The Jets are releasing cornerback and franchise icon Darrelle Revis, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link). Team owner Woody Johnson issued a statement Tuesday praising Revis for his work with the Jets.
“Darrelle Revis is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Jets uniform. His combination of talent, preparation and instincts is rare and helped him become one of the most dominant players of his generation. I appreciate Darrelle’s contributions to this organization and, wherever his career takes him, his home will always be here with the Jets.”
General manager Mike Maccagnan called the move “extremely hard to make,” meanwhile, and it comes when Revis is dealing with off-field legal troubles. The 31-year-old is facing four felony charges stemming from an altercation in Pittsburgh earlier this month and could receive punishment from both the legal system and the NFL. Revis won’t attend a hearing relating to those charges until March 15, five days after his $2MM roster bonus would have been due. The Jets will now avoid paying that bonus, and they’ll save $9.3MM in cap space, but they’ll still owe Revis $6MM in fully guaranteed base salary in 2017.
Despite his current troubles, Revis undoubtedly ranks among the Jets’ all-time greatest players. He first joined the Jets via the 2007 draft, in which he went 14th overall out of Pitt, and went to four Pro Bowls and picked up three first-team All-Pro nods before they traded him to the Buccaneers for a first-round pick in 2013. New York used that selection wisely, on defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, and got Revis back two years later in free agency. Revis was a Super Bowl champion by then, having won a title the previous season with the AFC East rival Patriots, and re-upping him cost the Jets $39MM in guarantees on a five-year, $70MM pact.
The two sides ultimately saw just 40 percent of Revis’ lucrative pact through, and while he once again earned Pro Bowl honors in Year 1 of the deal, things went awry in 2016. Revis took until the fourth quarter of Week 17 to intercept a pass and, per James Palmer of NFL Network (Twitter link), yielded the highest quarterback rating among cornerbacks who were targeted 75-plus times. Further, his overall performance ranked a mediocre 66th among Pro Football Focus’ 112 qualified corners.
In his two stints with the Jets, Revis combined for 108 appearances and starts to go with 29 interceptions and three defensive touchdowns. Now set to search for a fourth NFL employer, Revis has hired an agent, Zach Hiller, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Revis previously stated he’d represent himself, but offensive tackle Russell Okung tried that last year to poor results.
As for the Jets, the club has now opened up roughly $37MM in cap space in moving on from six veterans since last week. Prior to letting Revis go, Gang Green jettisoned offensive tackles Ryan Clady and Breno Giacomini, kicker Nick Folk, linebacker Erin Henderson and center Nick Mangold in cap-cutting moves. Like Revis, Mangold is a franchise great.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.