Rex Ryan expects to keep Revis
Rich Cimini [ARCHIVE]
ESPNNewYork.com
February 21, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS -- One month after upsetting Darrelle Revis by refusing to kill trade rumors for the star cornerback, New York Jets officials tried to make nice Thursday at the NFL scouting combine, calling him a "tremendous asset" whom they expect to have on the team in 2013.

Coach Rex Ryan said there have been no internal conversations about trading Revis -- but he wouldn't rule out a deal, either.

"Could there be a trade? Yeah, anybody could be traded, but do I expect there to be a trade for Darrelle Revis? No," Ryan said. "But that doesn't mean something couldn't come up.

"We have not discussed trading Darrelle Revis. Darrelle is under contract, and I can't wait to get Darrelle back there. I wouldn't be shocked if he has the kind of year that Adrian Peterson had (after ACL surgery)."

This was a different approach from last month, when Ryan and newly hired general manager John Idzik were noncommittal on Revis, fueling trade speculation that surfaced on the eve of Idzik's introductory news conference.

It stunned Revis, who tweeted he was "speechless." He received an explanatory call from Idzik, but that apparently didn't satisfy him. Revis amplified his displeasure last week in an interview with the NFL Network, claiming the Jets were "rude" to him for failing to provide answers.

Idzik, in his second news conference, shifted into make-up mode. Of course, it may have been posturing. If the Jets intend to trade Revis, they don't want to hurt their leverage by tipping their hand.

"Suffice is to say, Darrelle Revis is a great player," Idzik said Thursday at the combine. "He's a great New York Jet. We're in the business, quite simply, of acquiring, developing and maintaining great players. Darrelle certainly fits that mold. We're happy to have Darrelle as a New York Jet, and we hope to have Darrelle as a New York Jet."

Citing team policy, Idzik declined to discuss whether the Jets intend to sign Revis to a long-term contract. Revis' representatives are Indianapolis for the combine, yet Idzik wouldn't say if he's planning to meet with them.

Revis, who missed most of this past season with torn knee ligaments, is entering the final year of his contract and there's a clause in his deal that prohibits them from using the franchise tag. If the Jets don't extend his deal, they risk losing him for nothing in 2014.

Ryan said no team has approached him expressing interest in Revis, but the situation has created a buzz at the combine.

"He's a great player," Bills GM Buddy Nix said. "Somebody will figure out how to do (a trade) if he becomes available ... There are a lot of people that can finagle (the salary cap). I think they'd figure out a way."

Revis, who's earning $11.5 million per year on his deal, wants to become the highest paid defensive player in the league. That would put him at about $16 million per year, and owner Woody Johnson is reluctant to pay that much, according to sources.

The Jets have a history of acrimonious negotiations with Revis, and they're concerned about their ability to strike what they perceive as a fair deal. With many holes on their roster, they can use Revis as a bargaining chip, perhaps hoping to accelerate the rebuilding process by acquiring extra draft picks and/or players. But they may find it hard to receive equal value in a trade, considering Revis is only four months removed from knee surgery.

Idzik tried to downplay the speculation.

"We've always wanted Darrelle part of our team," he said. "That hasn't changed."

Ryan confirmed that he called Revis after the initial trade reports surfaced last month. He said he told Revis, "Plain and simple, it's not accurate. ... There's no validity to that." Ryan called it "fantasy football."

For all their attempts to squash the trade rumors, Jets officials wouldn't give a definitive answer on whether they intend to lock up Revis for the long term -- which is curious, considering he's a foundation player.

Idzik said their top priority is to make sure Revis, rehabbing in Arizona, is healthy for the season.

"We want to get him healthy, and I look forward to getting him in the building," Idzik said.

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