Jets owner Woody Johnson, who might have violated the league's anti-tampering rules Monday by saying he'd welcome back star cornerback Darrelle Revis, issued a statement later in the day saying he "misspoke." He said he called Patriots owner Robert Kraft to clarify his remarks.
Nevertheless, Patriots coach Bill Belichick evidently believes Johnson might have crossed the line.
"I would think that the league would look into those comments," Belichick said during his weekly interview on Boston's WEEI radio station.
A league spokesman declined to comment on whether Johnson might have violated league rules. A team can be fined or docked a draft choice if tampering allegations stick.
The latest Jets-Patriots soap opera started Monday morning, when Johnson held a news conference to discuss the firings of coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik.
The Jets traded Revis after the 2012 season and, despite interest from the Revis camp, declined to pursue him upon his release from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013. Revis signed a two-year, $32 million contract with the Patriots, but it's essentially a one-year deal for $12 million.
"Darrelle is a great player," Johnson said. "If I thought I could've gotten Darrelle for that, I probably would've taken him. It was our best judgment to do what we did. Darrelle is a great player. I'd love Darrelle to come back."
Not only did the cornerback-needy Jets pass on Revis, but they watched him sign with their archrival. The second year of Revis' Patriots contract has a prohibitive cap charge of $25 million, meaning he could be free to test the market again after this season.
Johnson alluded to past acrimony with the Revis camp when asked why the Jets didn't pursue him last offseason.
"I guess my experience with his agents, and that's all," Johnson said. "It would have been very hard."
It didn't take long for Johnson's eyebrow-raising comments to hit the Internet. Several hours later, he issued a mea culpa.
"I misspoke today when I commented on Darrelle Revis," Johnson said. "I would never interfere in the contractual relationship of a player with another team and should not have used those words."
Johnson said he called Kraft to "emphasize those points."