INDIANAPOLIS -- There must be times when new New York Jets general manager John Idzik wishes he were still back in Seattle, working as the Seahawks' relatively anonymous salary cap expert. Certainly, the fallout from anything said in a press conference is far, far more wide-ranging in a city with many more media outlets and a seemingly insatiable desire to make something out of relatively nothing when it comes to the Jets' eternal soap opera. Idzik's noncommittal response to cornerback Darrelle Revis' future with the team, and the trade rumors it begat, followed Idzik from the Meadowlands to Indianapolis.
Boy, did it ever, After an introductory question about the future of running back Shonn Greene, the Revis questions came thick and fast, despite Idzik's attempts to deflect them with the standard "We're not going to talk about..." response. Such NFL-speak does not go over well with the New York media -- in fact, it tends to get trampled.
First, Idzik was asked if he intended to have Revis on the team in 2013, knee injury recovery or not.
"Yes, I mean, Darrelle Revis is obviously a great football player, he is a great New York Jet, he’s a tremendous asset to our football team and organization," Idzik said. "With respect to clarity, I don’t know that anything has really changed because we have always wanted Darrelle as part of our team. That has not changed. I think there’s been rumors or stories published. And it’s really hard for me or anybody in our organization to speculate and answer to all rumors and stories that we hear. But with respect to Darrelle, we have always wanted him to be a part of the New York Jets. Our focus with Darrelle right now is to aid him in any way we can in his rehab so he can return to the player that we all know he is and as such he will be a tremendous asset to us."
Innocuous enough, but we were just getting started. Will the Jets, it was asked, entertain offers for Revis, who's under contract with the Jets through the 2013 season?
"Well, specific to Darrelle, I don’t think it is something limited to one player," Idzik said. "Me and my job and [head coach] Rex [Ryan] and everybody involved will always field calls and we’ll always have internal discussions about how we can improve our team day to day, position by position. So that is an ongoing process but that is not isolated to any one player and not isolated to any one position. That is just something we do on a daily, a weekly, a monthly basis. Particularly at this time of the year when you are going to into free agency, you are going into the draft. So there are a lot of what ifs, if you will, that we will be discussing internally."
Sooo, it was asked ... he's not untouchable?
"I don’t classify," he tried to clarify. "I am not going to get into speculation as a rule. I don’t think that is too prudent to do that. But any player on our roster, we go forward with the assumption that they are New York Jets until we are presented with the situation that we have to evaluate. Right now, Darrelle Revis is a New York Jet, we are proud to have him and we are happy to have him. He is a tremendous asset to us, and that is how we are thinking going into this thing."
But is Revis comfortable with his situation?
"I think you have to ask Darrelle that. I can’t speak for Darrelle. I can say from our perspective, we are very comfortable with Darrelle as a New York Jet and again our focus will be on getting him back, he has a pretty significant injury to rehabilitate. I think that is our focus, getting him back to the level that he was playing at before so he can help us."
Then, Idzik was asked whether Revis' trade value might be affected by his current injury.
"I don’t know that it is tougher to gauge. Trade value is always a two-way street. You can do it one way, but obviously, if you are entertaining a trade for any player, it is what the others perceive. We are not privy to that until those discussions would happen. But from our standpoint, Darrelle Revis is a New York Jet, we are glad he is a New York Jet, we want to help him get healthy and I look forward to getting him back in the building."
How about a new contract for the Jets' best player?
"I don’t want to get into speculation," he said (again). "I think as a general rule, I think you can understand this and respect it, we won’t ever get into contractual discussions publicly, we won’t get into speculation publicly but we will deal with the here and now. That is the most fruitful way. Otherwise, it could be very misleading and we don’t want to do that."
Of course, Idzik was then asked whether he would extend Revis' contract before the season began. Of course.
Again, I will never get into contractual situations publicly. Again, suffice it to say, Darrelle Revis is a great player, he is a great New York Jet. We are in the business quite simply of acquiring, developing and maintaining good players, great players. Darrelle Revis certainly fits that mold. We are happy to have Darrelle as a Jet and hope to have Darrelle as a Jet."
Sensing a theme here? Idzik was then asked how the Revis situation has affected his first few weeks on the job.
"Well, the magnitude of a story that quite honestly I didn’t think was that big… I think it was pretty apparent from my standpoint and certainly from Rex’s standpoint that Darrelle Revis is a highly valued player for us. For that to surface when it did, it was literally my first day on the job. I had just walked into the building and I kind of joked that I was trying to find my office. That to me didn’t lend it much credence. We didn’t even have a chance to get to know each other as a staff much less start to dive down into specific players and situations. It has been a rather dominant topic but hopefully everyone knows by now how highly we value Darrelle."
And there you had it. Speaking of dominant topics, the best thing about the Revis grilling was that there was precious little time in Idzik's 15-minute media session to talk about Tim Tebow. So, there's that. The Tebow questions were saved for Rex Ryan, who took the podium right after Idzik left.
"Currently, when you look at everything, Tim is under contract to be a New York Jet," Ryan said, when asked whether Tebow would be a Jet in 2013. "We’ll see how things go in the offseason, but Tim is under contract."
But, it was then asked, will Tebow be part of the competition at the quarterback position in 2013? (As opposed to 2012, when we weren't really sure what he was).
"I think everything is too early to tell right now. We really don’t know how the offseason goes, how the draft goes, how free agency goes. There are a lot of variables involved in things. Before I go on record with any statement like that, I realize now that it’s a long process."
If Rex thinks that's a long process, he should wait until he and Idzik have to answer the same questions again before the draft pops up.
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