New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Woody Johnson: Revis will be on the field in 2012
Woody Johnson wouldn’t delve into specifics regarding his star cornerback’s current contract Wednesday night, but the Jets owner didn’t seem too worried about another training camp holdout by Darrelle Revis.
Johnson declined to say whether the organization is willing to rework the cornerback’s frontloaded four-year deal, which earned Revis $32.5 million the past two seasons, but leaves him with just $13.5 in 2012 and 2013 combined.
“I can say this,” Johnson said at a Met Life Stadium even this evening. “Darrelle Revis is a very important part of the New York Jets. We drafted him, so we know exactly how good he is. And we respect his talent. He’s an integral part of the team. He’s been great at all of our practice, he’s respected by his teammates. But we make a policy: we don’t talk about contracts. Maybe (general manager) Mike (Tannenbaum) can give you more insight into the specifics of anything that might have to do with a contractual situation. But I expect Revis to be playing for us in 2012.”
An hour of so before Johnson was to be honored for his support of substance abuse treatment by Daytop New Jersey, the Jets team owner discussed several topics, including “Hard Knocks,” ticket sales and Tim Tebow. But Johnson was far more guarded when discussing Revis.
The Jets cornerback – who missed the entire 2010 training camp and four preseason games before agreeing to a four-year, $46 million deal – became agitated last week when peppered by questions about an impending second holdout.
Revis, when asked if there still are lingering issues between him and the Jets' front office, said:
“If something’s lingering, you will find out,” he said last Thursday, referring to issues between him and management. “If something lingers, you’ll find out. It’s going to be written. It’s going to be in the paper. I’m telling you, I’m getting ready for the season.”
Johnson, however, said he wasn’t worried about the drama that could ensue if Revis does decide to hold out again.
“I don’t really get concerned before I have to be concerned,” the Jets owner said. “So all those questions, I’d leave to Mike. But I expect that Darrelle will be on the field in 2012.”
When the details of Revis’ current deal were publicized, it seemed a contract impasse might very well be on the horizon. But Johnson said he always anticipates the best, and doesn’t look for potential problems.
“We’re trying to build a whole team,” he said. “We have a lot of things that we have to put together to build a winning team. It’s not just one player – albeit an important player. We have 53 players, 53 people that are going to make the team and everybody has a different situation. And we’re trying to make it all work.”
Other notes from tonight:
* Johnson said he was introduced to Daytop New Jersey, an organization that delivers “comprehensive substance abuse treatment and education program to male and female adolescents,” by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Johnson said he visited the facility last month and met with participants, ages 17-19.
“I was really taken, not only by them, but also what Daytop has managed to accomplish,” he said. “It’s something like 80 percent success rate. They say it’s higher. It’s hard for me to believe. It’s so far superior to anything I’ve ever heard of in terms of drug treatment.
“…The best thing you can do is help kids.”
* Johnson said he is interested in doing “Hard Knocks” in the future.
However, he, Tannenbaum and head coach Rex Ryan collectively agreed that the timing wasn’t “as great as it could have been” to do “Hard Knocks” this season.
“We just did it No. 1…” said Johnson. “And I’m happy for the Dolphins. I think they’re going to have a lot of fun with this, and enjoy the experience. It was great for us. The audience got a unique view of the New York Jets that they never had before.”
But this time around, publicity isn’t a huge priority.
“The fact that we already did it was a big part in our decision,” he said. “We didn’t want to dominate it. We have a lot of things to accomplish. Our season wasn’t what where we wanted it to be last year. So I think we have a responsibility as much as we can to focus on that. This (“Hard Knocks”) I don’t think would have been a huge distraction but still, we wanted to give it to somebody else.”
* Johnson said Jets’ ticket sales are “great.”
“We’ll be sold out. I guarantee it,” he said. “I don’t want to be like Joe Namath, but I guarantee we’ll be sold out. We’re doing very well. Between now and the season is when you completely sell out. I’m extremely positive.”
So is Tim Tebow the reason? Johnson’s not so sure.
“I think it’s hard to dissect whether one thing is a cause of another,” he said. “I think there’s a general excitement when they look at the coaching changes and the players we picked up andf the players that are coming back. If you see our defense, you have to be pretty amazed at what we got. I think we’re loaded on defense. And the offense is going to be good too.”
* Asked specifically about Tebow, Johnson said it’s hard to say what impact, if any, the Jets’ new backup quarterback has had on the team and the organization.
“We’re looking at all 53 guys all the time,” he said. “…It’s really a locker room that decides what impact he’s had. And I don’t have any way to know that.”
* Johnson clearly is stoked about the Jets' defense.
"If u see our defense, you have to be pretty amazed at what we've got," he said "I think we’re loaded on defense. And the offense is going to be good too.”
As you can see, Johnson wasn't as effusive in his praise of the offense. But it's still early in the offseason, so Tony Sparano and Mark Sanchez have plenty of time to wow their owner.