PHOENIX — Rex Ryan is like every coach: He doesn’t want to see his best player leave.
Yet even while Ryan was saying Tuesday that the New York Jets are not actively pursuing a trade of Darrelle Revis, he sounded prepared to enter the 2013 season without his star cornerback.
Ryan said it’s not a foregone conclusion the Jets will deal Revis, who is unhappy with his contract and reportedly has been the subject of discussion with several teams, most recently Tampa Bay. But Ryan acknowledges any team will listen if another club calls about acquiring any player.
“”I’ll coach who’s here,” Ryan said. “On opening day we’ll see who that is.”
Revis missed most of last season with a left knee injury, but when healthy is considered the best cornerback in the league. He earned a $1 million roster bonus on Saturday.
Ryan didn’t say if he expects Revis to be a member of the Jets this season. Revis’ contract will cost the Jets $6 million overall if he remains on the roster. In addition to the bonus he got last week, he has two more $1 million bonuses due before preseason begins. His base salary is $3 million.
“I always want all of our players on our team, and sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t,” Ryan said. “It doesn’t always happen, I’ve learned that. I always have a loyalty to our guys I’ve coached.
“When the first trade thing came up, I connected it to someone that clearly made it up; there was no factual basis. On the first day John Idzik is named general manager and he doesn’t even know where his office is, we’re trying to trade Darrelle?
“This is all speculation like it’s a foregone conclusion. I don’t believe it. With that, I am not naive enough to understand several people would be interest in a player like Darrelle Revis.”
The Jets can’t franchise the 27-year-old Revis next year because of a clause in the contract he renegotiated to get three years ago. He wants to be among the highest-paid players in the league and his current deal doesn’t place him at the top for his position.
Revis has never said he wants to leave New York. And the Jets have found the market for him might not yield the kind of compensation package in draft picks — including a first-rounder — they feel he is worth.