After officially announcing that the New York Jets would begin searching for a new general manager and head coach, owner Woody Johnson discussed something he shouldn't have regarding former Jet cornerback Darrelle Revis. The assembled media asked about what the team could have done differently over the past two years. Johnson responded by saying he "probably would have taken him" if he knew then what Revis' price would ultimately become.
Revis spent the first six seasons of his career in New York before repeated contract disputes pushed the Jets to trade him to Tampa Bay. He spent one season with the Buccaneers before the team released him for cap space. By discussing Revis, currently with the division rival New England Patriots, Johnson committed textbook tampering. Now he is trying to walk away from those comments, according to NBC Sports.
"I misspoke today when I commented on Darrelle Revis," Johnson explained. "I would never interfere in the contractual relationship of a player with another team and should not have used those words." Johnson said he also contacted Patriots owner Robert Kraft to explain his comments.
In any case, the league has yet to take action. While it wouldn't take much to prove Johnson tampered by rule, investigations aren't usually launched unless the owner of the affected team pushes for it. If Kraft doesn't raise a stink about it, nothing is likely to happen.
Tom Brady restructures contract
While the Patriots' run of excellence dates back to 2001, they should still be competitive for several more seasons. That requires, amongst other things, cap space for Bill Belichick to build the roster with. New England will have a little more, as star quarterback Tom Brady restructured his deal to give the team more available funds for the upcoming offseason, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Per the report, Brady's restructure creates $24 million in cash, but does not change their current cap space. The Patriots managed this by changing a skill and injury guarantee to only an injury guarantee. When a team guarantees a contract for both skill and injury, the collective bargaining agreement requires the team front all the money that is guaranteed. When a contract is only guaranteed for injury, the team does not have to front that money. By getting this $24 million back, the Patriots can use the money to provide skill and injury guarantees to a free agent, or one of their own players on a contract extension.
Sen'Derrick Marks tears ACL in season finale
Not much went right for the Jacksonville Jaguars this season, but one of the team's few pleasant surprises was the progression of defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks. Marks enjoyed a career year, notching 8.5 sacks and 44 tackles. Along with Red Bryant, Chris Clemons and others, he was helping establish the Jaguars' front four as the cornerstone of Gus Bradley's defense. Unfortunately, Marks suffered a serious knee injury in the team's final game of the season, per NFL.com.
The timing of the injury stinks for both Marks and the team. Instead of spending the offseason resting and getting away from football for awhile, he'll spend most of the ensuing months enduring painful knee rehabilitation. Meanwhile, the team may begin the 2015 season without Marks in uniform. For a team entering a mark or break third season under its current head coach, that's a tremendous blow.
Henry Melton may miss postseason
Little was expected out of the Dallas Cowboys at the start of the season, especially on defense. The team released superstar pass rusher DeMarcus Ware for cap space while prized inside linebacker Sean Lee suffered a season-ending knee injury during OTAs. That left few reliable playmakers for defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli to work with.
But Dallas surprised. Former first-round pick Rolando McClain unretired to become an above average linebacker. Journeyman Jeremy Mincey delivered his highest sack total since 2011. And just as importantly, Henry Melton returned from a serious knee injury to become a viable pass rusher again. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, they may be without Melton for the entire playoffs, according to Sporting News.
Melton finished second on the team in sacks (five) in a situational pass rusher role. While the Cowboys have other defensive lineman who can step up in spots, none can create pressure as consistently from the interior. Melton was signed last offseason to a four-year, $27.5 million deal.