CORTLAND, N.Y. – New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis missed most of practice Sunday with what he called "a little tightness" in his right hamstring, fueling speculation he sat out because of unhappiness with his contract.
Revis insisted that wasn't the case.
"I knew you were going to ask that question," he told a reporter, shaking his head. "Come on, it has nothing to do with it. If I didn't want to be here, I would've held out."
It wouldn't have been the first time Revis sat out a practice because of his contract.
Two years ago, Revis was unhappy with his contract and staged a mini-protest in minicamp, pulling himself out of a few drills with a tight hamstring and lightheadedness. He later admitted that he exaggerated it to send a message, a precursor to an acrimonious, 35-day holdout in training camp. Ultimately, he received a one-year extension, but not the long-term deal he coveted.
Two weeks later, in the second regular-season game, Revis pulled his left hamstring while covering Randy Moss, later admitting the long layoff contributed to the injury. He missed two games.
Revis acknowledged Sunday he's had "a lot of hamstring problems," but he claimed this latest issue is minor. He said he expects to practice Monday.
"I'm not concerned," he said. "I'm just being cautious."
Revis admitted last week at the start of training camp that he came "close" to holding out for the second time in three years. He reiterated he wants to renegotiate his contract, which has two years remaining, but he was rebuffed by the Jets during the offseason.
The All-Pro cornerback would've been subject to severe financial penalties by holding out -– a $30,000-a-day fine and the forfeiture of a $1 million reporting bonus. Based on a clause in his contract, a holdout would've triggered a three-year extension for the modest total of $3 million a year. He also may have exposed an $18 million option bonus he received last season.
Revis showed up in full pads for the Jets' first practice in pads, claiming he wanted to practice. He participated in individual and positional drills, but was told by secondary coach Dennis Thurman to sit out the team drills.
Revis said he objected. Finally, trainer John Mellody interceded, and Revis was to take the rest of the day off, the cornerback said. He watched the rest of the practice on the sideline without his helmet.
"I don't think it's that serious," he said.
Jets coach Rex Ryan called it "a minor thing," saying the injury isn't severe enough to keep him out of a game.
"He's had some hamstring issues in previous training camps, when he probably fought through something and pulled," Ryan said. "We don't want that to happen."