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Deal for Jets' Darrelle Revis emerged after critical 36 hours

Published: Tuesday, September 07, 2010, 4:59 AM

Jenny Vrentas/The Star-Ledger

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John Munson/The Star-LedgerDarrelle Revis walks into a press conference at the Jets' practice facility Monday after ending his holdout.




Share At 1:08 p.m. Monday, Darrelle Revis took a walk 36 days in the making.

Wearing a black T-shirt and an overgrown beard, with a crew from HBO’s “Hard Knocks” eagerly backpedaling in front of him, the All-Pro cornerback slowly crossed the practice fields at the Jets’ Florham Park facility.

His teammates chanted “Re-vis,” and linebacker Bart Scott led the slow clap from the movie “Rudy” — the cheeky culmination to seven months of gnarly contract negotiations and a protracted contract holdout that, at times, seemed interminable.

“This experience,” Revis said Monday, “humbled me very much.”

In the end, both sides got what they wanted. Revis received a new four-year deal late Sunday night worth a reported $46 million, including $32 million in full guarantees. And after Revis signed his name on the contract Monday evening, the Jets were assured of having their most important player on the field for their upcoming Monday opener against Baltimore.

How did they get there? Only after a sequence of events unfolded during a critical 36 hours over the weekend, turning a stubborn impasse into a deal the Jets and Revis’ agents said worked for both sides.

The contract’s full breakdown, Revis’ agents said, does reflect his desire to be the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback — though they declined to give details.

“I only lost faith in everybody three or four times,” coach Rex Ryan said, “but it was great to see it finally get done.”

Negotiations had dragged on since the AFC Championship Game in January, but the only thing the sides could agree on was that Revis — and his elite cover skills — deserved to earn more than $1 million this season. Several proposals had been exchanged, a media blackout declared when the messy back-and-forth turned public and two fruitless meetings at the Roscoe Diner.

Finally, Ryan and owner Woody Johnson flew to Florida to get their guy. They called Revis’ agents to let them know the plan. Revis’ first thought: “For what?” But he warmed to the idea, agreeing to pow-wow in a conference room on Saturday, joined by his mother, Diana Gilbert, and uncle, Sean Gilbert.

Ryan came smiling, as if he were on a trip to Disney World, Revis said. Johnson came with a message of urgency: Sept. 13. 7 p.m. Baltimore Ravens.

“I think the schedule,” Johnson said, “was one of the more compelling parts of it.”

Johnson also looked directly at Gilbert — a former NFL defensive tackle who once held out for an entire season and then forced a trade — and said he wanted Revis to stay on track for a Hall of Fame career. The meeting lasted three hours, Johnson said, but felt like 20 minutes.

“The one thing I knew for sure when we left,” Ryan said, “both sides knew we wanted to get the deal done. And I think that was big.”

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Arrival of Darrelle Revis means New York Jets must settle for nothing less than Super Bowl

Mike Lupica

Tuesday, September 7th 2010, 4:00 AM

Young didn't need Morris the way he needed Lawrence Taylor, the way the Jets need Revis, who they look at as their LT, the kind of dynamic star on defense who makes it look sometimes as if his team is on a power play.

The Giants still needed Morris in 1986 if they were going to have their best chance to win their first Super Bowl. They knew it, he knew it. He had scored 21 touchdowns the year before and held out until right before the Giants started the '86 season. Little guy had the big hammer, and used it. And got paid. And the Giants won it all.

Now we will see about Revis and the Jets. The Jets paid Revis because they were always going to pay him, because nobody ever thought there would be a better cover corner than Deion Sanders, but Revis already is. The Jets paid Revis because they think they are set up to win it all, even with a second-year quarterback. The Jets finally paid Revis because they know what everybody knows, that they don't have the best defense in the league without him.

So they gave him $32 million guaranteed and who knows how much Revis could have gotten if he'd waited another week? He was the one with the hammer this time and even if he didn't get the crazy money we were hearing about from his side of this, what he got was crazy enough for a guy the Jets already had under contract.

Why did Revis win? Because the Jets think they can. His economics changed because his team's did.

Now we see if the Jets can do even better than they did a year ago. And if Revis can do it again. I was talking to Ahmad Rashad the other day about Revis. Rashad was a wide receiver who once went to four straight Pro Bowls with the Vikings, who used to see the other team's best corner himself. This was Saturday, and nobody knew what Manish Mehta, the Jets guy on this paper, would know before anybody else in the media, that Ryan was on his way to Florida with Woody Johnson to close the deal.

I asked Rashad about Revis' holdout, and how it might affect him when he eventually showed up to play, whenever that was.

"You know who Revis is?" Rashad said. "He's the guy who just shows up, whenever he shows up, and shuts down the other team's best receiver."

Page 2 of 2)

Revis became the biggest star of this NFL preseason - and his team's "Hard Knocks" television show - without ever showing up. Bigger than Brett Favre or anybody else. Revis elevated his profile, obviously, because of the way he played for the Jets last January. But now it is a whole new ballgame for him, because of the holdout, because of the contract, because his team had painted a great big bull's-eye on itself even before he decided he wanted to get paid and wanted to get paid now. With more money always comes more responsibility. Not just the pressure of the place already known as Revis Island.

The pressure of showing you are worth it.

Again, nobody is saying that he is the great Lawrence Taylor, perhaps the best defensive player of all time. At this point in his career, he is only like Taylor in this way: He matters in Ryan's scheme of things the way LT mattered in the scheme of things Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick had for the Giants back in the day.

He allows Ryan to create mismatches all over the field. Really does make it seem sometimes, when Ryan's blitzers seem to be coming from everywhere, that the Jets are playing 12 against 11.

Just because Revis is signed now doesn't mean the Jets go to the Super Bowl. Or even win the AFC East. Or are better than the 9-7 team that got lucky before it ever got hot last January. But for the Hard Knock Jets to do something memorable this season, the defense has to once again be the hardest in the sport. It can't happen without Revis.

He knew it. They knew it. The guys in your fantasy league knew it. The way it ended, Ryan down there in Florida, reminded you of the time when Phil Simms was the high-profile holdout in town, Simms tired of being the Super Bowl quarterback who wasn't close to being one of the top guys in terms of salary at his position. This was before the start of the '89 season.

One day Simms was so sick of the whole thing he had taken his phone off the hook. Parcells sent a Jersey cop he knew to Simms' house, told him to answer his phone, because his coach was going to call in a few minutes. When Parcells did call, he asked Simms what it would take to get a deal done.

Simms told him. Parcells told Simms not to go anywhere, he'd get back to him.

Before the day was out, Simms had his new deal.

Revis was the holdout this time. His deal was a lot bigger than the one Simms ended up getting. But the stakes are exactly the same: Super Bowl. Now we see what Darrelle Revis does with the money on the table

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/2010/09/07/2010-09-07_super_cash_buys_super_pressure.html?page=1#ixzz0yqQKYaf3

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FB Tony Richardson set to rejoin Jets just a day after being cut

04:15 AMYahoo! BuzzShare


RecommendThe Jets' surprising decision to part with starting fullback and locker room leader Tony Richardson on Sunday was apparently just a temporary move.

"We're going to sign him back," coach Rex Ryan said Monday while the team also welcomed CB Darrelle Revis back into the fold. "I know there were a lot of nervous people."

Ryan also said Richardson will be in uniform for the team's Week 1 opener on Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens, Ryan's former team.

"We felt pretty confident we could get T-Rich back," Ryan said, "but there's still the possibility that somebody gets him and convinces him (to go elsewhere). We had to get this deal done quick, so that's what we did."

-- Nate Davis

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Revis' seasoning was silver lining to Jets holdout


Last Updated: 4:40 AM, September 7, 2010

Posted: 3:30 AM, September 7, 2010

Comments: 0 More Print There were some at the Jets' training facility who were able to find silver linings to cornerback Darrelle Revis' 36-day contract holdout, which ended with his triumphant return yesterday.

While Revis was gone, No. 1 draft pick Kyle Wilson started all summer in his place, giving the rookie valuable experience.

"I will say this," coach Rex Ryan said, "There was a positive out of Darrelle not being here and that was getting Kyle ready to go and getting [cornerback Antonio] Cromartie up to where he can play left corner and right corner [his natural spot] and feel good about that.

"That was a lot of pressure to put on a young rookie, although he got tremendous experience with him preparing like he was going to be the starter."

Cromartie said having Revis back will make everything "a whole lot easier."

"We feel like we have the best secondary in the NFL," Cromartie added. "Kyle Wilson gained a lot of experience without Revis being here. It helps out a lot because now he gets [used to] the game speed and he understands a lot more, so when he comes in on nickel package or whatever, he's right into the flow of the game."

As for him getting some experience on both sides at corner, Cromartie said: "I'm just moving back to my side and my island, and [Revis is] going to have his island."


No one was more excited to see Revis with a new contract than center Nick Mangold, who said the cornerback owes him a new car -- and that he's ready to collect.

"Two years ago at the Pro Bowl, [Revis] said, 'If we make the Pro Bowl again next year I'll buy you a car,' " Mangold said. "I said, 'OK.' We were both in Miami last year [at the Pro Bowl] and I said, 'You owe me a new car.' He said, 'Yes, I know. But wait 'til I get my new contract.' I said, 'All right. I'm a patient man.'

"He now has a new contract."

Asked if a Hyundai was all right with him, Mangold said: "Hell no. With the amount of money he got I expect something very fancy."

Mangold said he texted Revis as soon as he heard the news of the new contract to remind him.

"I got an 'LOL' back," Mangold said. "I don't know what that means. I thought it was 'Lots of love,' so I figure I'll get lots of love and a car."


LB Bart Scott on Revis' cover skills: "When you have a guy like Darrelle, you can put him on a guy and that guy doesn't exist. You can say, 'OK, that guy right there, he's not in the game. His guy doesn't exist. He doesn't catch a ball.' I don't even look to that side. If I've got to blitz and I see Darrelle over there, I go do something else. He allows us to do a lot of things. He allows us to open up our playbook."


The Jets named their practice squad: C Robbie Felix, LB Ricky Foley, LB Josh Mauga, DT Martin Tevaseu, S Donovan Warren and WR/KR Larry Taylor.


The only significant injury apparent at practice was S Brodney Pool, who rode the stationary bike rehabbing his injured ankle. . . . CB Brian Jackson was waived to make room for FB Tony Richardson

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/jets/rookie_seasoning_was_silver_lining_xsd6aa45T2Ru4i6zsEaIcO?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME=#ixzz0yqRtzSwn

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Jets coach was reeling over dealing

Jets BlogLast Updated: 7:38 AM, September 7, 2010

Posted: 3:34 AM, September 7, 2010

Comments: 0 More Print Steve Serby

REVIS CORNER, N.J. -- Toward the very end of an agonizing, gut-wrenching, tension-filled, exasperating, roller-coaster saga that had already gone 36 days too long, when it suddenly seemed as if the Darrelle Revis holdout might never end, Rex Ryan lost it.

It was a little after 10 p.m. Sunday, about an hour and 45 minutes before a deal finally was struck, and Ryan was standing by a speakerphone in general manager Mike Tannenbaum's office inside the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, and he was spewing venom at Revis' agents, on the other end of a speakerphone in New York.

"I can't believe we can't get this done. . . . I'm sick and tired of you guys," Ryan barked. "I'm gonna go coach my football team."

Ryan stormed out of Tannenbaum's office and headed downstairs for his office as the GM and Revis' agents plunged ahead. Tannenbaum soon paid his coach a visit.

"You can be upset, but be upset in the building," Tannenbaum said. "Don't leave the building."

Ryan said he paced the halls. The suspense was killing him.

"I even laid down on a couch up in Tannenbaum's office, " Ryan said. "It wasn't very comfortable for me, so I know I'm not gonna be a general manager anytime soon."

Not long after came the final breakthrough. Tannenbaum summoned Ryan back to his office.

"We have something that may work," Tannenbaum said.

And when it worked, there were handshakes and fist-pounds amongst Team Tannenbaum.

Revis, over the speakerphone, asked: "Can I come home now?"

There was laughter, and relief.

"Definitely," either Ryan or Tannenbaum said.

Revis' agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, were drained when it ended.

"It was an exhausting, exhausting process," Feinsod said. "It was very testing of our emotions."

Ryan telephoned his wife and told her: "All right! We finally got this done."

Here's how Ryan got his man:

Ryan and Jets owner Woody Johnson met Saturday with Revis, Revis' mother and his uncle Sean Gilbert over a conference table in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Revis was informed by his representatives as late as Saturday that Ryan and Johnson were on their way to Fort Lauderdale to meet him.

"Why do I need to be at this meeting?" Revis asked them. "I'm not negotiating, I don't do that."

But Revis wanted the Jets and the Jets wanted him.

"The priority was to let him know how much we respect him, how much we wanted him to play and be a Jet, and I think they sensed that," Ryan said. "I also think, looking at Darrelle, he knew, 'It's time. It's time to play.' "

There was immediate chemistry between Gilbert, a former defensive lineman who once held out for an entire year, and Ryan. "He saw me as a football guy, so we kinda hit it off," Ryan said.

They finalized plans on Friday night for a face-to-face summit with Team Revis and left mid-morning Saturday on Johnson's private jet. "It seemed like Woody and Sean really closed the gap," Ryan said.

"We talked about the Hall of Fame a little bit," Johnson said.

Ryan's charisma and passion spoke volumes. "Whatever Rex says, it'll get you a little bit hyper," Revis said.

What did Ryan tell Revis?

"We need to get you up here.

"We need you to play.

"We need to win a Super Bowl."

Is it hard to say no to him?

"I'll say so," Revis said, and smiled his $32-million smile.

Ryan hugged Revis at the end of the three-hour meeting. "We got room on the plane if you want to jump in," Ryan told Revis. "Hope to see ya' in a couple of days."

There was now momentum building towards a resolution. "I think we were excited that we thought that progress had been made," Ryan said.

So was Revis. "I think that was a breakthrough, them coming down," Revis said.

The agents set up a teleconference with Revis and his family.

"There was positive feedback," Schwartz said. "Fences were definitely mended."

The coach and the owner returned to New Jersey that night and passed the baton back to Team Tannenbaum.

Ryan's players were not surprised that Rex got his man.

"I don't know what he said. I'd like to get an audio tape," tight end Dustin Keller said, "but I'm sure he spit something real nice at him."

"He's the ultimate salesman, because you understand when he's talking and he tells you something, he's not gonna tell you something that's for his benefit -- he's gonna tell you how it is, and you either respect him or you don't, but he's gonna be 100 percent honest," linebacker Bart Scott said. "You can believe that if he says something, it's true."

"He's just everyman's guy . . . he's a guy you sit and have a drink with at a bar," center Nick Mangold said. "He's got that commonality . . . everyone wants to be around him. He's just a regular guy when he runs out there that you trust in a fight and know he'd be right there with you."

"When Rex shoots from the hip, then you know where it's coming from," defensive tackle Kris Jenkins said. "Rex has made sure that everything that he's done since he's been here, he's done it like a man should. And it's just a trust that everybody has for him because they know what they're going to get when they see him is what makes him so persuasive."


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Revis welcomed back for Super Bowl quest


Last Updated: 5:52 AM, September 7, 2010

Posted: 3:48 AM, September 7, 2010

Comments: 4 More Print The first moving moment came when Darrelle Revis walked slowly out to the practice field where his teammates were finishing up practice yesterday afternoon.

The reaction was festive, with players bowing and chanting “Revis Christ” and then giving him the business with a slow and steady clap, like something out of the Notre Dame tearjerker “Rudy.”

The next moving moment came when Rex Ryan, addressing the players after practice, told them, “It’s up to us now; we have everything we need.”

Finally, to close out an emotional afternoon, Revis, standing in the middle of a full team huddle, broke practice with a “One, two, three, Jets” chant.

Jeff Zelevansky

JOY OF REX: Rex Ryan yucks it up after finally getting the crown jewel of his No. 1 defense to end his 36-day holdout.

see more videos “I had butterflies,” Revis said, describing those moments. “I didn’t know how my teammates were going to accept me because I hadn’t been here for a month. But after they started chanting my name and it was a good feeling to see the guys and wanting to be around them.

“It was hurting me so bad not to be here, because I didn’t know how my teammates would accept me when I got back. I’m happy this is over with so I can play football again.”

With Revis ending his 36-day holdout and signing his four-year, $46 million deal with some $32 million guaranteed after flying from his south Florida home to New Jersey yesterday, the Jets feel whole again.

“There are no excuses now; we’ve got all our horses now and now it’s time to go out there and make hay, make it happen,” right tackle Damien Woody said.

“We definitely feel like we’re ready to move forward,” cornerback Dwight Lowery said. “Now we’ve got all our weapons. Now it’s about us. We definitely feel whole now.”

Ryan, who made the unprecedented move of flying to Florida with team owner Woody Johnson on Saturday to visit with Revis, his mother, Diana, and uncle, former NFL defensive lineman Sean Gilbert, said he felt relieved after the meeting.

“We felt more confident when we got on that plane heading back that a deal could be reached,” Ryan said. “The one thing I knew for sure when we left was that both sides knew that each other wanted to get a deal done. That was big. All he wanted to do is play. You could tell it in his face he wanted to play. And I think he could see in Woody’s and my face that we wanted him back.”

Revis called the visit from Ryan and Johnson, whom he’d never really sat and talked with before, “a breakthrough.”

“Rex was smiling like he took a trip to Disney World,” Revis said. “I was smiling, too. This experience humbled me, because I love to play football and it was something that was taken away from me that I love to do. I’ve never had anything taken away that I love to do.”

You could hear it in Johnson’s voice that the prospect of playing the season without Revis was gnawing at him.

“The season is upon us,” Johnson said. “The Ravens are the 13th, 7 o’clock, ESPN at our new stadium. That’s a fact of life. There are plays [for Revis] to learn, getting in shape. . . . So I think the schedule was one of the most compelling parts of it.”

After talking tough for weeks about how the Jets would have a great defense even without Revis and that they were still Super Bowl worthy without their best defensive player, Ryan made some concessions, admitting how much of a game-changer Revis is.

“It makes our job a lot easier,” Ryan said. “[Defensive coordinator] Mike Pettine and I already talked about it: We’re better coaches now. [Defensive backs coach] Dennis Thurman is a better coach today than he was yesterday.

“Everybody has got a piece of that puzzle; Darrelle’s just happens to be much larger [than most]. He allows us to do things that we probably couldn’t do if he wasn’t with us.”

As for how much Revis will play in Monday’s season opener, Ryan ratcheted up the sarcasm.

“I do think we may play Revis,” he said playfully. “I’m not sure. I think he might need to practice for several weeks before we play him, but don’t be shocked if he’s out there. . . . In other words, he’s definitely playing. I don’t see him coming off the field.”

That’ll be a welcome sight for everyone in the organization.


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/jets/revis_welcomed_back_for_super_bowl_D9ZorCedvHBc6mp0yZrreK?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME=#ixzz0yqSgo7EJ

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Jets' Richardson returns after risky release


Last Updated: 4:40 AM, September 7, 2010

Posted: 3:36 AM, September 7, 2010

Comments: 0 More Print Tony Richardson went from Jet to ex-Jet to Jet again, all in the span of about 24 very bizarre hours.

The team released the veteran fullback late Sunday night, then re-signed him late yesterday afternoon following the resolution of the Darrelle Revis saga.

The two moves turned out to be related, according to a somewhat confusing explanation offered by the Jets after they convinced Richardson, the popular, 38-year-old veteran, to return for Monday night's season opener against the Ravens.

Richardson's surprise release was thought to be money-motivated because, as a vested veteran, his entire salary this season would have been guaranteed if he was on a roster in Week 1. That guarantee goes away if the vested vet comes back in Week 2.

The Jets had used that loophole recently as an excuse to cut Laveranues Coles and to put off signing Adalius Thomas. Richardson appeared to be the latest vested vet to be caught up in that, especially with impressive rookie fullback John Conner offering the Jets a much cheaper alternative.

But the Jets revealed a much different explanation yesterday, saying they released Richardson in order to keep rookie cornerback Brian Jackson for depth purposes in case Revis did not sign.

When Revis suddenly agreed to terms late Sunday night, Jackson became expendable (he was waived yesterday afternoon) and Richardson was talked into coming back.

Jets coach Rex Ryan admitted his team took a chance on letting Richardson hit the open market, which Ryan said added even more fuel to the club's desire to get Revis in the fold.

"We felt pretty confident we could get T-Rich back, but there's still that chance that somebody gets him or convinces him, so we had to get this [Revis] deal done quick -- and that's what we did," Ryan said.

Although his locker, including personal items, was kept fully intact, Richardson was not at practice yesterday nor available to the media in the locker room afterward.

But tight end Dustin Keller, who is considered Richardson's closest friend on the team, said Richardson told him he wasn't aware of the Jets' thinking at the time of the release.

"Let's just say there were some mixed emotions," Keller said when asked if Richardson was angry Sunday at being released.

As a veteran, Richardson was not subject to waivers and was free to sign with the team of his choice. The pull of the Jets and the chance to win a Super Bowl apparently kept him in the fold, Keller said.

"I felt confident that we could get Tony back, at some point," Ryan said. "So that point is 24 hours later."

Much to the relief of Richardsons' teammates, who embraced his return.

"Definitely, it's a relief," Keller said. "You're talking about the emotional leader of this offense, and everyone knows he's been through thick and thin in this league. If you have a question about anything, T-Rich is your guy."


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Rowdy Jets fans threw beer on teen, punched mom over Tom Brady sign, lawsuit says

BY Jose Martinez


Tuesday, September 7th 2010, 4:00 AM

Mills/Star-LedgerRowdy Jets fans (not pictured) punched and kicked a mom and threw beer at her daughter for waving an "I love Tom Brady" sign at a Jets game, a new lawsuit alleges. Related NewsPats quickly put Colt loss behind themMyers: A loss and Jets will be embarrassing themselvesWelker blows Jets' coverSunday Morning QB: No Pat answersLupica: Tiger is still the biggest sports star in the worldRankings: Top 30 Quarterbacks

Rowdy Jets fans heaved beers at a teen and slugged her mom for daring to wave an "I love Tom Brady" sign in enemy territory, according to a lawsuit.

Randy and Michelle Munoz of upstate Montgomery are suing the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority over the outrageous antics of boozy football fans at a September 2009 game between the Jets and New England Patriots, The Star-Ledger of Newark reports. Brady is the Patriots quarterback.

The couple attended the game with their three kids, but according to their suit in Newark Federal Court, savage Jets fans spoiled the experience. The team's famously rowdy fans pounced on Michelle Munoz, the suit says, and cursed and threw beers at her 14-year-old daughter, Danielle, who wore a Patriots jersey.

The couple claim they warned stadium security about the home team's fans outrageous behavior at halftime, but that officers refused to react because Danielle was a Patriots fan. As the Jets closed in on a 16-9 win, fans punched and kicked the girl's mom for waving her daughter's Brady sign, lawyer Evan Foulke told The Star-Ledger.

Michelle Munoz suffered cervical spinal injuries when she was tossed over a row of seats, Foulke said, but she was not taken to a hospital.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, claiming Munoz continues to suffer "great bodily pain and mental anguish." In addition, the suit says, Randy Munoz has been deprived of sex with his 43-year-old wife.

The allegations are the latest black mark against Jets fans, who previously have been flagged for drunkenly imploring female fans to drop their tops on the ramps at the old Giants Stadium. The suit also names the Giants as a defendant, but not the Jets, The Star-Ledger reported. Spokesmen for the Giants and the sports authority declined to comment.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2010/09/07/2010-09-07_jets_fans_put_pig_in_pigskin.html?r=sports%2Ffootball%2Fjets&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nydnrss%2Fsports%2Ffootball%2Fjets+%28Sports%2FFootball%2FJets%29#ixzz0yqTQRxMV

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Darrelle Revis' surreal life in duffel bag finally ends with New York Jets contract

BY Manish Mehta


Tuesday, September 7th 2010, 4:00 AM

Harbus for NewsA strange 36-day journey brought New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis to Florham, N.J. Take our PollRevis Island returns

With Darrelle Revis back in the mix, how will the New York Jets fare this season?

Revis' standoff with Jets

The man behind the wheel of the white Dodge Charger was rolling along the highway with about 40 pairs of shoes in the trunk.

The streets were empty, the morning silence broken by the sound of two words screaming in his head: "DARRELLE REEEEVIS!"

John Geiger was on the road by 7:30 a.m. Monday, running on adrenaline after four hours of sleep, driving his best friend's car from Pittsburgh to New Jersey, a five-hour trip 36 days in the making. When Geiger's cell phone rang just before 2 a.m. Sunday morning, his best friend made two requests: Can you cancel your flight to South Florida? And can you drive my car to my house?

Darrelle Revis had spent the better part of five weeks in hiding, living in a strange sort of bubble, waiting for his contract impasse with the Jets to come to an end. When it finally did, when Revis agreed to terms on a four-year, $46 million deal that includes $32 million in guarantees, the star cornerback called his buddy.

Geiger, who had absorbed verbal jabs and death threats from strangers who opposed Revis' stance, abruptly cancelled his 6:30 a.m. flight to South Florida, where he had been with Revis for much of the holdout. He went to Revis' family home just outside Pittsburgh, grabbed the keys to his friend's car and loaded it up with a few of Revis' personal belongings. For all the conversations they shared through the years, this definitive one was the shortest of them all.

"You signed?" Geiger asked. "Great. I'm happy as hell for you."

And that was it.

Geiger, who doubles as Revis' business manager, exhaled. The holdout was over.

He hopped in the car and headed east.


Time was running out. The 5 p.m. deadline was fast approaching on Aug. 1. Team Revis knew what they had to do. For all the Jets' talk, for all the superlatives heaped on Revis by Rex Ryan, the All-Pro cornerback still had no new deal. He didn't want to hold out. Not now. Not this year.

The Jets, after all, were built to win it all this year. But he felt he had no choice.

His team - uncles Sean and Mark Gilbert, mother Diana Gilbert and agents Neil Schwartz and Jon Feinsod - felt it was the right thing to do, the only way he would get a new contract. He agreed.

His mother prayed. She prayed that it would work out for her baby. She trusted her brother Sean, who had once held out for the entire 1997 season, would look out for her son like he always had. But Revis was nervous.

Was he making a mistake?

When the deadline came and went, Revis flew to Phoenix to train. Then he went to his home in South Florida. Then his hometown of Aliquippa, Pa. Then back to South Florida

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/2010/09/07/2010-09-07_revis_turns_new_corner.html?r=sports%2Ffootball%2Fjets&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nydnrss%2Fsports%2Ffootball%2Fjets+%28Sports%2FFootball%2FJets%29#ixzz0yqU9rkEm

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Jets notes: Tony Richardson back in the fold

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Record

Richardson out, in

Fullback Tony Richardson, released Sunday by the Jets, will be re-signed today, coach Rex Ryan said Monday. Ryan said the Jets had to release someone Sunday to get down to the 53-man roster limit after they picked up three players on waivers. They also hoped at the time they would get cornerback Darrelle Revis back into the fold.

"The thing is, we felt pretty confident we could get T-Rich back," Ryan said, "but there’s still the possibility that somebody gets him and convinces him [to go to another team]. ... I felt confident that we could get Tony back at some point."

Richardson’s locker hadn’t been cleaned out Monday, providing more evidence that a return was imminent.

"It was jaw-dropping. I couldn’t believe it," tight end Dustin Keller said before Richardson’s return. "He’s our top veteran on offense.’’

Revis fallout

With Revis back, Antonio Cromartie will move back to right cornerback. He had been starting at Revis’ left corner slot. Rookie Kyle Wilson, who had been starting at right corner, will slide back to his originally planned role of covering slot receivers in the Jets’ nickel packages. Rookie cornerback Brian Jackson was waived.

"There was a positive out of Darrelle not being here," Ryan said, "and that was getting Kyle ready to go and getting Cromartie up to where he could play left corner and right corner and feel good about" both.

Practice squad

The Jets still can sign two more players to their practice squad. They already have signed center Robby Felix, linebackers Ricky Foley and Josh Mauga, wide receiver Larry Taylor, defensive lineman Martin Tevaseu and safety Donovan Warren.

— J.P. Pelzman

Richardson out, in

Fullback Tony Richardson, released Sunday by the Jets, will be re-signed today, coach Rex Ryan said Monday. Ryan said the Jets had to release someone Sunday to get down to the 53-man roster limit after they picked up three players on waivers. They also hoped at the time they would get cornerback Darrelle Revis back into the fold.

"The thing is, we felt pretty confident we could get T-Rich back," Ryan said, "but there’s still the possibility that somebody gets him and convinces him [to go to another team]. ... I felt confident that we could get Tony back at some point."

Richardson’s locker hadn’t been cleaned out Monday, providing more evidence that a return was imminent.

"It was jaw-dropping. I couldn’t believe it," tight end Dustin Keller said before Richardson’s return. "He’s our top veteran on offense.’’

Revis fallout

With Revis back, Antonio Cromartie will move back to right cornerback. He had been starting at Revis’ left corner slot. Rookie Kyle Wilson, who had been starting at right corner, will slide back to his originally planned role of covering slot receivers in the Jets’ nickel packages. Rookie cornerback Brian Jackson was waived.

"There was a positive out of Darrelle not being here," Ryan said, "and that was getting Kyle ready to go and getting Cromartie up to where he could play left corner and right corner and feel good about" both.

Practice squad

The Jets still can sign two more players to their practice squad. They already have signed center Robby Felix, linebackers Ricky Foley and Josh Mauga, wide receiver Larry Taylor, defensive lineman Martin Tevaseu and safety Donovan Warren.

— J.P. Pelzman

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ESPNNY's tiny, tiny role in the holdout

September, 7, 2010 Sep 79:36AM ETEmail Print Comments By Rich CiminiWhen Darrelle Revis returned to the New York Jets Monday and met the media, he joked that he felt like Carmen Sandiego over his 36-day holdout. That is a reference to the "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" video game and TV game show in which contestants try to track down Carmen, a villainess.

Revis felt like he was on the run, living out of a duffel bag and traveling between Phoenix (he works out there at a performance facility), Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (where he has a home), New Jersey (another home) and Aliquippa, Pa. (hometown).

Last week, ESPNNewYork.com spent an afternoon in Aliquippa, looking for Revis -- with no luck. But, after a bizzare, almost comical hunt for the Jets' cornerback, ESPNNewYork.com landed an interview with Revis' grandmother, Aileen Gilbert.

Turns out that Revis had been staying at grandma's house during his time (more than a week) in Aliquippa. Gilbert was as gracious as could be, agreeing an interview in her dining room. She said her grandson had left town the day before, but it turns out there may have been another twist in the story.

Here's how Revis described his 36-day odyssey, making himself sound like ... well, Carmen Sandiego:

"Well, you guys know I go to Phoenix, Arizona. Then, I went to Florida. Then, I went to my hometown, where Rich (Cimini) met my grandma. (Laughter.) Then, once I heard he was in town, I had to get out of there like Carmen Sandiego. I was just moving around to places and working out. I had a duffel bag and everywhere I went, I had my workout clothes, and I was just trying to stay in shape until I got the call."

Interesting. If ESPNNewYork.com hadn't gone to Aliquippa, would Revis have stayed longer? Would he have blown off his trip to Ft. Lauderdale, where he later met with Rex Ryan and Woody Johnson for the sitdown that changed the course of the holdout? Would Ryan and Johnson flown to Aliquippa?

Could it be that ESPNNewYork.com's journey to Aliquippa had an effect on the holdout? Other than forcing Revis to take an unscheduled flight, not really. In the end, it came down to two things: The season was getting close and the Jets put more money on the bargaining table ... enough to cover a lifetime of spur-of-the-moment flights.

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More ColumnsEmail Don BanksFollow Don Banks on Predicting the 2010 NFL season Story Highlights

AFC Division winners: Jets, Ravens, Colts and Chargers

NFC division winners: Cowboys, Packers, Saints and 49ers

Bears and Broncos among division cellar-dwelling predictions


Drew Brees and the Saints will try to become the NFL's first repeat Super Bowl champion since the Patriots in 2004-05.

Al Tielemans/SI

A salient point or two that bears noting as we attempt our annual NFL predictions column, as if you really could divine the landscape of the league before its new season even begins...

Sure, the Saints look pretty tough to beat from the vantage point of early September, but you can say the same thing about the defending champion almost every year. Then stuff happens. Count on it.

It's been five years since a defending Super Bowl champ even managed to win a single playoff game the year after getting the big confetti shower and the shiny trophy. The 2005 Patriots did that, winning the AFC East at 10-6 and dispatching Jacksonville at home in the first round of the playoffs. But then they lost in the divisional round at Denver, ending their hopes of a three-peat.

Since then, the 2006 Steelers failed to qualify for the postseason at 8-8, the 2007 Colts lost in their playoff opener at home against San Diego, the 2008 top-seeded Giants got beat by sixth-seeded Philadelphia at home in their first playoff game, and the 2009 Steelers failed (again) to even make the postseason the year after they partied. So consider yourself warned, Who Dat Nation.

Like we did last year, we're going to give you our most prescient guesses for the eight division winners and eight last-place finishers, and stay away from that murky morass in the middle. (Apparently it's easier to pick losers than winners in the NFL, because last year I was 8-of-8 in terms of last-place teams, and just 3-of-8 when it came to the division champs).

We'll even throw in our projection of how the postseason will play out. If you've been paying attention lately, you know I've got the Ravens and Packers playing on Super Sunday, with Baltimore getting the ultimate nod. Last year I went with New England over Green Bay, and missed on both counts. Like we said, stuff happens.

AFC East

First place: New York Jets (11-5)

I don't know how good the Jets can be with their collection of all-stars and their high-wire chemistry experiment, but they'll certainly never bore us. Quarterback Mark Sanchez's year-two development seems to be the key. If he can make defenses respect his arm as much as they do New York's running game, there might just be a ticker-tape parade in the Jets' future.

Last place: Buffalo Bills (2-14)

I think I understand why Bills' sack leader Aaron Schobel said no mas to the notion of returning for a 10th season in Buffalo. As bad as the last decade of Bills football has been, the new one might start off even worse. I can't see how Buffalo generates enough points to stay in games with the Jets, Patriots and Dolphins, all of whom have a decided edge when it comes to star power and playmakers.

AFC North

First place: Baltimore Ravens (12-4)

Last year at this time, Baltimore's challenge was figuring out how to beat Pittsburgh, which had defeated the Ravens three times in 2008. They got it done, but then went 0-2 against the Bengals and lost the division by one game to Cincinnati. But I foresee a Baltimore team that will be the hunted rather than the hunter in the AFC North this year, thanks to an offense that can make up for whatever defensive liabilities might linger in their injury-depleted secondary.

Last place: Cleveland Browns (6-10)

Don't get giddy if the Browns start 2-0 against the likes of Tampa Bay and Kansas City. Their next seven games will provide a reality check: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, New England and the Jets, in the span of eight weeks. Cleveland is better, and maybe even capable of prolonged fits of competitiveness this season. But it's not yet truly in the same league with the Ravens, Bengals and Steelers.

AFC South

First place: Indianapolis Colts (12-4)

I made the mistake last year of believing the Colts were about to take a step back in the division, and then they went out and reeled off a 14-0 start before getting bored with the regular season after Christmas. So I've decided I'm much better off just putting Indy down for its annual 12 wins and then later expressing genuine shock if that outcome somehow does not unfold for once.

Last place: Jacksonville (5-11)

I'm detecting something of an AFC pattern here. As in the AFC East and AFC North, there are three fairly well-respected teams in the AFC South, and then a club that stacks up as fourth-place material in almost everyone's estimation. The Jaguars are so off the radar -- even in their own market -- that's it's hard to gauge their potential upside. They can be very tough to beat, but it's also difficult to see them piecing together a winning season.

AFC West

First place: San Diego Chargers (10-6)

I'm convinced the AFC West will tighten up this year, because Oakland and Kansas City both look improved and the Chargers do not. It'll still be a fifth consecutive division title for San Diego -- and sixth in seven years -- but the talent gap has narrowed. The Chargers' early season schedule isn't too taxing, so in another new twist, they might actually start the season strong.

Last place: Denver (6-10)

The tea leaves I'm reading indicate a trying, adversity-filled year is in store for the Broncos, and the downward cycle started the minute NFL sack leader Elvis Dumervil was lost for the season with a tear of his pectoral muscle early in camp. Looking back, that 6-0 start the Broncos had last year was either mirage-like or a case of a rookie head coach who had the misfortune of setting the bar of expectation too high.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/don_banks/09/07/predictions/index.html?eref=writers#ixzz0ysARHuYw

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Johnson also looked directly at Gilbert — a former NFL defensive tackle who once held out for an entire season and then forced a trade — and said he wanted Revis to stay on track for a Hall of Fame career. The meeting lasted three hours, Johnson said, but felt like 20 minutes.

Sounds like Woody manned-up, and Uncle Sean finally shut up.

Glad they were able to get through to Revis.

The humbling part of this whole thing should have been... its about more than just money.

Revis was so focused on getting paid... but Aso's contract comes with a bigger price tag... nobody will remember him when he is gone. He'll be yet another good player that squandered a career with the Raiders. Woody, Tanny and Rex have built a stage where Revis can get paid, WIN, and leave behind a legacy that goes beyond being the best paid CB in football until someone out-does him next year.

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