“Good evening, everybody. We wanted to take this opportunity to formally announce the trade of Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Obviously when it involves a very talented player who’s had a significant impact to our team and our community, there’s much, much thought put into a move like this. And there are many factors involved, multiple factors involved in a move of this magnitude. So it’s not taken lightly. Darrelle had a desire to remain a Jet for his career, and I can share with you that we genuinely wanted to follow through with that desire, as well. We shared that desire. However, it’s not as simple as player wanting club and club wanting player. When it comes down to something of this magnitude, there are many factors involved, and I’d just like to outline a few of them so that you can gain a feel for what we were considering and then ultimately how we came to the conclusion that we did today. First of all, fitting a deal of historical proportions into our short term and long term plans is very difficult. Whenever you start to leave what would be construed as a normal deal with respect to the player’s position, his experience, and you’re doing something so called out-of-the-box, that takes a lot of consideration. You know, ultimately we’re chartered with managing the most competitive 53-man roster that we’re capable of doing.
When you do factor in a deal, then again of historical proportions, that can have an impact on your ability to make potential roster moves both now and in the future. So that was a factor. Secondly, there is the timing of a potential extension. Darrelle, as everyone knows, is in the final year of his contract. Darrelle, as everyone also knows, is in the midst of rehabbing a very significant knee injury, the first significant injury that he has had to deal with. So really until we see him through completion of rehab and playing without inhibition and playing the way we know Darrelle can play, there would always be a degree of uncertainty there. That said, we know Darrelle, we know his approach. He’s a professional. He approaches everything with vigor, and so we were optimistic that the outcome would be positive, but until you go through it, you never know for sure. Darrelle was understandably motivated to do a deal as soon as possible. On the other hand, from a timing standpoint, we were more apt to wait a little bit to see more returns. Thirdly, the probability of eventually reaching a mutually acceptable extension, you had to take that into account. It became quite evident, we had some discussions with his representation, and it became quite evident to us that there was a substantial difference between Darrelle’s view of his value and ours.
So we felt like there would have to be a significant change on either side in order to create a path toward reaching an agreeable deal for the long term. So you had to really weigh that into the situation, too. And lastly, a player of Darrelle’s stature certainly garners a lot of attention. That’s been illustrated by the high level of speculation that has circulated around the Jets and Darrelle ever since my arrival. With that, whenever there’s an inclination or even a perceived inclination that Darrelle may be available, you’re going to field a lot of calls, and it was never our intent to proactively go out and shop Darrelle. It was never our goal to have Darrelle leave the Jets; on the contrary, as I stated before, we wanted Darrelle to remain a Jet for the long term ideally. But Tampa reached out. They expressed a sustained and sincere interest in Darrelle, and generally as things go in the National Football League, there’s a lot of kicking tires, there’s a lot of speculative type of discussions with respect to trades, but as you get closer to the draft, those talks become more real. And that’s in general what happened here. Once we reached a point with Tampa and they presented an offer that we felt merited serious consideration, we discussed it at length internally, and we really ultimately came to the conclusion that this was the best thing to do for the Jets at this time. So we feel like trading Darrelle, although it’s very hard, very hard to do, that this was the best thing to do for really all concerned, given the circumstances. First and foremost, from our standpoint we received very valuable compensation that necessitated making a decision prior to the draft. Again, ideally we would have wanted to wait to see, let things play out a little bit more, but with the draft this week and with compensation entailing the draft, that sped up the timeline a little bit. We feel like this year’s draft is going to help bolster our roster, so that was certainly a factor in our decision. Darrelle on his side felt like he would be in a place where he could continue his rehab with a more realistic chance of obtaining an extension at his desired value, because again, it became quite evident to us that was not going to happen here. And in the end, given everything that was under consideration, we just felt like it was the right thing to do. So I’d like to say that the New York Jets are extremely grateful to have had Darrelle on our roster for six very memorable years. He gave us everything he had. He performed at an extremely high level. He was a great leader in our locker room. He’s a great guy in the community. But in the end, again, for all the factors that we had to weigh, we felt like this was the right thing to do first and foremost by the New York Jets and what we have to do as a team, and then also it happened to benefit Darrelle, as well. We wish Darrelle continued success in Tampa and for the remainder of his career.”
On whether the team is sacrificing the short-term for the long-term:
“No, I wouldn’t characterize it as sacrifice. I think any time you contemplate a trade, we’re always going to have both the short and long-term interests of the club in mind because we feel like with the compensation we received, we’re going to gain some short-term benefits that we’re going to get some very valued players on our roster. They’re going to help us in years to come.
I don’t think it’s quite that simple, that we’re sacrificing a short term versus long term. We do look at both of those. When we made this decision, we felt like this was the best for both the short and long-term success of the New York Jets.”
“Well, of course Coach Ryan is on the call so I’ll let him speak to this, as well. I can say that ever since I’ve been here, Rex and I have been joined at the hip. All things that we do, they’re going to be collaborative. They’re going to involve everyone’s input. And certainly Rex was heavily involved in the discussion and the ultimate direction we headed. We discussed this often. Like I said from the start of this call, when it deals with a player of Darrelle Revis’ stature, you’re going to think of every angle, and we did. We did so in this case, and it certainly involved Coach Ryan, it involved our staff, it involved Woody Johnson and everybody here. So this was an example of a collective effort, collective thought, and then ultimately reaching a decision we felt was good for the Jets.”
Rex Ryan had this to say:
“Well, no, I can tell you this: It doesn’t come as a surprise. This has been talked about, as John has said. We’ve been discussing the possibilities of a trade with Darrelle, and I was involved in the entire process. And again, you look at the big picture as we’ve talked about short‑term and long‑term. I think this, as in all good trades, will benefit both teams. Darrelle Revis was an outstanding player for us, for myself since I’ve been here as a head coach. He was tremendous. And as John talked about earlier, he gave everything he had to this organization, was a tremendous player. You go back, I don’t take back one word that I’ve ever said about Darrelle Revis. I believe that he is the best corner in football without question. But make no mistake; as I mentioned the day I took the job five years ago, that we will play great defense and the standard we’ve set as the New York Jets will not be diminished. We believe that we will have an outstanding defense this year and in the future, as well.”
Chairman & CEO Woody Johnson:
On prospects of winning with the current roster in 2013:
“You know, I’ve been at this a while now, and there has never been a year where I haven’t tried to win using everything that I have and tried to build a team that is capable of doing that. This year is no different. I mean, we’ve had great years and we’ve had some years that are disappointing, i.e., last year. But my objective and my willingness to do anything that I can do to make the team better is there. This decision was part of it. We’re constantly making hard decisions to try to make the team better and more competitive for our fans. That’s who we work for. I don’t want to give anything but 100 percent effort to this, and I know John and Rex are committed to it and so is everybody in the building. We’re committed to putting a team on the field that’s a winning team and doing it in a deliberative and sound way. I’m encouraged. I think we’ve got some young players that will be better. We’ll have the opportunity to pick up some very good players in the draft, and I’m extremely optimistic.”