In December, Jets owner Woody Johnson publicly expressed interest in bringing back cornerback Darrelle Revis, who at the time was under contract with the Patriots. The Patriots later filed tampering charges against the Jets.
On Monday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke about the departure of Revis for the Jets. The next day, the Jets filed tampering charges against the Patriots.
Per a league source, the Jets have submitted to the league office a letter tracking the language cited by the Patriots when making their tampering charge in January.
“I speak as a fan of the New England Patriots,” Kraft said Monday, via Tom Curran of CSN New England. “We wanted to keep him, we wanted him in our system. We have certain disciplines and we had hoped it would work out. It didn’t. We just don’t think about the short-term decisions. For example, next year we have three very good young defensive players coming up [for contracts] and we have to factor that we just don’t look at this year, we look out at the next few years. We’ve done okay doing that.
“[The Jets] are the team that drafted him. I think he feels a great commitment there, so we understand his going back and we’re sorry he didn’t stay with us.”
The tampering rules prohibit “[a]ny public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media.” The rule includes this example of prohibited statements: “He’s an excellent player, and we’d very much like to have him if he were available, but another club holds his rights.”
In December, Johnson said he’d like to bring Revis back, at a time the contract Revis signed with the Patriots was nearing its conclusion. On Monday, Kraft said wanted to keep Revis, two weeks after Revis signed a multi-year deal with $39 million fully guaranteed to play for the Jets. While the Jets may see this as a goose/gander situation, the circumstances are fundamentally different.
Indeed, Johnson said he wanted to bring back Revis at a time when Revis was under contract with the Patriots. Kraft merely said he had wanted to keep Revis after Revis left for another team.
Moving forward, look for Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News to write a column arguing that there’s no difference, and then for Curran to author an article explaining that Mehta is misinformed. And maybe the two of them can return to PFT Live tomorrow to debate the subject again.