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Jets owner Woody Johnson ‘misspoke’ on Darrelle Revis comments, calls Robert Kraft to clarify

12.29.14 at 5:28 pm ET
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Earlier on Monday during his press conference announcing the firings of head coach Rex Ryan and general manger John Idzik, Jets owner Woody Johnson talked about Darrelle Revis and how he would “love” to have him back with the Jets.

“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.”

Since Revis is currently under contract with the Patriots, and has a team option for next season ($20 million), the comment could be viewed as tampering. Johnson released a statement through the Jets’ official team Twitter account early Monday evening addressing his comments.

The statement read: I misspoke today when I commented on Darrelle Revis. I would never interfere in the contractual relationship of a player with another team and I should not have used those words. I called Robert Kraft this afternoon to emphasize those points.

Bill Belichick was asked of the comments of Revis by Johnson on WEEI’s Dale & Holley Monday afternoon, before the statement was released by Johnson.

“I would think that the league would look into those comments … I’m sure that’s something that they would look into,” Belichick said.

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Report: Tom Brady modifies contract to give Patriots $24 million more to spend this offseason

12.29.14 at 4:52 pm ET
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According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Tom Brady has modified his contract with the Patriots to give the team $24 million in more spending money this offseason.

The report says Brady changed the $24 million in “skill” guarantee to only “injury” guarantee, meaning Brady now would get the guaranteed money only if he were to get injured. It also says Brady can be released by the Patriots without any liability, but then would become an unrestricted free agent.

With a number of free agents for the Patriots after this season — Devin McCourty, Nate Solder, Darrelle Revis (team option for $20 million), Shane Vereen, Stephen Gostkowski and Stevan Ridley — the freed up cash could be used to keep the current Patriots on board for next season, or to go out and get free agents on the open market, or sign current players on the roster to contract extensions.

Brady is currently signed through the end of the 2017 season, with his base salary in 2015 set to go from $2 million this year, to $7 million next year. The restructuring of his deal does not change his cap hit for next season, which is $14.8 million. It is the third restructuring of his deal since March of 2012.

UPDATE 7:50 p.m.: ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss has reported Brady has also restructured his base salary for each of the next three seasons — seeing a $1 million increase in those seasons. He will now have a base salary of $8 million in 2015, $9 million in 2016 and $10 million in 2017.

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Tom Brady backing idea of Jim Harbaugh as new Michigan coach

12.29.14 at 3:48 pm ET
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In the wake of his interview with WEEI Monday morning where he expressed excitement about the possibility of Jim Harbaugh becoming the new head coach at his alma mater, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took to Facebook Monday afternoon to apparently give Harbaugh another boost.

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What pundits were saying about Patriots on Sunday: ‘I like the Patriots going all the way’

12.29.14 at 12:53 pm ET
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Here’€™s what the national pundits were saying about the Patriots before and after their loss to the Bills on Sunday:

Michael Irvin on NFL Network after the game: “œI like the Patriots going all the way.”

Deion Sanders on NFL Network after the game: “I love [the Patriots] because of Tom Brady. I love them because they have two corners that can really play the game. I love them because their defense is really nice; Bill Belichick will take away the most potent thing that you have. And they’€™re going to get a week’€™s rest. [Rob] Gronkowski arguably is the best tight end in the game. All they need is a little running game. … Let’€™s get ready for the AFC Championship game.”

Kurt Warner on NFL Network before the game: “I believe there is a formula that’€™s a roadblock for the Patriots: that’€™s getting after Tom Brady. When you get after Tom Brady, this team changes. … If [another AFC team] can show up and get after Tom Brady and mess up the timing of things, I think you have a chance. Other than that, I’€™m not sure there are enough pieces for any one team to beat the Patriots at home.”

Rodney Harrison on NBC Sports after the game: ‘€œThey’€™re in a perfect position to make a run in the playoffs. They’€™re a better team than they were last year. They have home-field advantage. They don’€™t have to worry about going on the road and facing Denver. They’€™ve got a healthy Rob Gronkowski, who’€™s the best tight end in all of football, and you’€ve upgraded at the cornerback position with Darrelle Revis.”

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Matt Patricia: Vince Wilfork’s 2014 return after Achilles’ injury ‘true testament to him as a professional’

12.29.14 at 12:38 pm ET
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Matt Patricia

Matt Patricia

Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia praised Vince Wilfork on a Monday morning conference call with the media, saying the fact that the veteran defensive lineman managed to come back from a season-ending Achilles’ injury in 2013 and play all 16 games in 2014 at a high level is a “true testament to him as a professional and to him as a football player.”

“I think you obviously can’€™t say enough great things about Vince Wilfork,” Patricia said of Wilfork, who finished the 2014 regular season with 818 defensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. “The guy is a tremendous team player. He’€™s a tremendous football player. He’€™s an incredible athlete for a guy that size. [It’€™s] amazing what he’€™s done to be able to come back and play and play at a high level and get himself ready to go for a full NFL season.

“But that’€™s the mark of a true professional. We get a lot of guys that get injured; in the offseason guys that have whether it’€™s surgeries or rehab or whatever it is. It’€™s a part of the deal of being an NFL football player,” Patricia added. “I don’€™t think anybody comes back from injury trying to get ready for half the season or a couple games or one game. I think they’€™re trying to put themselves in a good position to play and they understand that it’€™s a long season and they have to take care of their body. He certainly does all of that.

“Vince is great from off the field, on the field, the leadership in the classroom, studying opponents, trying to get better every week,” he added. “It’€™s just a true testament to him as a professional and to him as a football player.”

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Jets owner Woody Johnson: ‘I’d love for Darrelle [Revis] to come back’

12.29.14 at 12:22 pm ET
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Jets owner Woody Johnson wouldn't mind his former cornerback Darrelle Revis returning to New York. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jets owner Woody Johnson wouldn’t mind his former cornerback, Darrelle Revis returning to New York. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

In a press conference Monday where Jets owner Woody Johnson announced the firings of head coach Rex Ryan and general manger John Idzik, Johnson discussed Darrelle Revis and made it clear it was not his decision to not target the cornerback last offseason when he was a free agent.

Johnson even left the door open for the now Patriots cornerback to return to the Jets — the team that drafted him in the first-round of the 2007 draft.

“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.”

Revis’ current contract with the Patriots is a $20 million team option for 2015.

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Bill Belichick: Priority during bye week is to find balance between self-scouting and playoff prep

12.29.14 at 12:17 pm ET
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Just because the Patriots have an extra week to prepare for the postseason, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be accomplished. On a conference call with the media Monday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed some of the logistical aspects that go into the bye week, what sort of priorities the team has over the course of the next few days and how to best prepare for their playoff opener, set for Jan. 10 at Gillette Stadium.

When it comes to closing the book on the 2014 season, the Patriots will seek to find some sort of equilibrium between self-scouting and looking ahead to the postseason — despite the fact that New England isn’t quite sure who it will face in the divisional round.

“In the short run, we’ve got to try to balance the looking at ourselves with looking ahead at what we’€™ll need to do, no matter who we play,” he said. “And then, specifically once we know who we’€™ll play, how we want to play them. I’€™d say that’€™s really the emphasis for us this week, is to figure out certainly a condensed version of self-scouting and self-evaluation; projecting that going forward on a general term and then projecting it specifically once we know who we’€™re playing.”

That means having some members of the staff look forward at potential opponents, while others will look back and do some review on the season.

“Certain members of our staff will be doing the forward preparation,” Belichick said. “But we know where we’€™ll be playing next week. We know the potential for some of the conditions that we’€™ll be playing in. It doesn’€™t matter who we play, but that could be a part of it. Again, just from our standpoint, no matter who we play, there are things that we’€™re going to need to work on and need to do and want to improve on. Again, it’€™s kind of a combination of those two things.

“I don’€™t think we’€™re going to get into a lot of specific game planning,” he added. “But we definitely would want to have the preparation work done, so that when we do find out how things unfold that we can just dive right in and have all the information that we need organized in such a way that we can get to it quickly and start putting together a game plan.”

For many on the roster, this will be their first taste of playoff football. Rookie receiver Brian Tyms joked about the prospect of the postseason on Sunday, saying the only playoff football he played was in Madden. Meanwhile, veterans like Devin McCourty, Matthew Slater and Rob Ninkovich will be prepared for another shot at the postseason. Regardless of the experience level, Belichick said Monday that when it comes to the playoffs, everyone should understand the magnitude of the situation.

“We all know, no matter how many times we’ve done it –“ single elimination, you put everything you have into it,” he said. “There’€™s nothing to save it for, nothing to hold back. You compete with all you’ve got. I think that’€™s true for everybody. I don’€™t take it for granted. I’ve seen plenty of times young players go out there and sometimes they step up to the competition better than guys who are more experienced. I’ve seen it the other way too. I don’€™t know that there’€™s any set formula. I think we’€™re all in the same boat. This should be the best we all have.”

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