NEW YORK (AP) — Revis Island is open for business again — just in time for the New York Jets to start their Super Bowl run.
All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis and the Jets agreed in principle to a four-year contract Sunday night, reaching a deal a week before the team’s season opener.
“It not has only been hard on u guys, but it has for me too,” Revis wrote on his Twitter page early Monday morning. “I just want to tell yall that I’m sorry for this process and I can’t wait to get back on the field.”
The Jets wouldn’t disclose financial terms of the deal, but the Daily News reported it was worth $46 million, including $32 million guaranteed.
“Barring something unforeseen, we expect Darrelle to be here (Monday),” general manager Mike Tannenbaum said during a conference call early Monday morning.
Revis, nicknamed “Revis Island” for his ability to routinely shut down opposing receivers, planned to fly from his home in South Florida to New Jersey on Monday morning. He’s expected to finalize the deal and end his 36-day holdout.
“This is an intermediate step to what we hope is an entire career of Darrelle as a Jet,” Tannenbaum said, “for him to retire a Jet, for him to hopefully go to the Hall of Fame one day as a Jet and for him to be in our ring of honor.”
The move capped a busy day for the Jets, who earlier Sunday cut veteran fullback Tony Richardson and waived wide receiver David Clowney and running back Chauncey Washington. New York also claimed wide receiver Patrick Turner (Miami), offensive tackle Patrick Brown (Minnesota) and defensive tackle Marcus Dixon (Dallas).
But, the deal with Revis was by far the biggest news, especially because Tannenbaum acknowledged he wasn’t sure it would ever happen. He said the Jets even looked into trades over the weekend for other cornerbacks.
“This was one of those things where I really wasn’t optimistic,” Tannenbaum said. “I really wasn’t. I’m an optimist by nature, but this was really hard. There was a lot of heavy lifting, a lot of work put into it.”
Including both owner Woody Johnson and coach Rex Ryan flying down to South Florida on Saturday to meet with Revis, mother Diana Gilbert, and uncle and former NFL player Sean Gilbert to try to help get a deal done.
“I think that was an important step in the process, but there was still obviously more work to be done,” Tannenbaum said. “We spent all day looking at it and probably about (11 p.m. Sunday), we made a very significant breakthrough to finding a landing spot that was good for both sides.”
Ryan was scheduled to have a conference call with reporters Saturday night to discuss the Jets’ roster cutdown, but Tannenbaum handled it instead. A team spokesman said Ryan was unavailable because he was at an “appointment.”
That turned out to be a visit with the man whom Ryan has repeatedly called the best cornerback in the NFL.
Revis began his holdout Aug. 1, when the team reported for training camp in Cortland. Tannenbaum said the nearly $600,000 in fines Revis accrued for sitting out would be handled internally by the team.
He was scheduled to make $1 million in the fourth year of his six-year rookie deal, but wanted to become the league’s highest-paid cornerback. While he didn’t get that this time around, he’s getting the guaranteed money he sought during negotiations over the last several months.
With NFL Films cameras following the Jets all summer for HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series, Revis’ holdout was a major story line without him ever appearing in an episode. He’ll certainly be a major focus in Wednesday night’s series finale.
Revis, who made no public statements about the sometimes acrimonious negotiations since minicamp in June, thanked his family and agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, through Twitter.
“To my family, neil, & john I love u guys I’m comin home baby!!!” Revis wrote. “Revis Island LET’S GO.”
The new contract means Revis will likely be back on the field in time for the opener next Monday night against Baltimore at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
“That’ll be Rex’s call,” Tannenbaum said.
The general manager said he “had no idea” what corresponding roster move the Jets would make once Revis was signed, sealed and delivered.
“I’m sure Rex will be able to figure out what to do to get Darrelle on the team,” Tannenbaum quipped.
Since early August, the team and Revis’ agents agreed to keep all negotiations confidential after things got testy through the media. With the silence came the fear that Revis could sit out the entire season, as his uncle once did.
Now, the Jets and their fans can breathe a big sigh of relief.
“Obviously, Darrelle’s a great player,” Tannenbaum said. “He’s our guy and he’s an important piece to what we’re trying to accomplish here. ... I don’t think anyone wanted it to take as long as it did, but it did. Now, we can put it behind us and move on to Baltimore.”