CORTLAND, N.Y. (AP) - The negotiations between the New York Jets and holdout cornerback Darrelle Revis are going behind closed doors.
No more finger pointing through the media, and no more public back-and-forth.
The Jets and Revis’ agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, issued a joint statement Thursday _ a cease-fire of sorts _ saying they’ll keep all future talks out of the public eye after things got snippy earlier this week.
“Both parties have had conversations to clear the air and will continue to negotiate with the hopes of reaching an agreement,” the statement read. “From this point forward, all discussions regarding these negotiations will remain confidential.”
Revis has missed 12 days, including Thursday, since the team reported for training camp at SUNY Cortland. He’s scheduled to make $1 million in the fourth year of his six-year rookie deal, but wants to become the league’s highest-paid cornerback. That distinction belongs to Oakland’s Nnamdi Asomugha, who signed a three-year, $45.3 million extension last offseason.
Revis’ holdout is one of the major story lines on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” which premiered Wednesday night. The program chronicled the last few weeks of negotiations, including a meeting last Friday in which no agreement was reached. In one scene, a frustrated general manager Mike Tannenbaum said he felt “like a failure” because “we haven’t moved the needle” in the six months the sides have been talking.
There were some accusations made by both sides earlier in the week, with owner Woody Johnson saying he was “rebuffed” by Revis’ agents when he asked if he could be part of that meeting at the Roscoe Diner in Roscoe, N.Y., last Friday. Schwartz responded by saying that was “a blatant lie” and that Johnson was given “incorrect” information. He also said he’d meet Johnson “any time, any place.”
On Wednesday, Jets coach Rex Ryan even got into it, saying he came up with a plan to end the talks. He suggested he give the team a day off from practice so the entire organization could sit down with Revis, his agents and anyone else the star player wanted in an effort to complete a deal.
“I bet it gets done if we do it that way,” Ryan said Wednesday.
The chatty coach honored the code of silence Thursday, offering no comment on anything related to the Revis contract negotiations. Some players weighed in, though.
“I wouldn’t be open to that from the standpoint of, once you do something like that, that means that somebody’s bigger than the team,” wide receiver Braylon Edwards said. “I love Revis to death and I have no problem with his situation and what he has going on right now. At the end of the day, it’s about his family, it’s about him and the team getting on the same page, and by team, I mean the administration, the heads and the guys that go over those deals and those contracts.”
Offensive tackle Damien Woody was all in favor of the idea.
“If I could send a message, it would be: Come on up here,” Woody said. “He can just come on up and we’ll meet at some restaurant or wherever the case is. Having practice off, yeah, that would be pretty sweet.”
Johnson said earlier in the week he was not optimistic a deal would be done by the beginning of the season, and told ESPN his “gut feeling” was that Revis would not play this year.
It is believed one major sticking point is the lack of guaranteed money and bonuses included in the Jets’ offers. Tannenbaum disagrees with that assessment, saying the team is flexible on how the guaranteed money is structured.
Still, neither side has budged as the Jets press on without perhaps their best _ and most important _ player.
Revis is being fined $16,523 for each day he misses, meaning he’s out $198,276. By sitting out, he waived a clause in his contract which would have guaranteed him $20 million over the last two years of his deal. Also, by not reporting by Aug. 10, Revis will not get credit for this year as an accrued season toward free agency.
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