Darrelle Revis, Jets' nemesis New England Patriots agree to one-year deal
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Revis Island has become enemy territory.
Just hours after he was released by Tampa Bay, Darrelle Revis found a new home in New England. According to ESPN, the three-time All-Pro cornerback Wednesday agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Patriots worth $12 million.
But nothing is ever simple when it comes to Revis. Shortly after news of the deal broke, his business manager tweeted: "As of now, nothing has been agreed to with Revis and Patriots.''
As of late Wednesday, the Patriots had yet to announce the deal.
Late Thursday morning, Revi's business manager John Geiger tweeted that Revis and the Patriots had officially agreed to terms.
Despite efforts to secure a trade partner willing to absorb Revis' $16 million yearly salary, the Bucs released him before the 4 p.m. deadline, a move that allowed Revis to become an unrestricted free agent who could sign with any team he wanted.
And he picked the one team Jets fans were praying he would avoid.
The Eagles and Falcons were among the teams that reportedly expressed interest in his services. But the allure of playing for a perennial playoff contender apparently made the Patriots the favorites to land him.
On Tuesday, a league source said Revis would "love'' to play for Jets coach Rex Ryan again and stressed that the cornerback had no hard feelings for the organization after years of contract strife.
"It was only business,'' the source said. "Never personal.''
During his six years in Florham Park, Revis, a first-round pick in 2007, made it clear he wanted to be a Jet for life. And Ryan often raved about Revis, whom he called the NFL's best defensive player.
However, the Jets apparently weren't pursuing a reunion. A league source told Newsday last night that the team "engaged in no substantive discussions about Revis,'' adding that "no one spoke to [general manager] John Idzik'' about re-signing him.
The Jets traded Revis to the Bucs last April for a first-round pick and a conditional 2014 choice. The Jets used the first-round selection to draft Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, the eventual Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Bucs signed Revis to a six-year, $96 million deal last offseason.
After only one year, Revis was on the market. But not for long.
The Jets have serious holes to fill in their secondary after releasing cornerback Antonio Cromartie. But the Patriots were even more desperate for secondary stability after losing their best cornerback, Aqib Talib, to the Broncos just hours after free agency began Tuesday. Talib signed a six-year, $57 million deal with Denver that included $26 million guaranteed. As a result, New England had "extensive discussions'' internally about signing Revis, according to NFL Network.
Revis' salary scared off teams from agreeing to a trade with the Bucs prior to the deadline. But as a free agent, he had the option of signing with the highest bidder with other top corners such as Talib, Alterraun Verner (Bucs) and Vontae Davis (Colts) off the board.
But just how does Revis feel about Bill Belichick now?
During a 2012 appearance with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski on ESPN's SportsCenter, Revis called Belichick a "jerk'' during a word-association segment.
Revis went on to explain that the New England coach rubbed him the wrong way because of "just some of the comments he says about the Jets.''
When the money's right, however, any bad blood that may exist between the two can easily be forgotten.