Darrelle Revis is in the clear from the NFL’s point of view, as the league doesn’t intend to punish him as a result of his alleged role in a dustup earlier this year (one that ended with no charges being filed). While two teams reportedly recently checked in on Revis, some club executives simply don’t see a healthy market for the former All Pro.
Revis, 31, ranks as PFR’s No. 1 free agent corner at the moment, and while he’s certainly not the shutdown corner he was in days gone by, Revis is still a viable starting option. He graded out as the league’s No. 64 corner in 2016, per Pro Football Focus, which would place him right at the tail end of acceptable play. However, one general manager recently told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News he wouldn’t go after the veteran cornerback even if he agreed to play “for free.”
Here’s a look at the top eight teams that could be interested in Revis:
Heading into the offseason, the Cardinals’ top need was arguably at cornerback, as the club doesn’t have a plethora of options to play opposite All Pro Patrick Peterson. Instead of targeting the position in either free agency or the draft, Arizona opted to stand pat, and will now enter the 2017 campaign with only Justin Bethel, Brandon Williams, Harlan Miller, and Eli Bouka behind Peterson. Bethel is a career special-teamer, Williams struggled in his brief time as a starter, and Miler and Bouke have limited — or in Bouka’s case, zero — experience. Revis would allow the Cardinals to bump Bethel back into a reserve role while giving Williams, who was selected in the third round only a year ago, time to develop.
The free agent period took a massive toll on the Cowboys’ secondary, as cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, plus safeties Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox, all signed elsewhere. Unlike the Cardinals, Dallas did take steps to make up for its losses, signing veteran Nolan Carroll to a cheap deal while drafting Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzie and Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis on Day 2. Along with 2016 sixth-round steal Anthony Brown and stalwart Orlando Scandrick, the Cowboys probably have enough secondary depth to get by. But team owner Jerry Jones has shown a proclivity for adding high-profile names in the past, and Revis would certainly fit that bill (and the Cowboys could even give him a look at safety).
The Lions finished dead last in DVOA against the pass in 2016, despite the fact that their top two corners — Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson — ranked a respectable 17th and 37th among 111 qualified corners, per Pro Football Focus. Detroit’s lack of quality depth is a concern, however. Quandre Diggs is a slot option at best and didn’t play well last season, and while the Lions spent a second-round pick on Teez Tabor, the Florida product’s slow 40-yard dash times could make it difficult for him to succeed at the next level. Detroit general manager Bob Quinn worked in New England during Revis’ lone season with the Patriots, so he has familiarity with the veteran corner.
Like the Lions, the Colts ranked as a bottom-five DVOA club against the pass last year. Vontae Davis dealt with nagging injuries all season, and his health concerns likely contributed to his poor play (No. 98 CB per PFF). Quincy Wilson (Florida) was Indianapolis’ second-round pick, and will likely have to immediately step into the starting lineup, as the Colts simply don’t have any other contributors on the roster. Darius Butler is a slot corner who will likely play safety in big nickel sets, while Rashaan Melvin, Darryl Morris, and Chris Milton aren’t exactly inspiring. Revis would likely see a good deal of playing time if Indy inked him to a deal.
The Dolphins have seemingly been looking for quality corners since trading Davis to the Colts in 2012. Byron Maxwell, a trade acquisition himself, finally lived up to his $10MM+ salary, and Tony Lippett also played well as he continues his conversion from collegiate wideout to cornerback. Xavien Howard, a second-round selection a year ago, didn’t seen many snaps during his rookie campaign, but could certainly be counted on for a larger role in 2017, and Miami also used a third-round pick on Cordrea Tankersley this year. Revis would give the Fins another body at cornerback, and like the Cowboys, Miami would be another team that could give Revis a try at safety.
The Eagles’ starting corners are currently projected to be Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson, which is a clear indicator Philadelphia needs to bring in another defensive back. Yes, the Eagles used second- and third-round picks on cornerbacks Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas, but Jones isn’t a lock to play this season following an Achilles tear, while Douglas could be need time to develop, according to PFF’s scouting report. Philadelphia uses a zone-based scheme, which is not Revis’ strength, but he’s an improvement over the likes of fellow veteran Ron Brooks.
Revis, a Pennsylvania native, told reporters earlier this year that playing for the Steelers would be a “dream come true”, and the club still has a need at corner even after using early-round picks on the secondary in recent years. Former second-round pick Senquez Golson hasn’t even seen the field thanks to injuries, while 32-year-old veteran William Gay could be possibly be converted to safety or even released. A homecoming for Revis and the Steelers would likely see him playing behind Ross Cockrell and Artie Burns.
Josh Norman, clearly, gives the Redskins a legitimate No. 1 corner, but the club doesn’t have many options after that. After a solid 2015 campaign, Bashaud Breelan struggled last year, while rookie Kendall Fuller also didn’t show much. Washington used a third-round pick on UCLA’s Fabian Moreau last month, but he’s recovering from a torn pectoral and might not see action for awhile. Revis could start immediately in the nation’s capital.
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