With the ongoing negotiations between Darrelle Revis and the Jets hitting an impasse and with the idea the All-Pro CB sat out a few plays with light-headiness to "make a statement," there's an obvious question.
Are the Jets swimming in a toxic environment that threatens to chip away at the very foundation they are building for what they believe is a Super Bowl run in 2010?
Last month, before the contract situations of Revis and C Nick Mangold stepped to the forefront, the Jets' franchise QB at a charity event I attended and he was about the chemistry issue that could crop up.
"I think Rex already said it, the only chemistry we don’t know is chemistry class," Mark Sanchez said May 19 at Brandon Moore's golf tournament to benefit Jack & Jill Foundation. He’s funny man. He said, 'You’ve got to be kidding me, chemistry? I wouldn’t take any of you to my chemistry class, but out here we are good.' We are big kids playing, there’s nothing wrong with it. We’ll be fine."
Three weeks later -- even with the contract talk growing louder by the day -- nothing's changed in Rex's mind.
"Nah, we're not playing right now," Ryan said when asked if the contract talk is in any way disrupting team chemistry. "Our team is going to be just fine and I hope teams are banking on that -- that something is going to be wrong with the chemistry of our team. Every single team has contract situations. We talked about Darrelle, you've got Nick Mangold, you've got David Harris, you've got a bunch of guys. Shaun Ellis is in the last year of his contract.
"We've got a whole bunch of guys like that. That's what happens when you've got good football players. Our thing, as a football team, you are trying to keep all your good players. But again, this is an outstanding football team and when we get to playing, we'll be just fine. We plan on being a team that wins the whole thing, so we'll see.
That's when Rex mentioned how the Jets had 100 percent participation at the voluntary offseason conditioning days as well as OTAs.
"I think you'd be hard [pressed] to find anybody with the record we had in OTAs. I'm not going to say we are the OTA champions, I'll leave that to Channing Crowder. But I believe we were OTA champions again this year. One of these days, we'll be Super Bowl champions. So we'll see when that is. Sooner or later."
In the meantime, Ryan isn't ready to start playing the hypothetical game. He shied away from questions posing possible scenarios, such as what if the Revis situation begins to mirror the nasty stalemate between Pete Kendall and the Jets in 2007.
Remember what a circus that became?
"I don't want to deal with the what ifs," Ryan said. "I've had a pretty good track record of dealing with people and we'll see what happens. But a distraction? When we line up for real, we'll see what happens. And we'll go to war, whoever the hell is on this team or not. It doesn't matter. We're going to be the New York Jets. We're about the decal. It's not about one individual.
"But do I think Darrelle Revis will be here? Yeah, I absolutely do."