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Darrelle Revis: The NFL Story

Updated on May 12, 2017

In 2007, Darrelle Revis was one of the best cornerback prospects in the NFL Draft. Taken by the NY Jets in the first round, with the 14th pick, he quickly became one of the best cornerbacks in the league. In his rookie season, he recorded 3 interceptions, but in only his second year, he made his first pro bowl.

Revis might have made his first pro bowl in 2008, but the next year was no doubt his best. In 2009, he had a career high 6 interceptions. By this time, everyone knew who Darrelle Revis was, as he was locking down opponent’s number one wide receiver, each and every week.

"Revis has become the NFL's preeminent lockdown cornerback.”

—Analyst Tim Graham


Going into his fourth season under his rookie contract, Revis was set to make only $1 million. When he was arguably the best cornerback in the history of the NFL, everyone knew it was time for his pay day. Revis was holding out of training camp until he and the jets can get a deal done. Finally, they did. The New York Jets agreed to terms with Darrelle Revis on a 4 year, $32 million guaranteed contract extension. After three more seasons, still playing at an elite level, Revis suffered an ACL injury, in week 3 of the 2012 season. He did not finish the year and the Jets ended with a 6 - 10 record.

During the 2013 offseason, Darrelle Revis still had 2 years remaining under his contract. But new General Manager John Idzik had different plans. Trying to save cap space, Idzik traded Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Jets received a first and third round pick in this trade. The Buccaneers knew they received a star player and their intentions were to lock him in for years to come. Tampa Bay and Darrelle Revis agreed on a 6 year, $96 million contract, making him the highest paid defensive player in the league.

By this time is where things get a little bit interesting with Revis’ career. After another good year, you would think the Buccaneers would be happy with their star cornerback. However, whenever a team gives a player $16 million, there’s always a possibility of a release. And that’s exactly what the Bucs did after they couldn’t find a trade partner. After a one year stint, Revis was released.

For the first time in his career, Revis became an NFL free agent. Getting calls from plenty of teams, everyone wanted the elite corner. During this time, John Idzik had been been fired before the release of Revis. All Jets fans were hoping for a return, and it was very possible. It came down to Revis’ decision, which was between the Jets or the their biggest rival, the Patriots.

On March 14, 2014, the New England Patriots signed Darrelle Revis to a 1 year $12 million deal. Jets fans went nuts. They were calling him a traitor, a backstabber, and he was now the rival. Some Jets fans were actually burning their Revis jersey. That same year, the Patriots won Super Bowl 49, and Darrelle Revis received his very first ring.

Revis was set to become a free agent once again, and Jet fans were desperate for the return. New General Manager Mike Maccagnan and Head Coach Todd Bowles, were ready to change the Jets organization. They made the biggest move of the 2015 offseason and agreed to terms with Revis for 5 years $70 million, with $39 million guaranteed. This was the richest contract in NFL history for any defensive back, and Darrelle Revis was going home.

Some critics questioned the contract, considering he was 29 years old and probably would start the decline of skill in his career. That wasn’t the case for his first year back in green and white. In week 2, Revis intercepted Andrew Luck for his first pick as a Jet since 2012. The Jets were considered a top 5 defense, and Revis made his impact. He had 10 takeaways (5 interceptions and 4 fumble recoveries) in 2015, and made yet another pro bowl.

It wasn’t until the 2016 season when Revis’ decline was noticeable. In week 1, he was covering star Bengal’s receiver AJ Green, what we all thought was going to be a great matchup to watch. However, Revis displayed the worst game of his career, allowing Green to catch 10 balls for 152 yards and a TD. That touchdown was a 54 yard bomb, where AJ Green burned Revis. Some were saying Revis should be cut some slack, considering Green is one of the best receivers is the league. However, the very next week, he was beat for an 84 yard touchdown by Marquise Goodwin. You might be asking who that is. Trust me, you’re not the only one. Throughout the year, he showed a lack of effort and was getting beat by the likes of Antonio Brown, Terrelle Pryor, and Kenny Britt.

Revis had his worst season and after the drastic and surprising decline of his skill, his future with the Jets was in danger. There were rumors of him being released or taking a pay cut, or even making the switch to the safety position. There was no way the Jets wanted to continue to give him the $15 million average salary he was making. Not after he was playing like a below average player. After a 5 - 11 record, the New York Jets wanted to get younger as a team, as they cut veterans Nick Mangold, Nick Folk, and Brandon Marshall, all 2016 starters. They couldn’t do that with a 31 year old corner on the team, that no longer plays at an elite level. On February 28th, 2017, the Jets informed Revis on his impending release.

As of right now, Darrelle Revis has yet to be signed by a team. He mentioned before, retirement is not an option right now and still wants to play the game. There has been reports of a return to New England or a run with the Pittsburgh Steelers, considering Pittsburgh is his home town. There are a lot of questions if a team decides to sign Revis. Will he put in a better effort? How much money will he ask for? Will he still be a valuable asset to the team? Maybe he can be a mentor for younger players and step down from his starter role that he is so used to. It’ll be interesting to see where the future Hall of Famer lands.


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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 12 days ago from Auburn, WA

      I agree that he is a Hall of Famer but NFL careers all seem to end the same way: priced out and unwanted.

      We're facing the same thing here in Seattle with Richard Sherman. He's lost a step (I think) and you can't sign a guy to any real guaranteed $$ when he's pushing 30. This will be his last year here and same goes for Chancellor.

      Revis was great. He doesn't need the $$ and he's got a ring. I hope he retires. Sharing. Good job.

    • profile image

      Kevin Sausa 9 days ago

      I know what you're saying. Sherman wants a lot of money. But Seattle can learn from the Jets mistake. They signed Revis 39 million guaranteed at 29 years old. I completely agree with you. You can't sign them real guaranteed money, at that age.

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