The NFL Annual Meetings took place in Arizona this weekend. There were many topics on the docket, such as the expansion of replay, the rules on extra points, and even expanding the playoffs.
But, aside from that, the owners are available to the press, and we know that Woody Johnson, like it or not, is good for a quote or two. So it is no surprise that he had a few things to say about his team, and its players when meeting the media from Phoenix.
With the investigation ongoing regarding Darrelle Revis, it’s no shock that Johnson was asked about his star cornerback, spirited away from the rival New England Patriots. He was asked about when the Jets took interest in Revis. Johnson didn’t take the bait. “After he became available, he became a target for us not only to us but for other teams as well,” said Johnson, making sure he said after he became available. “He’s a gifted athlete.”
It’s clear that, although he protests to the contrary, Woody Johnson is at least concerned about the tampering charge. He should be, for a couple of reasons. One, if they take away a draft pick, even a late round pick, it will hurt. Secondly, if a judgement is rendered against the Jets, Woody Johnson is the only one to blame. He should feel guilty, as he should have kept his mouth shut, as innocuous as the comment might have been.
Johnson went on to say that Revis is great, but one player can’t lift a team, unless it’s a quarterback. So, he was asked about Marcus Mariota. The Jets are rumored in many circles to be interested, so the question was coming. Johnson didn’t tip the team’s hand about the upcoming draft, saying how the team is going through the process of choosing candidates for selection.
He did give a little bit when he asked about Marcus Mariota in relation to Geno Smith. “We haven’t made that determination,” Johnson said. “Geno’s probably way ahead of (Mariota) at this point, believe it or not — whether you guys have skepticism of that or not.”
That’s an obvious one, and probably not even worth asking Woody Johnson. Of course Geno Smith is ahead, he has been in the NFL for two years. He is clearly going to be ahead of any quarterback just coming out of college. Johnson did not give a surprise answer here, just an obvious one.
It’s smart of Johnson to say very little about Darrelle Revis. He has good business sense, he knows the league is sniffing around, so he is certainly not going to give the NFL anything they can use against him. Well, at least nothing new, after making the comment that he did back in December.
But to me, the statement actually speaks volumes. He clearly is worried about it, or at least concerned. Otherwise he would have either avoided it entirely, or continued as normal. He made sure he said the word “after”, so the entire world would here it.
Woody Johnson should be concerned. He did put the Jets in this mess, all by himself.