NY Jets will have to live with mistake of not bringing Darrelle Revis back As Jets fumble around to try and get defensive backfield situation in order for season opener, Revis now playing for arch-rival Patriots.
Rex Ryan has the worst cornerback situation in his six years as the Jets head coach, maybe the worst in the league, so Woody Johnson and John Idzik look pretty petty now for dismissing Darrelle Revis when he pursued returning to the team in March.
Revis instead signed a two-year, $32 million deal with the Patriots — it’s really a one-year $12 million contract — and is very happy to be in New England where he has a great chance to get to the Super Bowl with new best friends Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The Jets, meanwhile, are sitting on $21 million in salary-cap space and no cornerbacks.
After the Patriots played the Giants in the preseason last week at MetLife Stadium, I spoke to Revis about the Jets turning their back on him when he wanted to return and he opened up about what transpired when he was a free agent in March. “We reached out to a number of teams, including the Jets,” Revis told the Daily News. “(The Jets) didn’t respond back. That was the situation. There are no hard feelings. It is what it is. I don’t know what the problem is with that situation.”
Then, he found the answer.
“I guess I left a bad taste in the Jets’ mouth for some reason,” he said. “I don’t know what the bitter taste was. You tell me. Mr. Idzik and Mr. Woody Johnson. That’s the guys you have to talk to about that. That’s the guys who are running it. They make the decision. If they feel that is what is best for their team, that is what they are going to do.”
There are factions of Jets Nation that had had enough of Revis — he held out in 2007 and 2010 and another contract battle was looming in 2013 before he was traded to Tampa — and the Jets’ hierarchy was clearly feeling the same way. The Jets had no desire to do business with Revis again this year and clearly had no appetite to pay him $12 million.
Even so, I sense a good deal of Jets Nation is upset that Gang Green let ego and stubbornness get in the way of bringing back one of the best players in team history, and those feelings only intensified when the Jets cornerback situation got worse this summer. And making it more distasteful, Revis signed with the hated Patriots.
Ryan’s defense is predicated on his corners being left on their own. Two years ago, he had Revis and Antonio Cromartie on opening day. Now the starters are Darrin Walls, who has started four games in the last two years, and converted safety Antonio Allen, who literally has been playing cornerback for 15 minutes. Kyle Wilson — oh no — is the slot corner.
Of course, that was not Ryan’s plan when the Jets reported to training camp. Dee Milliner suffered a high ankle sprain on Aug. 10, and no date has been set for his return. Journeyman Dimitri Patterson was signed to a one-year, $3 million deal and was supposed to be the other starting corner. That blew up on the Jets, and he was cut on Saturday. Rookie Dexter McDougle, who was likely going to be the slot corner, tore his ACL, also on Aug. 10, and is out for the season.
“I don’t really know what is going on with the team now,” Revis said. “I don’t really pay attention that much.”
Revis tore his ACL in the third game of the 2012 season with the Jets, then was traded to Tampa last year with the Jets receiving a 2013 No. 1 pick, which they used on defensive rookie of the year Sheldon Richardson, and a 2014 fourth-round pick, which they used on wide receiver Jalen Saunders.
Idzik could have been a hero of sorts by getting Revis back for just the price of the contract. He had Tampa’s two draft picks, and the Bucs put the effort into rehabbing Revis last year (he played all 16 games) and getting the rust off. It was a no-lose situation for Idzik, whose other moves were good enough to build the Jets back into a playoff contender. Revis had a terrific summer with the Patriots and says he’s back to his pre-ACL days.
So is this all the Jets’ loss?
“I don’t know. You can look at it as that,” Revis said. “I don’t know what their process of thinking was coming after the ACL. I don’t know if they didn’t think I was going to get back to 100% or not. If they felt like I wasn’t a franchise player or a player that can be there for a long time, then that’s on them. There’s nothing else for me to do but be where I am wanted.”
I asked Revis if he could understand the Jets having a bitter taste considering he held out during training camp of his rookie year and then missed all of camp in 2010. “It’s a business,” he said. “What do you want? I’m the top player at my position. What do you expect? That’s just what it is. If you’re the top player at your position, you should be paid as the top player at your position. That’s what our side is looking at. It’s business.”
The way things worked out, Revis gets the last laugh. Ryan could really use him now. But Revis is not taking any pleasure in the Jets’ cornerback problems.
“That’s the team who drafted me, that’s the team who took a chance on me, who bumped up to the slot to come get me in the ’07 draft. They gave me a chance to fulfill my dream,” Revis said. “So there’s never been any hard feelings. We built some great teams, went to two AFC Championship Games. That was the best we can do. There’s nothing more you can say.”
After the Jets face either Matt Schaub or rookie Derek Carr in the opener next week against the Raiders, they get Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Brady in the next six games. Just a guess, but Revis could have helped.
He pissed me off and I don't miss him. It's a business he says. That's means screw the fans and the team.
Edited by Ken Shroy, 31 August 2014 - 08:39 AM.