Darrelle Revis to Jets: 'Just tell the truth'
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Darrelle Revis said he's happy to get a new start -- as well as a new contract -- with the Bucs, but the three-time All-Pro cornerback looked back with some regret at not being able to finish his career with the Jets.
After Monday's introductory news conference at the Bucs' training complex, Revis said that as recently as last week, when he was working out at the Jets' facility, he thought he'd continue to wear green and white.
But Revis said he got a funny feeling from general manager John Idzik when the two met Wednesday in the training room, where Revis was continuing his rehab program after having surgery last fall for a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
"He just asked, did I want to be a Jet?" Revis said in a sit-down interview with three New York-based reporters. "I asked him, 'Why would you ask me that question?' "
Revis said he couldn't remember exactly how Idzik replied, but "just gave me some corporate answer about something else."
The 27-year-old cornerback accused the Jets of not being straight with him about his future. He also lamented that the team didn't engage in serious discussions with his agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, about a new contract that would have kept him with the Jets long-term.
"You just want the truth out of the situation," Revis said. "You don't want to be dangling information or giving you false information. Just tell the truth. I feel like I haven't gotten the truth. Anybody who tells you to your face 'You're going to be a Jet,' but what's the truth out of it?"
Asked if he thinks the team lied about his situation, Revis replied: "I know it's a lie. Not on my part."
Revis said he never thought coach Rex Ryan was leading him astray, but he did point to Idzik as someone who gave conflicting signals.
"The truth is the truth," Revis said. "Just tell the truth, because people want to know what's going on. I want to know what's going on in my career, whether you're going to trade me or not. But whatever you're doing, just let me know.
"I just don't get that part of it, not telling me what you're going to do with me when I come to ask questions or I say, 'Hey, what's going on?' Or I wake up one day in January, and they say I'm getting traded. No one ever called me."
Revis was referring to a report shortly after the regular season ended that the Jets would consider trading him. Revis said team owner Woody Johnson did not discuss a potential trade with him at any point.
"No, Woody doesn't want to talk to me," Revis said. "He stayed as far away as he could."
Revis scored a six-year, $96-million deal with the Bucs, making him the NFL's highest-paid defensive back. None of that money, however, is guaranteed.
"The Jets never contacted my agents about a long-term deal," he said. "They never even approached us. The truth is the truth. They can tell you that. It is what it is."
Idzik told reporters Sunday night that he did speak to Revis' agents about a new deal but that the sides were far apart in what they expected on a contract. The Jets finally made the trade Sunday, getting the Bucs' first-round pick (13th overall) this year and a conditional pick that could become a third-rounder in 2014.
Idzik was not immediately available to comment Monday. A team spokesman referred to Idzik's statement to reporters Sunday night that he did want Revis to remain with the Jets.
"It was never our goal to have Darrelle leave the Jets. On the contrary, as I stated before, we wanted Darrelle to remain a Jet for the long term, ideally," Idzik said. "But Tampa reached out. They expressed a sustained and sincere interest in Darrelle. Once we reached a point with Tampa and they presented an offer that we felt merited serious consideration, we discussed it at length internally, and we really ultimately came to the conclusion that this was the best thing to do for the Jets at this time."
Revis said he was disappointed that the Jets essentially gave up on him at such a vulnerable time as his rehab program.
"I feel like they gave up on me, yeah," he said.
At his news conference, Revis said he "felt some type of way" after reports surfaced that the Jets would pursue a trade. "I'm human. I have feelings just like everybody in this room, especially at a time when I was injured," he said. "I didn't know what to expect or what was going to happen going down the road. I felt some type of way when you get information, that the team is giving up on you at a time in my career when I never had an injury like this."
Revis' $96 million deal makes him the highest paid defensive back in the NFL. But unlike almost every other NFL contract involving a marquee player, none of the salary is guaranteed, a hedge for the Bucs in case Revis doesn't return to form after suffering his first major injury.
"The contract is unique," he said. "I know there's no guarantee. It's unique, but it is what it is."Revis would not guarantee he will be ready to play for the Bucs in the much-anticipated season opener against his old team at MetLife Stadium.
But Revis said it was "a blessing how highly this organization looks at me. It didn't happen in New York for some reasons. There are a lot of reasons why not, but I'm here. That's how it's going to be for the next six years. I'm happy to be a Buccaneer."