Namath: Revis 'justified' in holdout from Jets, will be paid soon

Darrelle Revis has arguably the biggest New York Jet in his corner.

Joe Namath, who quarterbacked the Jets to their only Super Bowl championship, told NFL Network's Fran Charles that he believes Revis is "justified" in holding out from training camp while seeking a new contract.

"I have confidence Revis will be here and will be on this team and will sign," Namath said. "I don't think it is going to be long, but believe me, Mr. (Woody) Johnson, the Jets' owner, as well as Mike Tannenbaum (the general manager) and the entire team wants Revis here. And they want to make the deal, it is just going to take some time to work out.

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"Revis has his good reasons for not being here, and they are justified. Mr. Johnson is going to have to change the contract, and they are willing to do that."

Johnson showed his willingness to deal with Revis on Monday, when the owner told Tannenbaum to contact the All-Pro cornerback's agents. Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, Revis' New York-based representatives, confirmed that Tannenbaum got in touch with them that night.

Revis, who's due to make $1 million in the fourth year of his six-year rookie deal, wants to become the NFL's highest-paid cornerback. He's seeking a deal more lucrative than the three-year, $45.3 million extension that Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha signed last offseason.

Revis is being fined $16,523 for each day of camp he misses, starting with when the Jets reported Sunday.

Despite Revis' holdout, Namath believes talk of the Jets as Super Bowl contenders is legitimate. Since leading the Jets to their only championship in 1969, Namath has seen plenty of teams with high hopes come and go. This year, the hype is different.

"It's justified," Namath, 67, told The Associated Press during a visit to Jets camp in Cortland, N.Y. "This is what I'm saying: This team that I'm looking at today is more suited to be able to follow through with a championship, or to get a championship, than what we've had out there."

Namath was decked out in a Jets jacket and T-shirt and wearing a credential around his neck with his name printed in black ink, as if he was just any other visitor. No doubt, though, he is still the closest the Jets have to royalty because of that Super Bowl ring.

"I never dreamt that it would be a long time coming to get another championship with the New York Jets, or the New York Jets getting another one," Namath said. "Of course, I didn't dream of living until this age, even though I changed my plans. I'm going a lot longer."

Namath's optimism for this year's team largely lies in the continued development of quarterback Mark Sanchez, who has thoroughly impressed Broadway Joe.

"As a player, knowing what it was like for me as a rookie and then the second year, it's a big difference because you really don't know the offense as a rookie," Namath said. "You're learning it. Mark is like, 'This year, let's go play.' He's not impeded by the learning process so much, even though there is continuing education there when you're out there. He's ready to go."

Namath's biggest concern is the left guard position, which was vacated when the Jets cut perennial Pro Bowl pick Alan Faneca in April. Faneca later signed with the Arizona Cardinals.

"When I first saw that we lost Faneca, I was a bit confused, upset," Namath said. "The man was a Pro Bowler for a number of years and did well last year, and I still don't know exactly why he's departed. But whoever steps into that slot's going to have a load to carry."

That will be either rookie Vladimir Ducasse or second-year pro Matt Slauson.

"If our horses up front can do a job similar to what they did last year, we've got a good shot, offensively," Namath said.

Namath enjoyed seeing some of the Jets' newest acquisitions, particularly Jason Taylor, take the field at camp. Namath also couldn't help but tease the former Miami Dolphins star.

"'It's good to see you in green. The kind we wear, you know, and not that funky green they wear down there in South Florida,'" Namath said he told Taylor, with a laugh. "I feel like I've been watching Jason Taylor play most of my life, you know? And what a player. I just hope he stays healthy because he brings a lot to the team, if he's healthy."

Namath enjoys talking football -- "I'm a football-aholic" -- and has started his own Web site, www.broadwayjoe.tv, to communicate with fans on a regular basis to discuss sports and life issues.

"There are some things after living a number of years, I mentioned being a football-aholic, I was another kind of an 'aholic' for a while, too," said Namath, a recovering alcoholic. "Learned some lessons with that."

With that, Namath shook some hands, smiled and posed for a few more pictures.

"We have a team," he said, smiling again, "we're expecting a lot out of this year."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.