For nearly a half hour, the new Jets general manager expertly evaded inquiries about the team’s ongoing Revis trade talks with Tampa Bay and whether or not Tebow will be a part of the 2013 quarterback competition. Idzik would only say concretely that he had a “nice talk” recently with Revis and that the Jets would “wholeheartedly support” whatever's best for Revis and his rehab.
The cornerback, who underwent reconstructive knee surgery in October, was forced to leave Arizona (where he was rehabbing) and return to the Jets’ facility Monday for the start of their voluntary workouts, or risk forfeiting $3 million in roster bonuses due to a clause in his contract.
“In the end, we just want what's best for the player,” Idzik said, adding that the team is “pleased” with how Revis’ left knee looks.
Although the GM reiterated the front office will “definitely” consider trades that would benefit the club, Idzik chose not to acknowledge the ongoing communication between the Jets and the Bucs regarding the recuperating Revis.
Idzik said he wouldn’t discuss “any supposed talks, or true talks” with Tampa Bay, or any other team. “I don’t like to get into speculation, percentages or ‘what’s your gut feel?'” he later added, when asked if Revis will remain a Jet this season.
Reports of the Jets’ interest in trading Revis have circulated since January, when Idzik was named as Mike Tannenbaum’s replacement. But according to a recent Tampa Bay Times’ report, the Bucs' front office and coach Greg Schiano believe the Jets’ asking price for Revis – Tampa Bay’s 13th overall pick, as well as selections in the third and fifth rounds in next week’s draft – are too high given the trade market for Revis.
As of now, Tampa Bay is the only known suitor interested in acquiring the cornerback at $15 million a year.
Idzik was just as noncommittal about Tebow’s future with the team. The little-used backup quarterback arrived to much fanfare last offseason, but was rendered a nonfactor in Tony Sparano’s system. The Jets have been actively trying to find a trade partner for Tebow, who is in town for the team’s offseason program. But there are no takers as of yet. Though the former Heisman Trophy winner is expected to be released or traded before the start of the season, Idzik was very careful not to commit one way or the other to Tebow's future with the team.
“He's a New York Jet, it shouldn't surprise you that he's here,” the GM said, though he added that he won’t “put the cart before the horse” when asked if Tebow will be a part of the QB competition.
One of the few tidbits of information provided during the press conference came from senior personnel executive Terry Bradway, who said the team wrote 1,426 player evaluations, visited 271 schools, wrote 5,000-plus reports and conducted 300 interviews with prospective draftees.
Though many draft pundits have called this a down year when it comes to quarterbacks, Jets director of college scouting Jeff Bauer disagreed.
“There's some good quarterbacks out there,” he said. “...You can see a lot of these guys starting and having success.”
But neither Idzik nor Bauer would discuss any of the prospective quarterbacks – even in general terms. The Jets, who have the ninth pick in the draft, were really impressed with West Virginia’s Geno Smith after visiting with him at his Pro Day and here in New Jersey. The Jets also brought in Florida State’s E.J. Manuel and Zac Dysert of Miami-Ohio for visits.
The Jets have several holes to fill on its current roster, but their first-time GM said he’s confident with the staff’s due diligence and draft board.
“If you have a conviction as a staff, if you’ve vetted out everything...you feel pretty confident when you go into draft day.”