Darrelle Revis, who spent eight seasons with the Jets and became the NFL’s top shutdown cornerback, announced his retirement in a social media post Wednesday morning.
Revis, 33, played 11 NFL seasons and likely will be a Hall of Famer. He will be eligible to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, in five years. Revis, who had 29 interceptions and three touchdowns, will be remembered as one of the greatest players in Jets history.
“For the past 11 years, it has truly been an honor to showcase one of my greatest gifts to the world,” Revis wrote in a Twitter post from his verified account. “Today I am closing a chapter in my life that I once dreamed of as a kid and I am officially retiring from the National Football League.”
He signed with the Chiefs as a free agent last November and played six games, including a wild-card loss to the Titans. Revis’ first game with the Chiefs was against the Jets. He was released by the Chiefs in February.
“Darrelle Revis is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Jets jersey and one of the most dominant defensive players in the history of professional football,” Jets chairman and chief executive officer Christopher Johnson said in a statement. “Darrelle’s preparation, competitiveness, intelligence and attention to detail are a reflection of his dedication to the game and his teammates. Just as remarkable is Darrelle’s humility and how approachable he is off the field.”
The Jets moved up in the 2007 NFL Draft to select Revis 14th overall. He had three interceptions as rookie, five interceptions and a touchdown in 2008 and six interceptions and a touchdown in 2009. Revis emerged as the league’s top cornerback, earning the moniker “Revis Island” for his elite coverage skills against top receivers. Revis was arguably the Jets’ top player when they advanced to AFC Championship Games in 2009 and 2010.
“Clearly he was our best player, wasn’t even close,” former Jets coach Rex Ryan, now an ESPN analyst, told ESPN New York radio Wednesday. “He allowed us to do so many things defensively that gave us a chance to be incredibly competitive, I think. I could always take away the other team’s best receiver with one guy. Never needed to double him.”
Revis tore his ACL early in the 2012 season and played only two games. The Jets traded him to the Bucs in April 2013 for the 13th overall pick in that month’s draft and another pick. The Jets used the 13th pick to select defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson of Missouri. Revis played in all 16 regular-season games for the Bucs in 2013, making two interceptions.
The Bucs released Revis in March 2014, but he quickly found a new home, joining the Jets’ most heated rival, the Patriots. Revis again appeared in all 16 regular-season games, making two interceptions. He also earned a ring as the Patriots beat the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
Revis, however, found his way back to the Jets. The Patriots declined his player option, making him a free agent. He decided to return to the Jets, signing a five-year, $70-million contract in March 2015.
“It’s pretty surreal. But at the same time, it’s exciting,” he said then about rejoining the Jets. “ . . . We’ve been through a lot.”
Revis played 14 regular-season games with the Jets in 2015, making five interceptions and earning his final Pro Bowl selection. He played in 15 regular-season games in 2016, making one interception. The Jets released Revis in February 2017 in a salary-cap move.
“I can’t thank Woody Johnson and the entire Jets organization enough for taking a chance on me back in 2007,” Revis tweeted shortly after being released. “I played some of my greatest football in green and white. 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 named to the Pro Bowl seven times, including five times as a Jet, and was an All-Pro selection four times, including three times with the Jets.
“The game of football has opened doors for me I once thought were nearly impossible to get through,” Revis wrote on Wednesday. “My passion to play the game at an elite level brought fun and excitement to the term ‘shutdown corner’ which was nearly on the verge of extinction. Covering some of the toughest assignments in league history was a challenge every Sunday, but also an honor within this game we all love.
“I would like to thank my coaches, teammates, and mentors who have made a significant impact in my life and helped to create amazing memories that my family and I will cherish for a lifetime. I’m excited as to what lies ahead as I pursue new ventures in different industries. Long live Revis Island.”