Darrelle Revis is back and he's a New York Jet.
The Jets made official on Wednesday night the biggest move of free agency so far and arguably the biggest free agent deal in franchise history. The return of Revis, the prodigal and yet beloved son of Jets nation, has returned.
A first round pick of the Jets in the 2007 NFL Draft, Revis spent his first six seasons with the team before being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2013 season. Then after being released by Tampa Bay, the New England Patriots signed Revis as a free agent for 2014 but after he helped key their Super Bowl run, they didn't pick up his $20 million option for this season.
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Now as a free agent, Revis decided to return the place that started his journey to being one of the game's premier defensive player. His contract, a five-year $70 million deal, is heavily fronted for the first three seasons with guaranteed money meaning that a player who turns 30-years old this July might not play out the entirety of his contract.
That doesn't matter now with Revis back in the fold, changing the entire dynamic of this team.
“It's pretty surreal but at the same time, it's exciting. All that I went through, the history I had with this organization. It's great. They welcome me back with open arms. We've been through a lot,” Revis said on a conference call with the media on Wednesday night. “They drafted me and gave me a chance to fulfill my dreams and become a great football player.”
During the call, Revis also referenced a conversation with Mike Tannenbaum, the Jets formal general manager, and how he had promised to bring a championship to the Jets. Revis nearly delivered on that promise twice while with the Jets in 2009 and again in 2010 when the teams that Tannenbaum built went one game away from the Super Bowl.
Revis ended up having to go to New England last year to get that Super Bowl ring and now he returns to the Jets hoping to bring that experience and the gleam from that ring to a team that is well into four decades without a championship.
But in the here and now, the addition of Revis automatically bulks up a secondary that a season ago struck fear into no one. He provides a pivotal lockdown cornerback for new head coach Todd Bowles, something that will free up the linebackers to create pressure.
“We have a lot of work to do, we have a new coaching staff,” Revis said.
“We're very excited to get to work, that's the best way to sum it up. They struggled last year but it's a new year. That's all we can focus on, making our pass defense better in 2015.”