“Revis Island” will no longer be a New York Jet destination.
New York Jets announced its release of Darrelle “Revis Island” Revis earlier this week. The transactions will make Revis a free agent March 9 and it comes after an incident where Revis was charged four times for a street altercation. Since rejoining the Jets in 2015 Revis has only completed two years of his five year contract worth $70 million, the $39 million guaranteed may be exempt due to his off field altercation. Charges ESPN sports analysts and his head coach see as not a reflection of Revis.
The night of February 12 Revis was said to be in a streetfight with two men, aged 21 and 22, in Pittsburgh. Witnesses say Revis physical altercation with the two men left them unconscious, according to the police. After the incident Revis’ attorney says Revis was the victim. The pretrial hearing is scheduled March 15.
“Forget the football player, I know the man,” Jets head coach Todd Bowles, who coached Revis the past two seasons, told the media. “He’s a good character, a good guy. And sometimes you’re put in situations that things happen.”
ESPN’s First Take sports analysts Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman both agree the four felony charges and misdemeanor situation has been blown out of proportion. Something they sense with the current facts that have come out and the fact Revis has never been in trouble off the field during his 10-year career.
One of the charges against Revis was theft which Revis took a phone from one of the men after being recorded. The charge for terroristic threats was more than likely Revis suggesting he’d do something to the nuisance who was recording him, Smith speculates, which to him is nowhere near as severe as the charges brought against him may suggest.
“Chances are this NFL star in the midst of a 5-year, $70 million contract, that’s due to get a $2 million signing bonus that’s always been about his money, he ain’t trying to end up on the news…knowing that it can compromise millions,” Smith said. “I’m willing to bet that somebody instigated stuff with him…I don’t believe for one second Darrelle Revis initiated a physical altercation with anybody.”
Having his privacy invaded by getting recorded on a cell phone is what instigated the situation, says Kellerman.
“I’m not advocating violence…he probably could have handled it better,” Kellerman said. “Both parties need to consent in most cases before you can be recorded…you are violating someones privacy so when you wake up don’t be surprised if you wake up and don’t know where you are.”
Revis journey in NFL
The star from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania has come a long way. There was an era he was known as the best shutdown corner in the game, arguably one of the greatest ever at his position. After suffering a career threatening ACL injury during the 2012 season where he was traded the following offseason to Tampa Bay, he rebounded with a Pro Bowl season with the Buccaneers and a year later won Super Bowl XLIX with the New England Patriots.
The fan favorite, who helped lead the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship appearances in 2009 and 2010, returned with “Gang Green” in 2015. Gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated the feature not only praised Revis for his efforts on the field but winning contract negotiations and being recognized as one of the greatest business etiquette players.
His return sparked the Jets to a 10-6 season where they were one win away from making the playoffs, racking up the most wins since 2010. A Week 17 lose to former Jet head coach Rex Ryan and his Buffalo Bills kept them from making their first playoff appearance in five years.
The journey is not lost on Revis who thanked the fans and Jets organization after the announcement of his release via Twitter.
“I can’t thank [Jets owner] Woody Johnson and the entire Jets organization enough for taking a chance on me back in 2007. I played some of my greatest football in green and white,” Revis posted on Twitter. “Jet Nation has always been behind me and teammates. Without all of you, there would be no Revis Island. I love you New York!!!!!!”
Revis was one of the most dominant players of his generation, says Johnson.
“Darrelle Revis is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Jets uniform,” Johnson said in a statement. “Wherever his career takes him, his home will always be here with the Jets.”
Revis Island era in New York ends
After a disastrous 2016 season where the Jets finished 5-11 critics blamed Revis for poor performance labeling it his worse career season. Bowles disagreed with the notion that Revis is to blame for the team’s disappointing season.
“He didn’t play as well this year. Neither did anybody else,” Bowles said.
With the end of the “Revis Island” era in New York, he had a fitting ending with the 2016 season finale. Then, he snatched one last interception in his final game as a Jet at MetLife Stadium.
Just as his dominance on the field coined the nickname of an island, Revis is in a class of his own by the way he played the game. He’ll go down as one of the greatest to ever do it and just as he tweeted JR Smith last season, he’s already got a spot and gold jacket with his name all over it in Canton, Ohio’s NFL Hall of Fame.
By Gino Terrell