Nov 12, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson in attendance at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a bit peculiar when you see an NFL owner call out a league-owned network. But everything that happens with the New York Jets franchise is a bit peculiar, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

On Tuesday, Colleen Wolfe of NFL Media stated on the Around The NFL podcast with Dan Hanzus and Marc Sessler that she received information “from a very reliable source” that Jets head coach Robert Saleh and owner Woody Johnson had a “heated exchange” during the Owner’s Meetings.

While Wolfe already received pushback in the form of SNY’s Connor Hughes directly refuting her reporting, it’s quite notable that Johnson would weigh in. As a 1/32 owner of NFL Media, Johnson’s pushback on the reporting, calling it “yet another irresponsible report from NFL Network,” certainly raised some eyebrows.

“All this nonsense about a heated argument between Coach Saleh and me at the League Meeting is absolutely false,” Johnson wrote on his Twitter/X account Wednesday. “It is yet another irresponsible report from NFL Network. Please disregard.”

The “heated discussion’s” legitimacy was questioned when Hughes, who was close to both Saleh and Johnson at the event, stated Wednesday night that no argument occurred. He further corroborated this by speaking to two sources who confirmed the absence of any confrontation, both during and after the party.

The truth may lie somewhere in between.

Perceptions of intensity can be subjective; what one person considers “heated” might seem mild to another. While some could accuse Wolfe’s telling of events as over-inflating what transpired, it seems unlikely she fabricated this entirely. Given her position at the NFL Network, she would have less incentive to report on an owner of the network than someone who was on the Jets’ beat.

The irony here escapes Johnson entirely. Here he is, calling out an “irresponsible report” from a network he partly owns, which would be akin to Rupert Murdoch disowning a critical article about him in the New York Post.

And by requesting to “please disregard’ the report,” Johnson has effectively escalated the issue in a classic Streisand effect move. Initially, there was a he-said-she-said dynamic between Wolfe’s report and Hughes’ denial. However, for an owner to pile onto that refusal, especially when it’s at the expense of a league-owned network, that will undoubtedly only draw further attention.

[Around the NFL on YouTube, Woody Johnson on Twitter/X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.