Darrelle Revis: The NFL Story

Updated on June 8, 2017

In 2007, Darrelle Revis was one of the best cornerback prospects in the NFL Draft. Taken by the New York Jets in the first round as the 14th pick, he quickly became one of the best cornerbacks in the league. In his rookie season, he recorded 3 interceptions. He made his first Pro Bowl in his second year.

His third year was no doubt his best. In 2009, he had a career high of 6 interceptions. By this time, everyone knew who Revis was. He was locking down wide receivers each and every week.

Revis has become the NFL's preeminent lockdown cornerback.

— Analyst Tim Graham

Stats by Year


Going into his fourth season under his rookie contract, Revis was set to make only $1 million. As arguably the best cornerback in the history of the NFL, everyone knew it was time for his payday. He held out of training camp until he and the Jets could get a deal done. Eventually, the New York Jets agreed to a four year, $32 million contract extension. After three more seasons, while still playing at an elite level, he suffered a torn ACL. The injury ended his 2012 season only three weeks in. The Jets ended with a 6-10 record.

During the 2013 offseason, Revis still had two years remaining under his contract. But new general manager John Idzik had different plans. Trying to save cap space, Idzik traded him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Jets received a first and third round pick for this trade. The Buccaneers knew they received a star player and their intentions were to lock him in for years to come. Tampa Bay agreed to a six year, $96 million contract. This made him the highest paid defensive player in the league.

By this time, things got a little interesting with his career. After another good year, you would think the Buccaneers would be happy with their star cornerback. However, whenever a team gives a player $16 million a year, there’s always a possibility of a release. And that’s exactly what the Bucs did after they couldn’t find a trade partner. After a one year stint, Revis was released.

For the first time in his career, Revis became a free agent. He was receiving many calls from plenty of teams that wanted him. During this time, John Idzik had been been fired from the GM position. All Jets fans were hoping for a return, and it was a strong possibility. It came down to his decision, which was between the Jets or the their biggest rival, the Patriots.

On March 14, 2014, the New England Patriots signed Revis to a one year, $12 million deal. Jets fans went nuts. They were calling him a traitor for joining their rival. Some fans even burned his jersey. That same year, the Patriots won Super Bowl 49, and Revis received his very first ring.

He was set to become a free agent once again, and New York fans were amazingly desperate for a return. New general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles were ready to change the Jets organization. They made the biggest move of the 2015 offseason and agreed to a five year, $70 million contract with a guaranteed $39 million. This was the richest contract in NFL history for any defensive back. Darrelle Revis was going home.

Some critics questioned the contract; Revis was now 29 years old and would likely see a decline in his career. That wasn’t the case for his first year back in green and white. In week 2, he intercepted Andrew Luck for his first pick as a Jet since 2012. The organization was considered a top 5 defense team. Revis had 10 takeaways (5 interceptions and 4 fumble recoveries) in 2015, and he made yet another Pro Bowl.

It wasn’t until the 2016 season where a decline was noticeable. In week 1, he was covering Bengal’s receiver AJ Green. Initially thought to be a great matchup, Revis displayed the worst game of his career. He allowed Green to catch 10 balls for 152 yards and a TD. That touchdown was a 54 yard bomb that burned the cornerback. Some were saying Revis should be cut some slack considering that Green is one of the best receivers is the league. However, the very next week he was beat for an 84 yard touchdown by Marquise Goodwin. You might be asking who that is. Trust me, you’re not the only one. Throughout the year, Revis showed a lack of effort and was getting beat by the likes of Antonio Brown, Terrelle Pryor, and Kenny Britt.

After his worst season with a drastic and surprising decline in performance, a future with the Jets was in danger. There were rumors of him being released, taking a pay cut, or even making the switch to the safety position. There was no way the Jets wanted to continue giving him nearly $15 million a year. After a 5-11 record, the New York Jets wanted to get younger as a team. They cut veterans Nick Mangold, Nick Folk, and Brandon Marshall. All of these players were starters. On February 28th, 2017, the Jets informed Revis on his impending release.

As of right now, Revis has yet to be signed by a team. He mentioned before that retirement is not an option and he still wants to play the game. There has been reports of a return to New England or a run with the Pittsburgh Steelers, his hometown team. There are a lot of questions if a team decides to sign him. Will he put in a better effort? How much money will he ask for? Will he still be a valuable asset to the team? Maybe he can be a mentor for younger players and step down from the starter role that he is so used to. It’ll be interesting to see where the future hall of famer lands.


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      Kevin Sausa 9 months ago

      I know what you're saying. Sherman wants a lot of money. But Seattle can learn from the Jets mistake. They signed Revis 39 million guaranteed at 29 years old. I completely agree with you. You can't sign them real guaranteed money, at that age.

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      CJ Kelly 9 months ago from Auburn, WA

      I agree that he is a Hall of Famer but NFL careers all seem to end the same way: priced out and unwanted.

      We're facing the same thing here in Seattle with Richard Sherman. He's lost a step (I think) and you can't sign a guy to any real guaranteed $$ when he's pushing 30. This will be his last year here and same goes for Chancellor.

      Revis was great. He doesn't need the $$ and he's got a ring. I hope he retires. Sharing. Good job.