The New England Patriots struck first, and the New York Jets struck back.
According to Pro Football Talk, the Jets have filed tampering charges against the Patriots, stemming from Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s comments about cornerback Darrelle Revis at the league meetings in Arizona on Monday.
“We thought we made a very competitive offer,” Kraft told reporters when asked about Revis returning to New York. “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.”
New England previously filed tampering charges against New York in December, after Jets owner Woody Johnson addressed Revis’ impending free-agent status while the 29-year-old All-Pro was still under contract with the Patriots.
“Darrelle is a great player, and if I thought I could have gotten Darrelle for that, I probably would’ve taken him,” Johnson said of the Patriots acquiring Revis last March, via NFL.com. “And it was our best judgment to do what we did. Darrelle’s a great player – I’d love for Darrelle to come back.”
The NFL’s stance regarding possible punishment remains in the works, but the league’s stance on tampering states, “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.”
It appears there is a difference in tense between the remarks made by Johnson and Kraft, and that could ultimately be the difference of a draft pick when it’s all sorted out between the AFC East rivals.
Yet it is up to the league office to determine whether there’s more weight to the Jets’ counter than preserving the territory that separates East Rutherford from Foxborough.