Hannable: Appreciate Bennett, Long for leaving New England the right way
by: Ryan Hannable on Sun, 03/19/2017 - 11:17pm
Bill Belichick and the Patriots are always searching for value in free agency and a lot of times this occurs with veterans who want to compete for a championship and/or revitalize their careers.
This happens because these players are willing to take below market deals and as everyone knows, the Patriots are all about that.
Darrelle Revis is an unrestricted free agent after being released by the Jets at the start of free agency and had all charges dropped against him last week following an altercation on the streets of Pittsburgh last month. With that behind him, the 31-year-old is now looking for a new team.
Since the Jets owe him $6 million, Revis likely isn’t going to command top dollar, maybe even just over the league minimum from his next team. Given how cheap he may be, and all the moving parts in the Patriots secondary, some have already tried to connect him to the Patriots for 2017.
While for another player in his situation it might make some sense for New England, it doesn’t make any sense at all with that player being Revis.
Revis was a key contributor in the Super Bowl XLIX winning season, but don’t forget it wasn’t exactly a smooth walk out the door after the season. There certainly wasn’t the same feeling as with Chris Long and Martellus Bennett this season, who like Revis played one year with the Patriots as veterans who hadn’t won a Super Bowl, and then left for another team.
The cornerback couldn’t attend the Patriots’ Super Bowl ring party in the summer of 2015 because of a prior commitment and sent his mom instead, but she was reportedly turned away at the door. That wasn’t the only issue, as even before the ring party there was an incident in April after he signed a megadeal to return to the Jets. Revis went on a late night Instagram tirade loaded with obscenities towards the Patriots, including saying he did the team a favor by joining the organization and won Tom Brady and Bill Belichick a Super Bowl. Soon after he said he was hacked, but we all know how those things go.
Also, don’t forget Revis didn’t exactly defend Brady when it came to Deflategate.
“I think it’s dragged a little bit too far,” Revis said on ESPN’s First Take in August of 2015. “It’s a little bit too much. I feel that he got the suspension, the four games and you know, live with it. I don’t know all the information. I don’t know everything about the whole situation. Tom is a competitor. I know he wants to win and it’s unfortunate what is going on right now with the situation. We’ll see Wednesday [Brady and Roger Goodell’s court date] how this pans out, but overall I think this has dragged on a little bit too long with the whole Deflategate.”
On the field, Revis isn’t the same player who the Patriots had in 2014. He’s coming off the worst season of his career where he finished with only one interception with five passes defended in 15 games, on top of being burned deep on numerous occasions by plenty of different quarterbacks. The cornerback put on weight and reportedly wasn’t putting in the work behind the scenes that he did before. It’s got to the point where many believe the 31-year-old should make the switch to safety because he can’t handle being a NFL cornerback right now.
Furthermore, the Patriots don’t really have space for him on their roster. Safety certainly isn't an option with Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung and Duron Harmon. Then, if Malcolm Butler returns, they would have Stephon Gilmore and Butler, so Revis would be the No. 3 cornerback -- not something he would probably be OK doing. If Butler does indeed depart for another team, it doesn’t seem like a good thing to have Revis and Gilmore leading the cornerback group when there are younger players like Cyrus and Jonathan Jones trying to learn how to make it in the NFL. Revis has a lot of baggage, and Gilmore is in his first year in New England and would still be learning how the organization operates. Too much could go wrong with Revis around.
Following his hearing last week when all charges were dropped, walking out of the courthouse Revis claimed he was focused once again and would be a different player. It all sounds well and good, but does it really fit who Revis is? Revis has almost always put himself first, so would getting his career back on track really be something he wants to do? He’s going to be 32 next season so he really doesn’t have that many years left. With all the money he’s already made in his career, does he really need another big contract? It seems the Pittsburgh native just wants to collect a couple more paychecks and call it a career.
Time and time again veteran players talk about how hard it is to play for the Patriots with all the work that goes into the season both on and off the field, and this doesn’t seem like something Revis would subject himself to right now given how old he is, how much money he’s already made, and already having a Super Bowl ring.
Revis Island has seemed to have taken on a lot of water in the past year, and the recovery efforts don’t appear to have any chance of happening in New England.