Revis Island is a lonely place nowadays.
Darrelle Revis is a free agent. He’s there, on the open market, ready to be scooped up by any NFL team willing to meet his demands (whatever they are). Yet the current narrative surrounding the potential Hall of Fame cornerback is so negative it makes one wonder if he’s played his final game, let alone land a decent contract.
Revis’ 2016 season with the New York Jets was atrocious, and his ensuing offseason has been no better. First, there were legal troubles stemming from an altercation he allegedly was involved in last month. Then, there was a report from the New York Daily News’ Gary Myers last week in which an NFL personnel source was quoted as calling Revis “an impostor” who “doesn’t make a difference on anybody’s team.” The same publication followed up with a story Thursday, the first day of NFL free agency, in which a general manager told Manish Mehta, “I wouldn’t let him play for me for free.”
All of this suggests the market for Revis probably isn’t robust despite his career accolades, especially with NFL.com’s Gil Brandt tweeting (and then deleting) last week that the 31-year-old has lost 17 pounds since the end of the season, bringing him down to … wait for it … 200 pounds.
Yeah, so apparently Revis was playing at 217 pounds, which, as you probably know, isn’t an ideal weight for a supposed No. 1 cornerback tasked with matching up against explosive NFL wide receivers. No wonder he looked like he was navigating quicksand.
All told, it takes only one team to roll the dice. And while there’s a lot to suggest Revis’ best days are behind him, Myers floated the idea of the New England Patriots bringing back the seven-time Pro Bowl pick, to which his NFL personnel source responded, “It’s the only team that makes sense.”
Maybe he’s right. If anyone can get creative and squeeze the most out of an aging veteran, it’s Bill Belichick and the Patriots’ coaching staff. The question is whether they’d consider a reunion, even if Revis returned on a very team-friendly contract.
Conventional wisdom says they probably shouldn’t, for all of the reasons mentioned. But the Patriots already threw caution to the wind on Day 1 of free agency by signing cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million contract. Who’s to say they won’t view Revis as a potential buy-low option for the secondary, especially with Logan Ryan leaving to sign with the Tennessee Titans?
NFL analyst Albert Breer said Thursday night on Comcast SportsNet New England he’d at least consider it if he was calling the shots at 1 Patriot Place.
“I do, because I think that if he’s motivated — and that’s the thing that’s hard, right? It’s hard to crawl inside of guys’ heads and be able to ascertain whether the guy’s motivated,” Breer said. “But he’s got the head and the athleticism to reinvent himself as a player the same way Charles Woodson reinvented himself as a player.
“… I’m not saying Revis can (extend his career by a decade), but he’s certainly got the ability to reinvent himself if he wants to.”
Perhaps Revis could “reinvent” himself by moving to safety. Or perhaps his forgettable 2016 season will provide a kick in the pants and motivate him to silence those writing him off just two years removed from an elite campaign in which he was a huge part of the Patriots winning Super Bowl XLIX.
Either way, times are tough for the founder of Revis Island. If the sun ever peaks through the clouds, it could require a little help from some old friends in Foxboro.
Thumbnail photo via Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports Images