Darrelle Revis’ contract issues are giving him a headache.
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The New York Jets’ All-Pro cornerback sat out some plays during practice Monday in protest of his stalled negotiations after initially saying he wasn’t feeling well.
"I was just a little lightheaded today – a hamstring pull, too,” Revis said with a chuckle. "Nah, we’re going through it right now. There’s some things right now and we’re starting to get serious. There’s two different opinions going on, and I’m going to do what’s best for me and my family.”
Revis promised last week he would participate in the team’s mandatory minicamp beginning Monday, but toward the end of the first practice, he told defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman his head was bothering him and went to the sideline.
"It was something just to let them know I can play, and I cannot play,” Revis said. "That’s what it is.”
Coach Rex Ryan first defended Revis, saying he’ll never question a player who says something is bothering him physically.
"When they tell you something is not right, you believe them to be a man of their word,” Ryan said. "I believe Darrelle would be that way. Now, if he’s pulling a fast one on us, he’s pulling a fast one on us.”
When told Revis acknowledged that he was making a statement, Ryan turned serious.
"Well, he made a statement,” Ryan said. "That would disappoint me, for sure, because he’s out here and competes every day.”
Ryan said he’d talk with Revis about the situation and added that the contract issue wouldn’t be a distraction for the team.
"If his situation is that he’s got something on his mind and he’s not focused 100 percent, then I really don’t want him out there,” Ryan said. "We practice hard. We go full speed. If that focus isn’t there, then I don’t want to put anybody in jeopardy.”
Revis is upset over the stalled contract talks and called it an "insult” that the Jets’ offers have contained no guaranteed money. He’s due to make $1 million in the fourth season of his six-year rookie deal and wants to be the league’s highest-paid cornerback.
"You sit here and you tell guys, ‘You’re the best player in the league, you’re our No. 1 priority,’ and you’re not showing loyalty in terms of keeping your core guys here and wanting to keep them here for the future,” Revis said. "If you want to build a dynasty, you’ve got to start being loyal to some of your players who are loyal to you on the field and play the best football they can.”
Oakland’s Nnamdi Asomugha is the highest-paid cornerback after signing a three-year, $45.3 million extension last offseason.
"This guy has set the bar,” Revis said. "Football in the 1950s, you weren’t getting paid a lot of money and every year the market goes up. Nnamdi set the bar, and me and my team are going to do the best job for me to get what I deserve.”
When asked if he’d be satisfied with $1 more than Asomugha, Revis quipped: "It could be 50 cents more. Give me 50 cents more and we’ll be OK.”
Revis said general manager Mike Tannenbaum told him in early April he believed he should be the highest-paid cornerback in the league.
"I think it goes deeper than that,” Revis said. "Loyalty, knowing the type of player you have and treating your player the right way. That’s what I believe. That’s what I’m standing on.”
Revis hasn’t decided whether to sit out training camp in August if a resolution isn’t reached before then.
"How they’ve been going about it, it doesn’t look good,” he said. "We’ll see.”
The Jets can buy back the final two years of the contract, which would be worth $20 million guaranteed, but Revis could lose it all if he misses any mandatory practices.
"I’m aware of everything,” he said. "I know. I have the knowledge. I might be at camp, and I might not.”
The Jets are also dealing with center Nick Mangold asking for a new deal, as well as left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson and David Harris in line for long-term deals.
"It’s not just me. It’s a lot of guys,” Revis said. "They tell us we’re the core guys of this team, so why are you not treating us as one of the core guys?”