In the ironies of ironies, the New York Jets have filed tampering charges against the New England Patriots over comments that Robert Kraft made about Darrelle Revis’s new contract with New York.
There is likely nothing to this except pettiness which makes it all the more hilarious. Apparently, the Jets are upset because Kraft addressed Revis during yesterday’s league meeting in Phoenix.
Per The Boston Herald, this is what Kraft had to say when asked about Revis on Monday:
“We thought we made a very competitive offer. I speak as a fan of the New England Patriots — we wanted to keep him. We wanted him in our system, and we have certain disciplines. We had hoped it worked out. It didn’t. We just don’t think about short-term decisions. For example, next year we have three very good young defensive players coming up, and we have to factor that.”
If this doesn’t sound like tampering, that’s because it’s likely not tampering at all. This is the NFL’s rules on tampering.
“Any public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media, is a violation of this Anti-Tampering Policy. (Example of a prohibited comment: ‘He’s an excellent player, and we’d very much like to have him if he were available, but another club holds his rights.’) In addition, speculation by a club owner, executive, or employee on whether a player under contract to a second club may play for a third club in the future may negatively impact the relationship between the player and the club currently holding his rights. If comments are found to have adversely affected that relationship, a finding of tampering can result. All clubs should be aware that improper disclosure of confidential trade discussions with another club may be a violation of this section on prohibited public statements.”
So, why are the Jets doing this? Most likely because the Patriots filed a tampering claim against the Jets over Jets owner’s Woody Johnson’s comments when Revis was set to become a free agent. At the time, Johnson had claimed that, ““It was our best judgment to do what we did. But Darrelle’s a great player. I’d love Darrelle to come back.”
The Patriots case against the Jets is currently pending but it’s hard to see the Jets’ recently filed grievance against the Patriots going anywhere. Still, this is the sort of stuff that makes the divisional rivalry/slap-fight between the Patriots and the Jets so much fun.