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Jets owner 'misspoke' on Revis, wouldn't interfere

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The popular belief when the Jets punted on the opportunity to re-sign Darrelle Revis in the offseason was that team owner Woody Johnson didn't want to get back into business with a talented player who had repeatedly engaged in contract battles.

In his Monday news conference following the dismissal of coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik, Johnson made it clear that the decision to pass on Revis -- who later signed with the rival Patriots -- was not his. Then, in a surprising admission that will surely perturb some along Patriot Way, Johnson left the door wide open for a reunion with one the greatest players in franchise history.

"Darrelle is a great player and if I thought I could have gotten Darrelle for that, I probably would've taken him," Johnson told reporters of the one-year deal Revis signed with the Patriots in March. "And it was our best judgment to do what we did. Darrelle's a great player -- I'd love for Darrelle to come back."

Translation: Revis signing with the hated Patriots was on John Idzik, not me. It will be interesting to see if the Jets run into any issues with the league over what can be seen as a tampering situation.

The Jets have tons of cap flexibility as they enter the offseason, and Revis should be back on the open market with the Patriots not expected to pick up the whopping $20 million option for 2015. That doesn't mean New England won't make every effort to keep Revis in the fold, but after Johnson's comments, a bidding war between rivals could be in the offing.

Perhaps fearing that his comments constituted a potential case of tampering, the Jets composed a series of tweets on behalf of Johnson clarifying his remarks: "I misspoke today when I commented on Darrelle Revis. I would never interfere in the contractual relationship of a player with another team and should not have used those words. I called Robert Kraft this afternoon to emphasize those points."

Pats coach Bill Belichick chimed in on the mini-controversy, telling WEEI-AM: "I would think that the league would look into those comments," per ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Some other takeaways from Johnson's 22-minute meeting with reporters in Florham Park:

» Johnson spoke highly of Ryan and supported the notion that the coach deserves another job: "It was a long run. I think he had a tremendous impact. Because I think he made the team relevant in some respects. ...He did some very good coaching and I knew that every Friday when I talked to him I felt very confident."

» Johnson acknowledged that Idzik was in a difficult situation trying to co-exist with the charismatic Ryan: "John added a lot to this team and he did a lot of good things for the New York Jets. He doesn't get credit for it, because there was the ying and yang. There was the good guy and maybe the less-than-good guy. He did a lot."

» Johnson dismissed the idea that the "Fire Idzik" movement organized by a group of Jets fans played a role in the decision to dismiss Idzik: "I work for the fans but I don't listen to the fans. Because the fans that are going to be the most vocal are not maybe the fans that represent all the fans."

» Geno Smith's perfect day against the Dolphins certainly appears to have made an impact with the owner. "I think he's a young quarterback who in the last five games has gotten much, much better. ...I've got confidence in Geno. I really think he can be good."

» NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Jets have reached out to their first potential general manager candidate. The man is Vikings assistant general manager George Paton, who the Jets pursued two years ago before hiring Idzik.

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