12 March 2015

Darrelle Revis is headed back to the Jets

The craziness of this NFL offseason has only continued this week with the news that broke on Tuesday night that star cornerback Darrelle Revis, fresh off winning a Super Bowl, will be returning to his first NFL team, the New York Jets. He will be receiving the biggest contract ever awarded to a defensive back with a five-year, $70 million contract with a whopping $39 million guaranteed.

We all know that the Jets were very interested in bringing back Revis, especially after Woody Johnson tampered with him back in December and had been reported pushing new GM Mike Maccagnan to sign Revis, but is it a good move? Here are my thoughts.

Considering that Revis is universally regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL, maybe the top cornerback, it is a little crazy that he will have been on four teams in four years (albeit one of them is a repeat). And it is a nice reunion with the Jets, the team on which he developed into such an elite player, and he had a bit of a nasty parting with in 2013 after contract talks had ensnarled both parties with contract talks.

Is Revis chasing the money here? There's no doubt about it but let's not make that out to be a bad thing. Sure, he's going from a Super Bowl champion to a joke of a franchise but it is always easy to say you should take less money from a winning team when we don't know how much the Patriots were willing to pay. What we do know, as per the Boston Herald, is that the Patriots did offered much less than the Jets did with a key factor being that they didn't have a huge amount of room of the salary cap. I do not find it fair to expect an elite player like Revis to take a significant discount simply to play for a winner when joes like you and me probably would not do the same. And let's be fair, Revis took a little less money last year to sign with the Patriots in the first place and I think that worked out pretty well for both Revis and the Patriots.

Are the Jets overpaying for Revis? Perhaps, especially for a cornerback that is turning 30 years old next month. But this is a franchise that has been an abject mess over the past few years and as we have seen before, teams eager to win will throw out a little more cash to bring in a top-tier player.

Bringing in Revis alone does not push the Jets into serious playoff contention, this is a team that still went 4-12 last year, still has plenty of holes on their roster and still does not have an answer at quarterback (although Ryan Fitzpatrick is a decent stopgap option and he has familiarity with Chan Gailey). However while any team would get an upgrade by bringing in a guy like Revis, a team like the Jets that were a trainwreck at cornerback last year and to this point had not done anything to improve the position to this point (and overpaying for the mediocre Buster Skrine does not count), Revis is huge. He is also a great fit for the scheme of new coach Todd Bowles, a former defensive back himself, as he runs a blitz-heavy style with a lot of man coverage from his cornerbacks. After all, they call it "Revis Island" after all.

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