The Darrelle Revis contract saga ratcheted up in intensity today, with Revis continuing to publicly complain about his situation and even admitting to sitting out a few plays during the team's first mini-camp practice in a show of defiance about his contract.
Revis is due to make $1 million this season and has been promised by the Jets that he'll soon be rewarded with a contract that will make him the highest paid cornerback in the NFL. But the deal hasn't been made, and until it does, Revis is making it clear he won't be satisfied until the contract is signed.
After sitting out a few plays late in practice, Revis told reporters that he felt light headed and was bothered by a hamstring strain. But he later admitted that he was trying to make a statement by sitting out.
"You just let them know, 'I can play, or I cannot play,'" Revis said. "It's about loyalty. You tell your guys you're the best [defensive] player in the league, you're our No. 1 priority. [But] you're not showing loyalty in keeping your core guys. You want to build a dynasty, you've got to start being loyal to some of your players who are loyal to you on the field and playing the best they can."
Revis apparently caught head coach Rex Ryan unaware about his mini-camp mini-protest. When I asked Ryan about it in the press conference, he said he had no problem with Revis sitting out a few plays if he didn't feel up to it. Revis had not told Ryan that it was related to the contract situation, and Ryan said he'd speak to Revis before today's afternoon practice.
"I'll have to talk to Darrelle, and we'll see what's out there," Ryan said. "If his situation is that he's got something on his mind and he's not focused 100 percent, I don't want him out there. I don't want to put anybody in jeopardy."
Revis is looking for a deal that exceeds Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha's three-year, $45.3 million contract he signed before the 2009 season. Asomugha contract pays his him $16.2 million this season, and Revis wants at least that much in his new deal.
"The Raiders did that [contract] for a reason," Revis said. "They said, 'Let's take care of our star player. We want him to be here for a long time. They showed their loyalty to him."
Asomugha's contract far exceeds the other highest paid cornerbacks in the league by more than $5 million a year. Philadelphia's Asante Samuel and Atlanta's Dunta Robinson make $9.5 million a year, Nate Clements of the 49ers makes $9.1 million, and Denver's Champ Bailey makes $9.0 million.
But Revis doesn't want to join that second tier. He wants to be No. 1.
"[Asomugha's] number, that's the number," Revis said. "He set the bar. If I'm fighting to go over that, that's what it is."