Darrelle Revis’ career is falling apart.
In the wake of a season that had some observers wondering if he was washed up, the 31-year-old cornerback was arrested and charged with aggravated assault after an altercation with two men in Pittsburgh.
Revis’ arrest comes less than two years after he signed a five-year contract $70 million with the Jets, returning to the place he started his career and departing a Patriots team that had just won the Super Bowl.
At the time of the deal, of course, no one knew Revis’ play would deteriorate or that he would end up facing assault charges. In fact, the New York media absolutely loved the signing. Here was the New York Daily News front page the day after it was announced…
Jeff Capellini wrote on the CBS New York website that the Revis signing put the Jets “on the road back from ruin.”
“Forever feeling cut off at the knees,” Capellini wrote, “the Jets fan is walking a little taller this day.”
Over at the New York Post, Brian Costello passionately lauded the signing.
“The Jets had to make this move,” Costello wrote. “It makes too much sense on so many levels. First and foremost, their football team is a lot better Wednesday morning than it was Tuesday morning. Revis remains an elite player at his position and gives new coach Todd Bowles a vital piece in his defense. The Jets defense finished sixth in the NFL last year with bad cornerbacks. What can it do with Revis?”
Meanwhile, Gary Myers of the New York Daily News, called the signing “a terrific move for the Jets” and said there was “nothing not to like.”
And ESPN’s Rich Cimini similarly praised the deal from the Jets end, calling it the team’s biggest free agent signing ever and defending the Jets’ decision to sink a substantial amount of money into one defensive player.
One reason all these writers loved the signing for the Jets was that it weakened their top rival, the Patriots. Revis had been a key cog in New England’s Super Bowl-winning defense, and his defection theoretically opened the door for the Jets to surpass their nemeses.
Though many Patriots fans have long ago learned to blindly trust any decision Bill Belichick makes, not everyone in New England was happy to see Revis leave.
— Freezing Cold Takes (@OldTakesExposed) February 17, 2017
Love to hear #Pats attempt to explain this to Tom Brady, never mind fans (will never happen). Even IN BILL WE TRUST crowd must be irritate.
— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) March 11, 2015
At CBS Boston, Matthew Geagan wrote that Revis’ departure left “an empty void that will have to be patched up by the defending champs, one that may not be filled for years to come.”
Also at CBS Boston, James Stewart doubted the Patriots’ philosophy of refraining from massive free agent signings, writing that, “I just question if the Patriots Way is best for the team winning championships or if it’s just best for business.”
As it turned out, of course, letting Revis walk was indeed good for the Patriots winning championships. New England won the Super Bowl in February with Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan starting at cornerback.
The Jets, meanwhile, fell to 5-11 in 2016, finishing last in the AFC East. Now Revis’ time in New York might be close to over, with the Jets having paid him $33 million for two highly disappointing seasons. Oops.
Let’s finish things off with the sarcastic stylings of Boston.com’s Eric Wilbur:
I’m buying into it. The plan. The bottom line. The Patriot Way.
Let a certain segment of Patriots fans and media wail and scratch their heads over Bill Belichick’s decision not to overpay all-world cornerback Darrelle Revis. Let’s allow the miserable curmudgeons among us to lash out against the team for sacrificing a guy who was arguably the best defensive player in franchise history. Not here.
The Patriot Way wins again.