houston’s hometown, Clarendon, Ark., Lynette Houston heard that Jones had been hurt and immediately called her son Cedric. She said he had returned to Knoxville, where he starred at Tennessee, to weigh his options.

“Ced,” she said she told him, “That was your opportunity right there.” His response, she said, was a dispassionate, “Well.”

Recounting the conversation during a telephone interview Tuesday, Lynette Houston laughed ruefully, saying, “I don’t know what Ced has in his mind.”

If Houston, who averaged 3.3 yards in 113 carries last season with one start, had stayed for camp, he might have been in the starting lineup for the Jets, who play host to the Minnesota Vikings on Friday in their second preseason game. In Tuesday’s practice, Leon Washington, who started eight games last year, was the only running back who stood out.

“When Ced left home for New York, he had high hopes,” Lynette Houston said.

If Houston had fallen out of love with football, his mother said she was not aware of it. She said that during the off-season, she watched him carefully monitor his diet, eschewing red meat for fish. She said he appeared to be in great shape and was in good spirits when he left for New York a few days before the July 26 reporting date for camp.

The first indication she received that Houston was unhappy was when he called her on the eve of camp and told her he was done.

“Done with what?” she said, to which she said he replied, “Done playing football.”

“He can tell me that until he’s blue in the face, and I won’t believe it,” Lynette Houston said. “The way he did it, it doesn’t make any sense. I wish he would go back. I believe he needs football. He’s got to be bored.”

She said that when she asked her son what he planned to do, he talked about completing work on his degree in sociology. Lynette Houston said he did not sound as if he was entertaining any second thoughts about leaving football.

“He says he is fine,” she said. “I tell him as long as he’s not doing drugs or getting into trouble, I’ll support him in whatever he does. If he does have second thoughts, I’m hoping he’s not too proud to go back and admit he made a mistake like that.”

Jets Coach Eric Mangini said he had not spoken to the 25-year-old Houston since he left. In the wake of Jones’s injury, he was asked if he would consider reaching out to Houston to see if he had any interest in coming back.

“We’re always open to any possibility,” Mangini said. “But with that, those are personal decisions, and I respect the decision he made.”

At least one player on the Jets has called Houston to see how he was doing and received a text message back from him saying, “I’m fine.”

Jones is also said to be in good spirits. “He’s confident that he’ll be ready to go for the first game,” Jones’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Rosenhaus confirmed that the injury was a strained calf muscle. The Jets, who open their regular season at home against the New England Patriots on Sept. 9, have refused to address Jones’s condition beyond saying it involves his right lower leg and that he is working to return as soon as he can.

Calf strains have not been a common malady in N.F.L. training camps this year, except for the Giants, who have had three players sidelined with them. Fatigue, improper stretching and dehydration are among the common causes. Jones had not been touched when he was hurt trying to plant his right foot in front of linebacker Brad Kassell during a one-on-one drill.

The injury was not unlike the hamstring pull that cornerback Justin Miller sustained days earlier during an intrasquad scrimmage. The Jets’ strength and conditioning coach, Sal Alosi, is in his first year, but it does not seem he has to worry about experiencing the same fate as the Yankees’ first-year strength coach, Marty Miller, who was fired after four players were sidelined early in the season with hamstring injuries.

“I don’t think having injuries at a certain time causes you to assess it at that point,” Mangini said.

“Sometimes I think that just happens, where you get that block of injuries in one period.”

Next Article in Sports (4 of 27) »

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Don't count on Dillon as Pat answer

Wednesday, August 15th 2007, 4:00 AM

Thomas Jones' calf injury leaves the Jets thin at running back, which begs the question: Will they try to talk former Patriot Corey Dillon out of retirement? Eric Mangini, a former New England assistant, is familiar with Dillon, who rushed for 11,241 yards in his career. But don't bet on a reunion. As of yesterday, the Jets hadn't reached out to Dillon, according to his agent, Steven Feldman. Dillon said during the offseason that he's retiring, and he's still leaning that way, Feldman said. Mangini declined to comment on the prognosis supplied by Jones' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who said Jones will be ready by opening day.... There appears to be no chance of RB Cedric Houston returning to fill out the depth chart. He quit on the eve of camp and Mangini doesn't expect him to have a change of heart. "That was a personal decision and I respect the decision he made," Mangini said. It creates opportunities for a couple of rookie free agents, Danny Ware and Alvin Banks....CB Justin Miller (pulled hamstring) has started jogging. He likely will be sidelined at least another few days. FB Stacy Tutt (foot) and S Eric Smith (leg) remained out. Mangini refused to buy into the notion that the camp injuries are part of a trend. Just happenstance, he said.... Former Jets RB Curtis Martin, who announced his retirement last month, visited camp. He walked on the practice field, wearing a sport jacket, dress slacks and a white baseball cap.

Rich Cimini

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Unsigned No. 1 pick Revis near deal with Jets

BY TOM ROCK

tom.rock@newsday.com

August 15, 2007

Yesterday, the only way Jets fans could see the team's first-round draft pick in action was by purchasing the Madden '08 video game. Today, there's a very good chance that cornerback Darrelle Revis will be on the practice field with his new teammates.

Nineteen days, 21 practices and one game into training camp, the Jets were on the verge of signing Revis last night. General manager Mike Tannenbaum said he and Revis' representatives, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, had been working all day and were close to finalizing a deal.

"We've made substantial progress," Tannenbaum said last night. "We have some more work to do, but I'm optimistic. We're committed to seeing this thing through, so barring something unforeseen, hopefully we'll have a resolution soon."

Earlier in the evening, Tannenbaum, Schwartz and Feinsod had released a joint statement explaining their intent to "meet until an agreement has been reached."

The main point of contention between the two sides reportedly had been the length of the contract. The Jets wanted to sign Revis to a six-year deal; the player wanted a five-year contract. Tannenbaum insisted there were other issues at play, and said the sides had come up with "creative solutions to make this a good situation for both Darrelle and the Jets for a long time." Tannenbaum would not comment on the length of the pending agreement.

The Revis dispute is the Jets' longest since Keyshawn Johnson went 24 days before signing in 1996. The Jets hadn't had a draft pick unsigned for the start of camp since James Farrior in 1997. The Jets traded up 11 spots to select Revis with the 14th pick. He and quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the overall first pick by the Raiders, are the only unsigned first-rounders.

Tannenbaum said it is "premature" to expect Revis on the field today, but "it's certainly a possibility."

Coach Eric Mangini, speaking yesterday before the deal became imminent, said Revis will have to go through the same process all players do when they arrive at camp, including the conditioning run. Then it's time to start learning the Jets' system.

"Some guys can do that extremely quickly, some guys it takes more time," Mangini said. "It's hard to really put one set time frame on anybody."

Earlier in the week, cornerback Andre Dyson said he had to change 85 percent of what he had learned to fit into Mangini's complex defensive schemes last season, and he said he is only now reaching full comfort with the details. Asked if it could take Revis extra time to digest the defense once he arrives, Dyson said he was not concerned.

"When he gets here, he's going to do what it takes and he's going to work hard," Dyson said. "How fast he learns, that just depends on him."

Notes & quotes: Mangini refused to confirm reports that RB Thomas Jones suffered a strained right calf, sticking to his "lower leg" assessment. He also said the team has not contacted former RB Cedric Houston, who left football on the eve of training camp ... Asked what kind of week rookie RBs Danny Ware and Alvin Banks could expect with Jones sidelined, Mangini said, "Busy." ... The Jets signed rookie OL Stanley Daniels ... WR Justin McCareins continues to dazzle. Yesterday he made a leaping catch over Jamie Thompson ... S James Ihedigbo had another interception and is looking like a possible roster-cut survivor ... Unhappy G Pete Kendall nearly became the starter after all when Adrien Clarke, his competition and likely successor at the position, hurt his left shoulder. Clarke later returned to practice.

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Revis, Jets work toward agreement

By ANDREW GROSS

THE JOURNAL NEWS

(Original publication: August 15, 2007)

HEMPSTEAD - The Jets envisioned Darrelle Revis as their starting cornerback and punt returner when they moved up 11 spots to draft the Pittsburgh junior this April. A failure to come to contract terms with the first-rounder has so far delayed those plans.

However, the two sides neared an agreement after marathon talks yesterday, and a deal is expected today, possibly in time for Revis, the 14th overall selection, to participate in the Jets' practice at Hofstra at 2 p.m.

"We've made substantial progress, and I'm optimistic as of right now," Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said last night. "We have some more work to do. We're committed to seeing this thing through, so barring something unforeseen, hopefully we'll have a resolution here soon."

The 22-year-old Revis so far has missed 21 practices, including two intrasquad scrimmages, and the preseason opener. His holdout reached 19 days yesterday since training camp opened July 27.

The dispute has centered on the length of the deal. The Jets had been offering a six-year contract, the maximum allowed for the top 16 picks, while Revis sought the five-year deal that each of the picks from No. 6 on down had received.

"Obviously, he's an extremely talented player," tight end Chris Baker said. "Whenever that situation gets resolved, we'd love to have him here in camp."

It's believed Revis will sign a five-year deal with a guaranteed signing bonus of about $11.5 million. However, Tannenbaum said what he termed a "50-page document" might not get the NFL and NFL Players Association approval in time for Revis to be on the field today.

"It's certainly a possibility," Tannenbaum said. "But I don't want to mislead you and say that's certainly going to happen because of the process that happens once you reach an agreement."

Revis' agent, Suffern-based Neil Schwartz, said yesterday before Tannenbaum addressed the Jets' media that "significant progress" had been made, and he was expecting to work well into the evening with Tannenbaum.

"I'm really fortunate to work with two really smart people upstairs who don't really get a lot of credit, (director of football administration) Ari Nissim and (manager of football administration) Jacqueline Davidson," Tannenbaum said. "I'd say over the last 10 days to two weeks, I've challenged them to come in with new ideas every day to just try to come up with solutions that's good for Darrelle and good for the Jets."

Once Revis does join his teammates on the field, the question becomes how quickly he'll be able to grasp the playbook and earn playing time. The Jets' secondary is somewhat depleted right now with cornerbacks Justin Miller (hamstring) and Drew Coleman (left knee) and safety Eric Smith (hamstring) all sidelined.

Revis did work with the team during the rookie mini-camp, the team's offseason training activities and the June mini-camp.

"Every guy is sort of different," Jets coach Eric Mangini said. "You've got to pass the conditioning run. There's a lot of learning. It's how quickly you recall the information from the spring, how quickly you pick up the new information. Some guys can do that extremely quickly. Some guys, it takes more time."

Notes: Recently retired running back Curtis Martin watched practice from the sidelines. ... Miller, who was hurt in an intrasquad scrimmage Aug. 5, and running back Thomas Jones, who hurt his right calf Sunday, both seemed to make progress yesterday. Miller was able to jog around the field in addition to riding the stationary bike, and Jones began working on the stationary bike after just working on the hand-bike the past two days. ... Mangini still would not discuss the specifics of Jones' injury - which the Jets are classifying as a lower right leg injury - despite his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, telling The Associated Press Monday it was the right calf and Jones would likely be ready for Week 1. "I appreciate you have to ask in light of what was said," Mangini said. "Really, it's the same as I said yesterday."

Reach Andrew Gross at apgross@lohud.com and read his Jets' blog at www.jets.lohudblogs.com.

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Jets day at camp

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

BY M.A. MEHTA

Star-Ledger Staff

PLAYER PROFILE

OL JACOB BENDER

Jacob Bender isn't a narcissist, but he couldn't help but stare at himself the other day.

"It's like a dream come true to watch myself on film in a Jets uniform," Bender said without a trace of arrogance after practice at Hofstra yesterday. "It's just crazy."

Plucked from Division 2 Nicholls State in Louisiana, the 6-6, 315-pound rookie offensive lineman sounds like an overgrown kid at his own personal fantasy camp. Bender, the Jets' sixth-round selection (177th overall), should add some much desired depth along the line.

Bender, who grew up in Mayo, Md., just outside Washington, D.C., is listed as the third string left tackle on the team's unofficial depth chart, but he can also play the guard spot.

"It's been a great learning experience," Bender said of camp. "It was tough at first. They throw everything at you. You got to learn it quick. Then they throw you out there on the field going against (guys) that have been playing the game for a long time."

Thanks to some helpful hints from 10-year veteran Anthony Clement, the rookie has done well thus far. His early progress isn't a surprise for those who saw him in college. Bender dominated at Nicholls State en route to All-American and All-Southland Conference honors.

Despite his past success -- he didn't allow a sack as a senior -- he isn't taking anything for granted.

Right now, he has a single-minded purpose.

"I just want to make the team," he said. "Just work hard. After that, we'll see what happens."

WHO'S HOT

Justin McCareins, who had a pair of long TD catches, had the grab of the day when he leaped over CB Alphonso Hodge to snatch a deep Chad Pennington pass for a touchdown. ... On a day sprinkled with interceptions, DB James Ihedigbo picked off Kellen Clemens' pass intended for Frisman Jackson (who didn't turn around for the throw). ... Clemson rookie WR Chansi Stuckey continued to impress with another solid practice.

WHO'S NOT

CB Andre Dyson was left pointing and shaking his head after a blown coverage led to Pennington's TD pass to a wide-open Laveranues Coles. (Coles rubbed some salt in the wound with a nifty TD jig.) ... Clemens threw a pair of interceptions.

QUICK HITS

RB Leon Washington looked explosive on several cut-back runs. ... Brad Smith looked liked a season wideout, catching a TD pass from Pennington on a nice slant route.

INJURY REPORT

The usual suspects were relegated to stationary-bike duty: RB Thomas Jones (calf), FB Stacy Tutt (left ankle), CB Justin Miller (right hamstring), CB Drew Coleman (left knee), S Eric Smith (right hamstring) and TE Joe Kowalewski (right leg) did not practice.

DEPTH CHART

Quarterbacks Pennington and Clemens have the starter and backup jobs locked up, but the third spot may be up in the air. Multipurpose threat Brad Smith appears to have the inside track, but he has struggled with his consistency behind center in training camp. He rarely stands in the pocket and his first instinct is to run. Veteran Marques Tuiasosopo has had his moments and might get his chance against the Vikings on Friday.

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Barrett focuses on brighter side

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 BY M.A. MEHTA

Star-Ledger Staff

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- If he were an excuse-maker, he'd point to the nagging pain that prompted off-season surgery. If he wanted to justify his subpar play in 2006, he certainly could. But David Barrett feigns ignorance when asked whether the sports hernia he suffered last season hampered his performance.

"Injury?" the veteran cornerback says, shrugging his shoulders with a thin smile after Jets practice at Hofstra yesterday. "I was still playing last year."

Thanks to coach Eric Mangini's cloak of secrecy about injured players, the real impact of Barrett's mangled midsection might never truly be known. His numbers last season, however, tell a revealing story.

Barrett, who signed as a high-priced free agent from Arizona before the 2004 season, started just three games a year ago -- his fewest since his rookie year with the Cardinals in 2000. His 36 tackles also marked his lowest output since his first year in the league.

Barrett, of course, wasn't alone in his struggles at right cornerback. Andre Dyson was a fixture at left corner, but the Jets played musical chairs opposite him, using four starters on the right side -- Barrett, Drew Coleman, Hank Poteat and Justin Miller -- with the hopes of finding an answer to a troubling problem in its secondary.

Then the club drafted Darrelle Revis with the 14th overall pick -- a move that prompted whispers that Barrett -- who will earn $3.6 million in base salary this season -- would be a salary-cap casualty in the off-season.

But the Jets kept him. So far, Barrett's been impressive in camp, taking advantage of injuries to Miller (hamstring) and Coleman (knee) and Revis' 19-day holdout that appeared to be coming to an end last night. The eight-year veteran hasn't spent much time thinking about last year's forgettable season either.

"I never look back," Barrett said. "I don't like to look into the past because that only brings heartbreak and heartache. I just look to the future and better things are going to come."

Barrett will have to fend off Revis, who will be given every opportunity to compete at right cornerback.

He says he's looking forward to it.

"The competition is always there," Barrett said. "You never put your guard down. You've got to always be ready for the next person that's going to come in make you work harder. You've got to always go out there and compete in whatever you're doing."

Barrett said he didn't take the club's choice to draft the dynamic Pittsburgh cornerback in the first round as a personal affront. He even offered "to show (Revis) the ropes and help him out as much as I can" when he comes to camp.

Just how much help Revis will need to shake off the rust remains to be seen. Mangini admitted he "doesn't ever remember thinking about" rookie holdouts during his days with the Patriots. The coach said yesterday that he didn't know how much time Revis would need to get ready to play.

"Every guy's so different," Mangini said. "You have to pass the conditioning run first and foremost (and) the physical. There's a lot of learning -- how quickly you recall the information from the spring (and) pick up the new information. All that stuff will weigh into it. Some guys will do that extremely quickly. Some guys will take more time. It's hard to really put one set time frame (on it)."

Either way, Barrett won't lose any sleep. He's happy honing his skills in practice every day against a formidable wide receiving corps. Barrett has set plenty of personal goals, but prefers to keep them to himself.

"Mentally and physically I feel like I got more knowledge of the game," Barrett said. "I know what it takes to get the job done."

M.A. Mehta may be reached

at mmehta@starledger.com

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Jets, Revis close in on deal

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 BY DAVE HUTCHINSON

Star-Ledger Staff

The Jets and first-round pick Darrelle Revis are closing in on a deal that could put the prized rookie cornerback in training camp as early as today, according to representatives from both sides.

Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and Revis' agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, negotiated into the night at the Jets' Hofstra University training complex and vowed to keep at it until a deal was done.

"I'm still in the building," Schwartz said last night, returning a phone call at 10:30 p.m. "We've made substantial progress, but we're not there yet. Hopefully we can get this thing done tonight."

It's unclear if it's a five- or six-year deal, which has been the main sticking point in negotiations. The Revis camp wanted five years. The Jets insisted on six. The deal likely includes clauses and incentives to protect both sides in the long-term.

All but one of the first-round picks between Nos. 6 and 16 signed five-year deals, and it's hard to believe the Revis camp would go for six years. But a Tannenbaum proposal to insert a clause that would pay Revis the "franchise tag" salary (the average of the five highest-paid players at a position) for cornerbacks in 2012 if he reaches certain incentives may have lured the Revis camp into a six-year commitment. That number for a cornerback this season is $7.79 million.

"We're looking forward to getting the contract behind us and watching Darrelle start practicing as soon as possible," Tannenbaum said. He added that he and Revis' representatives are working on "creative solutions to make this a good situation for both Darrelle and the Jets for a long time."

Revis, who was expected to challenge for a starting job before the contract impasse, has been a holdout since training camp started on July 27. He has missed 19 days, 21 practices and a preseason game. His holdout is the longest for the Jets since Keyshawn Johnson held out for 24 days in 1996 after being taken first overall.

Revis, drafted 14th overall out of the University of Pittsburgh, was considered the best cornerback in the draft and was the first cornerback selected. He's also an exceptional punt returner. In college, he had 129 career tackles, eight career interceptions and two punt returns for touchdowns in three seasons, all as a starter. There were questions about his speed but on Pitt's Pro Day, he ran a stunning 4.38 in the 40-yard dash and rocketed to the top of many NFL draft boards as the top cornerback.

Revis, 5-11, 196 pounds, is also a physical player who can jam receivers at the line of scrimmage and play tight coverage. He's also expected to be a force in run support.

The Jets traded up 11 spots to get Revis, who was expected to start at right cornerback opposite Andre Dyson. Last season the Jets had a revolving door at right cornerback with David Barrett, Justin Miller, Hank Poteat and Drew Coleman all starting at one point. Poteat, a journeyman, started the final six games.

The Jets' need for a cornerback became even more of a priority this off-season when the Patriots acquired explosive wideout Randy Moss from the Raiders and signed unrestricted free agent Dont

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

BY M.A. MEHTA

Star-Ledger Staff

PLAYER PROFILE

OL JACOB BENDER

Despite his past success -- he didn't allow a sack as a senior -- he isn't taking anything for granted.

Didn't allow a sack? Strange statistic to use. They only threw about four times a game. It'd be pretty tough to allow a sack.

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Kendall not being muzzled

General manager Mike Tannenbaum said on WFAN radio Tuesday that the Jets haven't told unhappy guard Pete Kendall to keep quiet about his complaints with the organization.

"We're not asking Pete to shut up," Tannenbaum said. "He can say what he wants to."

Kendall hasn't been shy about expressing his displeasure with the team, which has turned down his request to increase his salary from $1.7 million to $2.7 million. He has also said repeatedly that he would like to be traded or released.

When asked about Kendall's future with the team, Tannenbaum responded, "At the end of the day, the best players are going to play. He's on the team, he's practicing hard. ... The best players will be here."

Is that it? That in a few weeks MT is going to say Kendall was cut b/c he wasn't good enough to make the team or start?

Lol. You Mike, being a smart dude doesn't mean everyone around you got 3's on their Wonderlics.

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