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Jets GM: Revis' rehab 'ahead of schedule'

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NEW YORK (AP) - Darrelle Revis is moving closer to getting back on the football field.

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Whether that's with the New York Jets next season remains to be seen.

Jets general manager John Idzik said during a conference call with season ticket holders Monday that there is encouraging news from doctors on Revis' rehabilitation from a torn ligament in his left knee.

``By all accounts, by his doctor's accounts, he's doing very well,'' Idzik said. ``By their estimation, he's ahead of schedule.''

But Idzik wouldn't address the cornerback's murky contract situation.

``Darrelle is a very valued player on our team,'' he said. ``Our focus is squarely on getting him healthy, getting him back to his level of play.''

Idzik and coach Rex Ryan answered about 20 questions during the 30-minute conference call. Several were about the status of Revis, who is recovering from knee surgery that sidelined him for most of last season and has been the subject of rampant trade rumors.

Ryan denied those suggestions last month at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, and did so again Monday.

``I will stand firm by saying there was no truth to that,'' Ryan said.

Revis is entering the final year of his contract, but wants to be among the league's highest-paid players. The Jets are balancing the desire to keep one of the franchise's best players and being financially smart. If they believe they won't be able to sign him next offseason, they would be more apt to try to get something - presumably high draft picks - for him in a deal rather than lose him for nothing.

Idzik wouldn't reveal plans for Tim Tebow, and appeared to hint that the quarterback could be in the mix at the position this offseason. But, Tebow is still expected to be traded or released in the coming weeks after one disappointing season in which he spent most of his time on the sideline - even as starter Mark Sanchez struggled and was later benched.

``He's currently on our roster,'' Idzik said of Tebow. ``What we're doing is we're trying to increase competition at that position and positions across the board, so we're going to let the competition play out. We're going to see who we're able to bring on board and let it play out this offseason and into training camp.

``So I think that'll be healthy for all concerned, including Tim.''

The Jets have been in talks with veteran David Garrard, and plan to keep Sanchez, who is guaranteed $8.25 million this season. Greg McElroy and Matt Simms will also be in the competition, and New York could still sign another free agent or draft a young quarterback.

But, it's unlikely Tebow will be on the roster once the Jets begin offseason workouts. The Jets, by mentioning Tebow, could also be trying to build a trade market for him since most believe New York will end up cutting him.

In other topics:

- Ryan was asked if the Jets might consider doing HBO's ``Hard Knocks'' again: ``We don't anticipate this year.''

- After cutting veteran linebackers Bart Scott and Calvin Pace, safety Eric Smith and offensive tackle Jason Smith, Idzik was asked if the Jets would consider bringing any of them back. ``I don't think we ever shut the door on anything, especially your own players,'' he said. Ryan did indicate that second-year linebacker Demario Davis would replace Scott as the starter at middle linebacker.

- Idzik said the team has spoken to representatives for their potential unrestricted free agents, a list that includes safeties Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry, running back Shonn Greene, defensive lineman Mike DeVito and tight end Dustin Keller. Idzik added that the team would like to retain right tackle Austin Howard, scheduled to become a restricted free agent.

- Ryan believes the Jets can still attract star players in free agency despite their struggles the last two seasons. ``The New York Jets are a team many players want to play for - if not all,'' he said.

AP NEWS
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The Associated Press
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