Darrelle Revis

No Market For CB Darrelle Revis?

Darrelle Revis will not face NFL punishment for the February fracas that got him in hot water, but it’s not a certainty that he’ll find work in 2017 either. Officials from four different teams indicated to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com that there isn’t any real demand for the cornerback’s services. Darrelle Revis (vertical)

[RELATED: NFL Will Not Punish Darrelle Revis]

He has lost a step with his age and some change-of-direction [ability] with his knee [surgery in 2012],” said one anonymous head coach. “I still believe he can do an adequate job at corner. I’m not sure if he has the range for free safety. He used to be a physical tackler, but with age that’s gotten worse, so playing strong safety is out of the question. Let him play corner with some protection and he’ll do fine.

After speaking with the head coach plus one team executive, one personnel director, and one scout, Cimini gets the sense that Revis’ significant decline in 2016 and concerns about his commitment have tanked his value. Revis reportedly wants upwards of $6MM to play for someone in 2017, but it doesn’t sound like anyone wants to come near that kind of money for him based on what Cimini is hearing.

His tape is so bad that it’s probably scaring a lot of teams away,” the scout said. “If he still thinks he’s a starter — and wants to be paid like a starter — that will be an issue.”

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NFL Will Not Punish Darrelle Revis

The NFL will not discipline Darrelle Revis for his alleged role in a skirmish earlier this year, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes. Revis was once facing felony assault charges, but a Pittsburgh judge dismissed those charges in March.Darrelle Revis (vertical)

[RELATED: Checking In On The CB Market]

Revis, 31, was arrested following a street fight in which two men were knocked out. Initially, he was looking at two felony counts of aggravated assault, one felony count of robbery, one felony charge of conspiracy, and a misdemeanor count of terroristic threats. Later, a childhood friend of Revis’ took responsibility for just about everything that took place and that exonerated the cornerback.

Recently we learned that two unidentified teams were interested in Revis, but neither club was willing to fork over more than the $6MM he’s slated to earn from the Jets. Because of the offset language in his deal, Revis would effectively be playing for free if he signs for less than that sum in 2017.

It still seems unlikely that a team will agree to sign Revis for upwards of $6MM, but he could see increased interest from clubs now that they know that he will be eligible to play in Week 1.

Over the weekend, PFR’s Rory Parks checked in on Revis and other big-name cornerbacks still on the open market.

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Checking In On The Cornerback Market

As the league has grown increasingly pass-happy, and as the rules have evolved in a way that favors quarterbacks and wideouts, the importance of the cornerback position has never been higher. Over the course of the offseason, we ranked the best available free agents at each position, and five of our top ten corners remain unsigned. Of course, after the initial wave of free agency is over, teams generally turn their attention to the draft and will circle back to the free agent pool if necessary over the summer months.

Darrelle Revis

The group of cornerbacks still available is headlined by Darrelle Revis, whose performance fell off a cliff last season and who was released by the Jets earlier this year. Almost three weeks ago, we heard that two unidentified teams were interested in Revis, but neither club was willing to pay him more than the $6MM he’s earning from the Jets. Because Revis’ deal with New York contained offset language, if he signs for $6MM or less, his new club would essentially be getting his services for free, which certainly would not sit well with the prideful Revis. The two teams that expressed interest in Revis were not optimistic that they would sign him, but it’s difficult to imagine Revis sitting out 2017 entirely. He’s bound to get a job somewhere, and perhaps he will ultimately return to the Patriots, as was speculated back in March.

The next player on our list, Brandon Flowers, was let go by the Chargers several days before the start of free agency in a cost-cutting move. Flowers, 31, signed a four-year deal with the Bolts prior to the 2015 season, a deal that included $20.5MM in guaranteed money. That contract was a reward for his strong 2014 campaign in San Diego, when he collected 52 tackles, 10 passes defended, and three interceptions. He did not reach that level of play in the following two seasons, though he played in only six games last year due to a concussion. He has always been a fundamentally-sound corner, so even if he has lost a step or two, he could still be a useful part of someone’s DB rotation. The Steelers checked in on him soon after his release, and the two sides could reconvene in the coming months.

Like all of the players in this post, Alterraun Verner did not reach the end of his last contract before becoming a free agent. The Bucs released Verner in February, and immediately thereafter, Verner himself said that four or five teams had reached out to him. That may be true, but there have been no independent reports of interest in Verner since his release. The UCLA product has been quite durable during his seven-year career, but he saw his playing time wane dramatically over the past two seasons. He started just three games in 2016, tying a career low, and only appeared in 22.8% of Tampa Bay’s defensive plays. Still just 28, Verner will not command the same type of money he did when he inked a four-year, $25.5MM pact with the Bucs in 2014, but he never seemed to play to his potential in Tampa Bay, and it’s possible that a change of scenery could reinvigorate him.

Alterraun Verner (Vertical)

There have been no reports of interest in former Packer Sam Shields since he was released by Green Bay earlier this year. Sadly, Shields suffered his second concussion in a nine-month span during the Packers’ Week 1 contest in 2016, and he never made it back to the field last season. He is only 29 and is immensely talented, but it does not appear as if the league has much confidence in his ability to rebound from his concussion issues. He previously stated that he has no intention of retiring, so hopefully he can convince someone to take a chance on his upside, even if it’s on a one-year pact for the veteran minimum.

Tramon Williams is the oldest of this group of corners, and at age 34, it’s fair to wonder what he has left in the tank He played in only 12 games (seven starts) for the Browns last season, and he finished 2016 with 36 tackles, five passes defended, and one interception – his lowest totals since 2007. Plus, Pro Football Focus’ metrics graded him as just the 73rd-best corner out of 111 qualified players. He was very good for a very long time for the Packers, but while he may be able to hang on for another year or two, his playing career appears just about over.

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Two Teams Interested In Darrelle Revis

Two unidentified clubs are interested in free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). However, neither team is willing to pay Revis more than the $6MM he’s earning from the Jets, per Cole. Because Revis’ deal with New York contained offset language, that means Revis would have to agree to play for no extra cash aside from what he’s already raking in from Gang Green.Darrelle Revis

It’s unclear if Revis would be willing to play for what would essentially be free, but neither club that’s expressed interest in Revis believes it will be able to lure Revis into signing a contract. Indeed, both clubs first simply want to see what kind of physical shape Revis is in, as well as determine if he’s motivated to play in 2017. Revis, 31, hasn’t drawn any concrete interest since being released by the Jets earlier this year, although he’s reportedly indicated it would be a “dream come true” to play for his hometown Steelers.

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.”

Speculatively, clubs that could still use a cornerback following the completion of free agency and the draft include the Cardinals, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Texans, and Colts.

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Patriots, Revis Have Not Discussed Contract

Reports from earlier this week indicated that it was looking “increasingly likely” that veteran cornerback Darrelle Revis would be returning to New England. While that could still be the case, CSNNE.com’s Tom Curran reports that the two sides have not had discussions regarding a contract.

Darrelle RevisThe Jets released the seven-time Pro Bowler in late February, and the Steelers emerged as a potential landing spot (although earlier reports noted that the organization had no interest). Revis’ supposed decline is apparently scaring away suitors, but some executives believes the veteran hasn’t played his last NFL snap.

We did our work on him. He can still play. He can cover,” the exec told Jason La Canfora. “He doesn’t have that long speed anymore; he’s not going to cover a No. 1 receiver deep. But he can cover in tight spaces and he has great instincts. The film is not as bad as some would have you believe. He’s a perfect fit in that quarters scheme Belichick runs, and they have the kind of safeties who can help him out, too. We’re convinced he’s going back to New England. It just makes too much sense.”

The Patriots could certainly use some reinforcement at cornerback. Despite signing Stephon Gilmore, the team lost defensive back Logan Ryan via free agency. It’s also sounding like Malcolm Butler could be on his way out of New England, meaning the Patriots would have to rely on some combination of Eric Rowe and Cyrus Jones to play opposite their free agent addition. If nothing else, Revis would at least provide coach Bill Belichick with some depth.

Revis ultimately appeared in 15 games this past season, compiling 53 tackles, one interception, and five passes defended. He was listed as the second-best remaining free cornerback in our positional rankings.

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Darrelle Revis To Land With Patriots?

Could Darrelle Revis circle back to the Patriots? It’s looking “increasingly likely,” according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, who has spoken with numerous league sources, including some close to the defensive back. Darrelle Revis

Many, including myself, feel that Revis has lost a step and his effort was lacking in 2016. However, not all talent evaluators agree. One personnel man spoke highly of Revis when speaking to La Canfora.

We did our work on him. He can still play. He can cover,” the anonymous exec said. “He doesn’t have that long speed anymore; he’s not going to cover a No. 1 receiver deep. But he can cover in tight spaces and he has great instincts. The film is not as bad as some would have you believe. He’s a perfect fit in that quarters scheme Belichick runs, and they have the kind of safeties who can help him out, too. We’re convinced he’s going back to New England. It just makes too much sense.”

The Patriots have already allowed Logan Ryan to walk in free agency and Malcolm Butler could be traded to the Saints in the very near future. Even after signing former Bills standout Stephon Gilmore, the Patriots will need some help in the secondary. Revis might not be able to hold down a starting outside position, but he could theoretically be used in the slot, if he’s willing to make that adjustment. Word is that we won’t be seeing him at safety for New England, so slot could be his only real option if he wants to join the defending champs.

We have Revis ranked as the second-best corner remaining on the free agent market.

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AFC Notes: Revis, Garoppolo, Lynch

Criminal charges were dropped against free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis earlier this week, which ostensibly opens the door for him to find a new employer soon. Ben Volin of The Boston Globe reports that one league executive believes a Revis reunion with the Patriots is the only thing that makes sense, and while he would likely not serve as a starting corner in New England, he could be used as a strong safety or as cornerback depth. Interestingly, though, Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald tweets that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told Revis several years ago that Revis’ skill-set did not translate to the safety position. While that does not preclude a New England reunion, it does add an interesting twist to the Revis saga, as many have taken it for granted that Revis will wind up playing safety for whoever signs him in 2017.

Now for more from the AFC:

  • As Volin notes in the same piece cited above, the Patriots’ apparent desire to trade Malcolm Butler is reflective of the team’s usual philosophy of getting rid of a player a year too soon instead of a year too late. However, the Pats have notably departed from that philosophy with respect to Jimmy Garoppolo, whom the club has been reticent to trade despite the haul of picks they could acquire in return. Volin says the Patriots’ stance with Garoppolo is simply based on the fact that he plays quarterback, and they believe that if something were to happen to Tom Brady, they could still compete for a title with Garoppolo under center. The team took a similar approach in 2014, when they held onto Ryan Mallett throughout training camp and did not deal him until they were confident that Garoppolo could handle the backup role.
  • Some Patriots fans are wondering why the club is willing to trade Butler but handed Stephon Gilmore a mega-deal this offseason. As Dan Hatman of The Scouting Academy (via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com) notes, Gilmore is simply bigger than Butler, and his size and length can create more flexibility for defensive coordinator Matt Patricia when matching up against some of the game’s bigger receivers. Simply put, Gilmore is a premium man corner, and those players get paid.
  • Despite the Morris Claiborne signing, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com still expects the Jets to select a cornerback in the first or second round of this year’s draft.
  • Saturday night, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, retired running back Marshawn Lynch retweeted a message in which someone noticed that a musical playlist put together by Lynch contains a track entitled “Oakland Raiders.” The playlist was created in September 2015, but Florio believes the fact that Lynch went ahead and retweeted the message further legitimizes the Lynch-to-Raiders rumors.
  • Meanwhile, new Raiders acquisition Cordarrelle Patterson is actively recruiting free agent running back and former Vikings teammate Adrian Peterson to join him in Oakland, as Ben Goessling of ESPN.com writes. However, the latest reports about a Peterson/Oakland match suggest that Peterson has more interest in the Raiders than the Raiders have in him at the moment.
  • Sean Spence agreed to a deal with the Colts earlier today, and Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com tweets that Spence’s former team, the Titans, could use newly-acquired Jonathan Cyprien, a strong safety by trade, to fill Spence’s role as nickel linebacker.

Darrelle Revis Open To Playing For Steelers

Free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis told reporters playing for the Steelers would be a “dream come true,” Penn Live’s Jacob Klinger tweets. Revis is a Pennsylvania native and attended the University of Pittsburgh.Darrelle Revis

Although Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported last week the Steelers are not interested in signing Revis, that was prior to all charges stemming from a February altercation being dropped. It’s possible Pittsburgh wasn’t mulling a run at Revis due to the off-field concerns that surrounded him at the time, and if that’s the case, perhaps the club has changed its tune. If the Steelers’ stance was based on Revis’ level of play, then they’re probably still not interested.

Revis, 31, ranks as PFR’s No. 4 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.”

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Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Defense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Dwight Freeney
  2. Elvis Dumervil
  3. Chris Long
  4. Mario Williams
  5. Connor Barwin
  6. Paul Kruger
  7. Trent Cole
  8. Erik Walden
  9. Jason Jones
  10. Darryl Tapp
  11. Devin Taylor
  12. Eugene Sims
  13. Howard Jones
  14. Wallace Gilberry
  15. Sam Acho

The pass rushing market has been completely depleted during the first week of free agency, as 14 of our original top 15 edge players have now been franchised, signed, or, in the case of DeMarcus Ware, retired. As such, a 37-year-old with 15 NFL seasons under his belt is now the best pass rusher on the market. Dwight Freeney played on roughly a third of the Falcons’ defensive snaps in 2016, and posted three sacks and 18 hurries. Capable of playing in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, Freeney can still help out a club on the cheap.Dwight Freeney (Vertical)

Three players on this list — Elvis Dumervil, Connor Barwin, and Eugene Sims — were released by their respective clubs last week, meaning they won’t count against the compensatory formula if and when they’re signed. Dumervil, now 33, was hampered by injuries last season but still earned strong pass-rushing marks from Pro Football Focus. Barwin, meanwhile, wasn’t a good fit in Jim Schwartz‘s 4-3 defense, but he should flourish if he signs with a team running a 3-4 look. So far, he’s met with the Bengals (who use a 4-3) and Rams (3-4).

Chris Long has already indicated he won’t be returning to the Patriots, indicating he wants to join a roster where he’ll earn more playing time. Erik Walden, too, won’t re-sign with his 2016 club (the Colts), but he has taken a visit with the division rival Titans. Further down the list, Howard Jones has also met with at least one club, as he was hosted by the Jets on Tuesday. Jones, 27, is recovering from a torn ACL, but did post five sacks in five starts last season.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Johnathan Hankins
  2. Dontari Poe
  3. Jared Odrick
  4. Vance Walker
  5. Sen’Derrick Marks
  6. Ricky Jean-Francois
  7. Roy Miller
  8. Al Woods
  9. Tony McDaniel
  10. Cullen Jenkins
  11. Frostee Rucker
  12. Cam Thomas
  13. John Jenkins
  14. Tyson Jackson
  15. Tyson Alualu

Although top-flight players such as Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams have already been signed, the crop of interior defenders remains strong at the top. The buzz around Johnathan Hankins has been virtually non-existent, as the only club that’s been even tangentially linked to the 25-year-old is the Redskins. He’s one of the youngest free agents on the market, and therefore is probably looking for a massive payday. But the lack of interest around Hankins may be an indication that he’s simply asking for too much money.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

The same issue could be surrounding Dontari Poe, although he’s not wanting for meetings around the league. He’s visited with the Colts, Falcons, Jaguars, and Dolphins, while the 49ers and Raiders also reportedly have some level of interest. Clubs may have concerns about Poe’s lingering back issues, and he might have to accept a one-year deal in order to prove he’s healthy and willing to provide full effort.

The remaining defensive interior players are mostly over-30 veterans, with names such as Tony McDaniel, Cullen Jenkins, Frostee Rucker, and Tyson Jackson still looking for new deals. While most of these guys can still play, they may have to wait awhile — possibly into the summer — before signing on with their next club. Jared Odrick (Patriots) and Vance Walker (Bears) have both taken visits, but the most intriguing lineman here may be Sen’Derrick Marks, who offers a good amount of pass rush from the interior.

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Charges Dropped In Darrelle Revis Case

The judge in the Darrelle Revis hearing dismissed all charges against the cornerback, Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com tweets. Revis was facing charges stemming from an altercation in which two men were knocked unconscious This could pave the way for the veteran free agent to sign with a club. Darrelle Revis (vertical)

“Darrelle Revis absolutely, categorically and positively did not knock out anyone, did not conspire with anyone to commit an assault, did not say ‘shut up before I knock your ass out next,’ and surely did not ‘rob’ another of a cell phone,” his attorneys said in a statement following the Feb. 12 incident. “The voice and admissions made on the video are NOT that of Darrelle Revis. We have no doubt but that further investigation relative to the clothing and voice verification will corroborate the above assertions.”

There may be differing opinions on what Revis can bring to the table at this stage of his career. 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.” Another executive said, “you respect the body of work throughout his career, but all good things come to an end.” Revis’ effort on the field has fallen off dramatically, but the cornerback denies that his work ethic has slipped.

The seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro is coming off the worst year of his career. In 2016, he allowed the highest quarterback rating among cornerbacks who were targeted 75+ times. He also ranked 66th among Pro Football Focus’ 112 qualified corners. That’s hardly the kind of play the Jets had in mind when they signed him to a five-year, $70MM pact with $39MM in overall guarantees.

The University of Pittsburgh product has been linked to the Steelers, but they are reportedly not interested. Revis earned honorable mention on our Top 50 Free Agents list.

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