|Revis ready to contribute for Jets after ending lengthy holdout, 2402259|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 15 August 2007 21:26|
A distant bystander while his teammates prepared for the season, there were times when the first-round draft pick wondered if he'd ever take the field for the New York Jets.
``Being out for so long, you think it's never going to end,'' the cornerback said Wednesday night. ``We're just glad to get this process done and over with.''
The Jets signed Revis, drafted 14th overall, on Wednesday and ended the touted cornerback's lengthy holdout.
``It was tough,'' said Revis, wearing a gray Jets T-shirt. ``Basically being a competitor and being the type of football player that I am, I didn't want to sit there and see my teammates playing. I was frustrated for a while, but I just looked at the positive side of it and let my agents handle it.''
Revis missed 22 practices - including Wednesday's single practice - and the team's preseason opener last Friday against Atlanta since training camp started July 27.
The holdup in the negotiations reportedly stemmed from the length of the contract. The Jets were looking to sign Revis to a six-year deal, while the cornerback wanted a five-year contract.
``I knew the landing spot on this deal was really small, but I was resolute in the fact that there was a landing spot that was good for Darrelle and good for the Jets,'' general manager Mike Tannenbaum said. ``I'm just happy that we found that spot. Some deals, it's easy to find that spot and this deal was obviously hard to find, but we knew that it was there.''
Tannenbaum wouldn't address the length of the deal, other than to say, ``it was 47 pages.''
``I think it's a fair contract,'' he said. ``I think it's good for both sides. We expect Darrelle to be here for a number of years, and we're glad that the contract's behind us and we're looking forward to seeing him out on the field.''
Neil Schwartz, one of Revis' agents, echoed Tannenbaum's sentiments.
``All the John Hancocks are going to be on the contract, so it's definitely a win-win,'' Schwartz said.
Tannenbaum said the team and Revis' agents agreed in principle to a deal late Tuesday night.
``We're glad it's over,'' Tannenbaum said.
The only reason Revis didn't practice Wednesday was because the contract - deemed ``very complicated'' by Tannenbaum - needed to be reviewed by the league's management council and was still being finalized Wednesday night.
``I think it was sophisticated and unique,'' Schwartz said.
Tannenbaum said Revis had already received his playbook and would participate in the team's walkthrough Thursday. Revis passed the team's conditioning test Wednesday morning, but it was uncertain if coach Eric Mangini would play him in the Jets' game against Minnesota on Friday night.
``He'll play when Eric feels he's ready,'' Tannenbaum said.
The Jets expect Revis to compete for a starting job at cornerback, once he gets up to speed with the defense. Revis was considered one of the best overall cornerbacks in the draft, and had an outstanding college career at Pittsburgh, finishing with 129 tackles and eight interceptions.
``I'm still learning,'' Revis said. ``I'm still young. I'm still a rookie. I'm not a veteran in this game. I've still got a lot of work to do. I'm going to keep on working hard and doing what the coaches tell me to do.''
Revis will help fill one of the Jets' biggest needs. Veteran Andre Dyson started every game at left cornerback until he was injured in Week 15, but the right side of the secondary was a different story. Justin Miller, David Barrett, Hank Poteat and rookie Drew Coleman all took turns in the starting lineup.
Miller, who was having a good camp in Revis' absence, has been sidelined since injuring a hamstring in the team's scrimmage at Fordham University on Aug. 5. He struggled with coverage in his first two NFL seasons, despite making the Pro Bowl last season as a kick returner.
Barrett, Poteat and Coleman are also back, but none is viewed as a long-term solution. Revis could be. He played left cornerback before moving to the right side last season as a junior.
``We're going to go back and try to coach the most basic things, just like he was starting from Day 1,'' defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. ``He's a willing guy, a smart guy and he understands where he's at and what has to happen for him to get caught up.''
Revis was the Jets' first unsigned pick at the start of training camp since linebacker James Farrior in 1997, and the cornerback's holdout of 20 practice days was the longest since wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson sat out 24 days in 1996.
With Revis' signing, the only first-round holdout is top overall pick JaMarcus Russell, the LSU quarterback selected by Oakland.