Pro Football Talk — 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 OK 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 orunqualified, 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.”
I swear to you when I first read this I thought it was a joke. I had to read it five times and check the source because I thought someone was taking a snarky, satiric piece from The Onion and posting it as real news. But no. This is real. This is actually happening.
Never mind that the Jets claiming Mr. Kraft’s comments amount to tampering demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the rule, it betrays a philistine pig ignorance about the concept of time. Dictionary.com defines “time” as “the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.”
I mean, where exactly are the “sequential relations” here? The cause and effect? In late December Woody Johnson mentions a guy who’s about to enter contract talks with his own team and says he’d love to get Revis back. Then on Super Bowl Sunday, Jets sources leak to Adam Schefter they’re preparing to take a run at Revis. Then in March they do so and they land him.
Mr. Kraft says Monday that the Patriots tried to keep Revis but couldn’t. The Jets were talking future tense; he was talking past tense. Revis was about to enter talks with the Patriots when Johnson spoke, and the ink hadn’t dried on his five-year deal with the Jets when Mr. Kraft spoke. By what insane, convoluted, pretzel logic are the two even remotely comparable?
Or to put it in simpler terms, what exactly did the Patriots tamper with? No one said, “Gee, we’re really interested in getting Darelle Revis back,” thus interfering with the Jets’ ability to re-sign him in 2020. On the contrary, Mr. Kraft made it clear the Patriots had no intention of paying that much for him. That they couldn’t afford him. Again, past tense. Calling that “tampering” would be like me saying, “I wish my date put out on prom night,” and her husband of 25 years calling that “cheating.”
Of course, just because this really happened doesn’t mean it’s not a joke. And to be honest with you, not only do I not mind, I’m glad the Jets have done this. I was getting worried the AFC East was so downtrodden there was no one left to hate. But this is so ridiculous and so blatantly personal that I’m glad the Jets have put the hatred right out in the open like this. And they’ve virtually assured a good old-fashioned, unnecessary-late-touchdown, run-up-the-score, blowout game this coming season. And that will NOT be a joke.