If you like your NFL preseason to be filled with soap opera stuff, and you are a NY Jets fan, well you have to admit 2010 is starting off with lots of excitement in the sports drama, As Gang Green Turns. Talented cornerback Darrelle Revis is holding out for more money. Jets owner Woody Johnson says he’s willing to talk, but that has gotten the two parties to a stalemate, with Revis rejecting two previous offers.
Jets coach Rex Ryan has lost lots of weight – if this was last year and Revis was missing, someone might have thought Ryan swallowed him. Ryan’s new svelte image hasn’t stopped him from doing a lot of talking, and he keeps talking about Revis. “He’s part of our team. He’s just not here.” Uh, yeah, Rex, thanks for the clarification.
A report in the August 4 edition of the NY Daily News indicates that Revis is not inventing this holdout on his own, but rather taking a page from the book his uncle Sean Gilbert wrote when the Redskins player sat out the 1997 season because of a pay dispute. Revis is apparently very close to his uncle, and Ryan believes Gilbert is “advising” him during the whole process.
My feelings about this as a fan are that this is just the same old tactic others have used, and every fan should feel cheated by this happening during training camp. It is just as bad as teachers striking during the first week back to school. Why couldn’t Revis and Johnson negotiate this deal earlier this year? Why wait until preseason?
Well, for Revis this is obviously the best time to make his stand, but I wonder if he will sit out an entire season like Gilbert did. Even if he hopes to be traded after the season (as Gilbert was in 1997), that’s a whole year without statistics, and I can’t imagine any player wanting to see that blank line on his career chart.
In more of the Jets’ soap opera playing out, quarterback Eric Ainge has gone into rehab, which means he will miss training camp. Ryan did not elaborate on this matter, but team sources say that Ainge has “an undisclosed illness.” If he is indeed in rehab, it would indicate that Ainge has had a relapse and the likelihood of his taking a snap any time this year is in doubt.
That turns the soap opera to its final scene of the day. QB Kellen Clemens, with Ainge out of the picture, will now be back in the hunt for the last quarterback spot. The acquisition of Mark Brunell – obviously the number two quarterback after Mark Sanchez – means it will now be a competition between Kevin O’Connell and Clemens for the number three spot. In the world of the Jets’ soap opera, the music starts to play as the two square off. And Ryan watches them, vegetarian shake in hand. Hey, no one said dieting is easy.
Are the 2010 Jets heading for the Super Bowl? Stay tuned for the next episode of As Gang Green Turns.