When the Jets decided to re-sign Darrelle Revis, I think we all appreciated that we weren’t getting vintage Revis. Corners on the wrong side of 30 often hit a steep decline quickly. Corners like Revis who rely on quick-twitch ability and physicality often struggle in their twilight years. Then consider he suffered a very serious knee injury a couple of years ago.
He was good in Tampa and New England gave him help en route to a championship. However the Jets put him back on an island, and the time has come for Revis Island to close, at least in its current state.
Revis was asked this weekend about his struggles. His response was simple yet extremely depressing:
Everyone must eventually look Father Time in the face and accept the eventuality of age. It’s not a lack of effort, it’s not a lack of coaching, it’s just life. There are many ways that people react to that realization, acceptance is probably the rarest but most productive.
Unfortunately the reality is that Darrelle, once the most feared corner in the game, is now considered a weak link. He’s now targeted early and often and players like Kenny Britt are putting up excellent numbers against him. In 2016 he’s been constantly graded as one of the worst corners in the game. I’d try to argue, but anyone who’s seen the Jets this year will know they have little to argue.
So moving Revis to safety shouldn’t be seen as a negative. Just a way to improve Revis’s game and the Jets defense. Charles Woodson moved to safety a little later in his career, but no two corners are made the same.
Don’t forget that Revis is signed through the 2019 season and carries a $15 million+ cap hit in 2017 (with $6 million of dead money if cut). The Jets could move on from Revis before 2017 but more likely after 2017 or try to restructure (not likely). Whereas someone like Marcus Gilchrist is only signed through 2018 and the Jets could move on from him in 2017 and save $6 million in the process with a post-June 1st cut (according to Over The Cap).
On Revis’s contract:
Prior to the start of the 2018 and 2019 league year’s the Jets can exercise a $1 million option on the 2018 and 2019 years, respectively. If they do not exercise the option Revis will be a free agent that year.
Personally I still think that Revis reads the game as well as anyone, his body just isn’t capable of doing the things his mind is telling him. Playing as a free safety next to Pryor would elevate his game, and I’d argue that it would elevate Pryor’s game too. Being able to see the play in front of him.
One of the key traits for any safety is diagnosis and reaction, so basically instincts. Revis has those in abundance. He’s also still agile enough and his technique is still sound. I’ve questioned his tackling this year and that’s a worry, sometimes it looks as though he’s mailing it in with some tackles and as a free safety, you just can’t do that, on most plays you’re the last line of defense.
However moving Revis to safety would likely mean cutting ties with Gilchrist and re-investing that money in other areas of need. Offensive line or cornerback would be my personal suggestion. For me this makes a lot of sense, give Revis an opportunity at safety and if it fails, you can start to move on from him following the 2017 season.