A year ago at this time, the New York Jets did everything in their power to not only insult their best player in contract negotiations, they shipped him out of town. Darrelle Revis was supposed to be a Jet for life as former GM Mike Tannenbaum told him during previous talks in 2010, but last season the relationship between Revis and the Jets deteriorated, and the marriage -- which seemed destined for a long career -- ended in a trade to Tampa Bay.
A season hidden in the sunlight and heat of central Florida, enduring a miserable season with the Buccaneers, Tamapa Bay is now ready to part ways with Revis. Perhaps partly out of the fact that Revis was being Revis, when he trashed former Bucs coach Greg Schiano, or perhaps it has more to do with his enormous contract. Whatever it may be, Revis is not long for Tampa.
The Bucs are reported to either deal Revis, who is due $16 million per year, or, release him come Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Obviously it is highly unlikely that someone will inherit the $16 million per year deal that Revis signed with Tampa Bay last off-season. It is more likely that the All Pro is going to get his walking papers, and if he does, Rex Ryan needs to convince both Woody Johnson and John Idzik that time heals all wounds, and bring Revis back home to New York.
Revis was Ryan's best player for four years. He was the centerpiece of his defense, becoming one of the games best cover corners. The Jets defense had a up and down 2013 season; their front seven was fantastic led by Sheldon Richardson and Mohammad Wilkerson, but the secondary was suspect. If only Revis were there then the Jets defense would have been scary good last fall.
The Jets are need of a corner after released Antonio Cromartie the other day. New York is rumored to be favorites to land free agent safety Donte Whitner (SF), and possibly cornerback Alterraun Verner (TEN). Verner who had five interceptions last season is high on the Jets radar, as well as New England's. He is going to ink a big deal very quickly when free agency starts.
That could change if the Bucs let Revis go. According to ESPN, the Eagles and, yes, the Patriots are interested in Revis if he is released. If nothing else, the Jets should jump into the mix just to prevent the disaster scenario that they feared a year ago.
Last year, Woody Johnson wanted to trade Revis with the thought that if he couldn't sign him to a long term deal, he didn't want New England to sign him come 2014, when Revis was originally expected to hit free agency.
Now, if Revis hits the market, and the Patriots sign him the Jets worst fears will come true. Darrelle Revis with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady is not a scenario that will go down well in New York. It certainly won't down well with the fans, and the Jets will have egg on their face big time.
The question of course is does Revis want to come back? He felt betrayed by the Jets last year, so it will take a lot of kissing and making up to get these two sides together again. Perhaps that is where Rex Ryan can come in. He is a master at communicating and is quite persuasive. Heck, it was Ryan's own persuasive personality that kept him as head coach for 2014. Rex will have to put his best foot forward to convince the Jets and Revis to re-unite.
Unless New York signs Verner between now and Wednesday, Revis' return to New York will be a topic of discussion. If the Jets are smart they should consider this strongly, and bring their best player back home.