Freshly-groomed and wearing a crisp gray suit, Darrelle Revis was introduced Monday at his new home: One Buccaneer Place.
A day after the former Jets cornerback was dealt to Tampa Bay in exchange for two draft picks – the 13th overall selection in Thursday’s first round and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2014 – Revis sat on a dais in between his new coach, Greg Schiano, and new general manager, Mark Dominik.
Revis expressed no ill-will toward the Jets, who ultimately did not want to sign him to a long-term extension. But the three-time All-Pro cornerback admitted his feelings were hurt by the Jets front office.
“I felt some type of way,” Revis said of the Jets’ interest in trading him. “I'm human...It feels like that team has given up on you.”
But nevertheless, he said he has nothing to prove to the Jets going forward. The only proverbial chip on his shoulder stems from his personal desire to be a shutdown corner once more.
During an afternoon conference call with New York writers, Revis said he met last week with new Jets GM John Idzik for the first time. During that conversation, Revis said, Idzik told him the team wanted Revis to remain a Jet. Asked if he felt owner Woody Johnson wanted to keep him, Revis asked dryly: "Am I a Jet anymore?” Well, that should answer the question.”
Revis, who made the media rounds after his introductory press conference, said he felt the Jets had lied him. "I felt that type of vibe, that they weren’t being truthful," he said. "But it’s over. I've got to move on."
The cornerback seemed to get frustrated when peppered by questions about the Jets' desire to keep him. "I have no idea," he said, when asked why he was traded. "I think that’s a question for John Idzik."
Revis was asked repeatedly about the health of his left knee – both during the press conference and in a subsequent one-on-one interview on NFL Network. But the former Pro Bowler was careful not to offer any guarantees about his status for Week 1’s MetLife Stadium showdown with the Jets.
“It'll be fun,” he said with a smile. “I'm excited.”
Dominik said the trade talks between the Bucs and the Jets “escalated” last Thursday. Though he wouldn’t disclose John Idzik’s initial asking price (reportedly a first-, third- and fifth-round pick), Dominik said it was reasonable. But with just one trade partner interested in Revis, the Jets essentially had little leverage and ultimately agreed to deal Revis for two picks.
Dominik, who called Revis “the premier defensive player in the league,” said the reward certainly outweighed the risk when it came to pulling off the trade.
“There's great value in adding a player of this caliber,” the GM said. “…This is a rare and unique opportunity.”
Though it’s uncertain when Revis will return to the field – and, more importantly, if he will be an elite corner again – the Bucs stand behind the evaluations conducted by their medical staff.
Said Dominik: “We feel very confident or else we wouldn’t have done this.”
Revis also feels confident in his decision – so much so, that he agreed to a six-year, $96-million deal that includes no guaranteed money.
“The contract will take care of itself,” he said. “I just have to go out there and play. …I think I am a great player. I did a lot of things in this league.”
Asked later on NFL Network about taking a leap of faith on his recovery, Revis again said he has no doubt he can still be elite.
Said the cornerback: “I’m a confident-type of guy.”