FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The report would be unsettling to any Jets fan, but the man in the middle of it remained unmoved. Darrelle Revis said he is not considering retirement and that his love of the game hasn’t waned, no matter what anyone says.
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Citing an anonymous “confidant,” the Daily News reported Wednesday that Revis, who has struggled as much as any Jet this season, has lost his drive. Even worse, that he doesn’t want to play anymore. Though Revis later said he does not plan to retire, his initial responses didn’t inspire confidence.
“I’m under contract until 2018,” he said yesterday. Later, he said: “It’s a down year. It’s a down year for the team. It’s a down year for me personally.”
It certainly is. Amid incessant talk of his lack of production, Revis also is suing his former agents for allegedly stealing money from his endorsements. Now there’s this, a report that seems to bolster assessments that Revis isn’t giving his all. But he insisted to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano that this isn’t the end for him.
When asked if he will retire, he said: “No, no. I think just because we’re not having a good year, these allegations come out. There’s nothing I can control. I still have a lot of football to play, and looking forward to it as well.
“I still love the game. I think that’s why I’m still playing the game, just the love for it. I understand the position we’re in as a team right now. And I’m the target. That comes with the territory.”
The allegations seemed to culminate Wednesday when the Daily News quoted an unnamed source saying Revis is “done.”
“If he had his way, he’d be done right now,” the source continued. “He doesn’t want to play anymore. He’s made a lot of money.”
What is undeniable is that Revis, 31, has had a sharp decline since last season. His body is worn down after 10 years in the NFL and his deterioration is more marked because of his long history of dominance. Not so long ago, he was the best cornerback in the league — a virtuoso at press coverage and an exhausting assignment for even the best receiver — but now, an ACL injury later, he’s lost more than a step and offenses are feasting on him.
The problem is compounded by his salary ($17 million this year) and the Jets’ ineffectiveness. His five-year deal is valued at $70 million, but that will be far too expensive when he’s 34. He’s guaranteed $6 million next year whether he’s on the team or not.
Revis did not say he would take a pay cut next year, but his language indicated it’s not out of the question. He also told SNY he can envision a move to safety.
“We’ll see,” he said of the salary cut. “We’ll see what happens next year. A lot of things are going on, so we’ll see. We’ll figure it out.”
As for everything else, Revis seemed circumspect. Over and over, he questioned the source of the report and said he hadn’t read the story. That didn’t stop him from acknowledging that the 3-8 Jets are all but done.
He plans to clean up his technique, he told SNY — something that has never been lacking, even when his athleticism has failed him. “I’ve been in these situations before,” he said. “You know it’s not the year for us, so we’ve got these last couple of games to actually come out with some positives and focus on the offseason. For me, personally, my focus is on the future of this football team.”
The question is, will Revis be part of it?