Like the old saying goes: "three's a charm," because for the third straight off-season cornerback Darrelle Revis wanted a contract from the Jets, and finally this time, the Jets were willing to listen.
The Jets agreed to a brand new five-year, $70 million contract with their returning Pro Bowl cornerback that will pay him $39 million guaranteed, and $48 million over the first three years of the deal. His money for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, which will be $16 million and $17 million respectively, will all be guaranteed. Revis now joins Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman as one of the highest paid corners in the NFL.
The Jets needed Revis back. They had a gapping hole in the secondary the past two years, capped off by last seasons poorly inexperienced group that was one of the worst in the National Football League. Revis gives the Jets that number one shut-down corner they so desperately needed to go along with that nasty front seven. For Todd Bowles, a defensive coach by trade, this is a move that will make him smile for days on end.
What's more the Jets delivered a blow to two division rivals, the Patriots and Bills, who were both expected to be in hot pursuit of Revis too. The Patriots declined Revis' $20 million option for 2015, freeing him from his deal. The Patriots tried to negotiate with him, but the corner was (in Revis fashion) asking for too much. The Bills were also interested because of his connection to head coach Rex Ryan, however, Buffalo soon dropped out.
The long twisted road back to Green and White was not an easy one for Revis, and it is fair to say that a reunion with owner Woody Johnson was a bit of a long shot because of the hurt egos along the way.
Dating back to Revis' much talked about holdout in 2010, it was Johnson who refused to pay Revis after the 2012 season, and gave permission to then GM-John Idzik to trade him to Tampa Bay. Then, after Revis orchestrated an escape from the Buccaneers a year ago, and expressed his desires to return to New York and reunite with the Jets and Rex Ryan, Idzik and Johnson said "no way," as Idzik didn't even return their calls.
Revis took that insult and headed to New England where he won the Super Bowl this past season with the Patriots. Now, ironically, it is the Patriots who were unwilling to give Revis what he wanted.
At the end of the day this entire deal was about two people: Darrelle Revis and Woody Johnson. Sure Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles played a big part in bringing Revis home, but Johnson had to okay it. He had to accept that he was wrong about Revis the past two years.
Woody Johnson didn't have to make this deal work. He could have stood firm in his belief that Revis is asking for way too much; but he knows how valuable a great player is to its franchise, or at least he has learned that the hard way anyway.
The fact that the Jets and Revis were able to strike this deal says two things. 1) Woody Johnson was willing to forgive and forget. 2) Revis and his agent were willing to forgive and forget as well. Both sides know that they are better together than they are apart. With the Jets, Revis became a super-star cornerback. With Revis, the Jets became a contender.
Revis now gets to reclaim the real estate that was his, Revis Island. He is the shut down corner that nobody will throw to, and will allow the Jets front seven to put even more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
A long awaited return that should have never had so much drama to begin with is now over. Back to football.
Jets fans. The fans are the biggest winners here because they get one of their favorite players back in the fold and it gives the fan base hope that the new administration is indeed moving the franchise in the right direction.
Bowles/Maccagnan: These two guys have been here less than two months, and already are making moves to make people forget about the hideous two years of Rex Ryan and John Idzik. While the rest of free agency and the draft are still to take place, getting Revis along with David Harris and Brandon Marshall is a good start.
Revis: The dude gets paid. That is the one and only reason he was willing to accept this reunion. He finally got the money he felt he deserved from the Jets a long time ago.
Rex Ryan: Ryan desperately wanted Revis back the past two years, but as stated before, the front office felt otherwise. If the Jets brought back Revis last year perhaps the Jets have a better season, and Ryan is still here coaching the NY Jets. I'm sure Ryan doesn't feel too good hearing this news all the way up in Buffalo.
The Patriots: Now Tom Brady has to worry about the Island again, and the Patriots really don't have a number one threat at wide receiver to go up against Revis, unless of course they tap Andre Johnson in a few days.
11 other teams on the Jets schedule. You know the Jets play other teams except Buffalo and New England, right? Revis will get some fun match-ups this season: Mike Wallace with Miami; Victor Cruz with the Giants; Dez Bryant with Dallas; T.Y. Hilton with Indianapolis, and many more. Should be fun to see how Revis can attempt to shut those guys down.
OTHER JETS MOVES: The Jets officially released Percy Harvin from his contract after the Brandon Marshall trade became official. The Patriots have been rumored a suitor for Harvin. The Jets then finalized a deal with back-up running back Bilal Powell. New York also signed fromer Cleveland Browns corner Buster Skrine to a four year, $25 million deal. Perhaps Skrine will platoon with Dee Milliner next year, unless the Jets go out and bring back Antonio Cromartie.