The New England Patriots certainly could have retained Darrelle Revis if they wanted to. Instead, they let him test the waters, and the former All-Pro cornerback returned to the New York Jets.
It was a decision that was heavily questioned at the time, and why not? Revis was an integral part to the Patriots’ Super Bowl win last season, and you could even make the argument a player of his caliber put the Patriots over the edge.
But as has been the case in the past, it looks like Patriots coach Bill Belichick knew exactly what he was doing. Revis and the Jets agreed to a five-year, $70 million contract with $39 million guaranteed, which are obviously insane numbers for any player. The early returns on that enormous contract aren’t great, though, as Revis has struggled at times this season and doesn’t quite look like the player he was last season, let alone his first Jets tenure.
The New York Daily News spoke to unnamed NFL coaches and scouts about the 30-year-old, and the feedback wasn’t great.
“He was never an overly athletic or fast guy,” a scout told the Daily News. “At some point, you had to know it was going to catch up with him.”
An unnamed coach told the paper Revis is “not the same player,” with another adding “age doesn’t discriminate.”
Revis hasn’t been a total bust this season. He does have three interceptions and six passes defended, but the kinks in the armor are evident. The performance of DeAndre Hopkins two weeks ago seems to suggest Revis isn’t the shutdown guy he used to be. Hopkins burned Revis for two touchdowns, including a 61-yard score as part of a five-catch, 118-yard showing.
Adding insult to injury might be the fact Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler has been a heckuva replacement up in Foxboro — and he’s not guaranteed anything resembling what’s left on Revis’ contract.
Thumbnail photo via Ray Carlin/USA TODAY Sports Images
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