Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Revis Is A Patriot

One day after watching top cornerback Aqib Talib sign with the rival Broncos, the Patriots returned serve by acquiring the best player at the position, Darrelle Revis. Here's the fallout for Denver, New England and Revis' old team in Tampa

By
Greg A. Bedard
· More from Greg·

With Tom Brady and Peyton Manning headlining, the Broncos-Patriots game isn’t exactly lacking for intrigue. It got some more anyway Wednesday.

One day after Denver swooped in and took top cornerback Aqib Talib from New England’s secondary with the most guaranteed money ever at the position, the Patriots topped the move by landing Darrelle Revis, the best cover cornerback of his generation. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported it was a one-year deal for $12 million, a $4 million paycut from Revis’ contract with the Buccaneers, who curiously released him earlier in the day.

The Broncos defeated the Patriots in last year’s AFC Championship Game, and the two will meet in the regular season later this year.

The Patriots will make Revis the league’s highest paid cornerback. This is a bit of a departure for them. New England hasn’t paid top of the market for a player from another team since it signed Ravens outside linebacker Adalius Thomas in 2007. But desperate times call for desperate measures. With only Denver’s Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the Jets’ Antonio Cromartie as the top cheaper alternatives for cover cornerbacks, the Patriots decided to go all in with the best in the game.

It’s hard to fault the Patriots for taking Revis over Talib, even at a higher salary. Revis is clearly better and much cleaner off the field. Now two years removed from ACL reconstruction, Revis is in top form.

Talib, who has always been talented, was an average cornerback before his trade from Tampa to New England in 2012. He got much more consistent in ’13, but while he rehabbed his troubled off-field image, Talib has never been able to escape the fact that he is not durable. Talib has never played 16 games in his seven-year career, and made early exits in the past two AFC title games and a showdown against the Panthers last season. Talib missed three regular-season games last season, and missed parts of two games in ’12.

Talib is certainly capable of being a very good player. He got the best of prime targets like Julio Jones (Falcons), Jimmy Graham (Saints) and A.J. Green (Bengals). But Talib also was on the short end against Steve Smith (Panthers) and Josh Gordon (Browns).

Billion-Dollar Day In The NFL

Aqib Talib's deal with Denver was only a small part of the biggest and craziest day in 22-year history of NFL free agency, Peter King writes. FULL STORY

The Broncos will greatly enjoy Talib’s enthusiasm for the game, and his ability to keep his teammates loose and tough with his energetic play on the field. That’s something Revis, a bit of a mercenary, will not replace with the Patriots.

Revis was not used properly by fired Bucs coach Greg Schiano. Instead of taking advantage of his man coverage ability, Revis was often left in zone coverage. Once Schiano was fired, it was up to new coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht to determine Revis’ future.

“We have specific ideas regarding the best way to build this defense and, while you never like to lose a good player, we believe this is in the best interests of our team moving forward,” Licht said Wednesday.

Translation: There’s no way we’re paying a cornerback, whoever he is, $16 million like former general manager Mark Dominik did. And we don’t care about giving up first- and fourth-round picks because that didn’t happen on our watch. Have a nice life, Darrelle.

The problem is, after the contracts handed out to Sam Shields (Packers), Vontae Davis (Colts) and Talib, $16 million per season is not out of line for a player of Revis’ caliber. And it definitely won’t be as the cap continues to increase in coming years. And with no franchise quarterback weighing down their salary cap for the foreseeable future, the Bucs discarded the type of rare talent that can eliminate half a field for a defense. The best teams often try to acquire top talent and then fit the scheme to best utilize their skills. The Bucs had a premier player, paid him top dollar for one season, gave up the 13th overall pick and a selection in this year’s deep draft, and then released him and got nothing in return.

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122 comments
liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3

On what planet, in what metric, is Darrelle Revis the best cornerback anymore? He never had top-end speed, & guess what, has even less now. I'm a die-hard Tampa Bay Buc fan, so I can say with confidence that both players are massively overrated (& now overpaid). Sure, they both had their moments, but I watched both men get beat too easily man-to-man to call either "the best". Lovie Smith's defense is legendary, & frankly that defense needs more resources for pressure form the front 4 (hence the free agent signings) than lockdown coverage from the back. This team won a Super Bowl with such thoughts, & just watched as the Seahawks did the same thing. Verner & J. Banks are more than capable corners for Lovie's defense.

Thomas15
Thomas15

Over-rated player, signing, Coach, QB, Owner and organization and part of the Country to be honest. However they do have the most UNDER-RATED guy in the NFL. His name is E-R-N-I-E A-D-A-M-S. Pats will go 8-0 at HOME this year AGAIN thanks to him. 

RSpreier
RSpreier

The Pats need help on offense more than they do on defense. To think that signing Revis even brings the PAT's halfway to competing with the Broncos is ridiculous. A great CB takes out one player on the offense. The problem is the Broncos have 4 plalyers that can dominate a defense, and if you watched the playoff game against the Broncos, you know that the final score did not represent the domination by the Broncos

MichaelWallis1
MichaelWallis1

It was just a dumb move by the Bucs, plain and simple.

thebigdawg57
thebigdawg57

Revis is a cancer to any team.  Let's hope he can blow-up New England.


Patriot Super Bowl Wins Without Cheating = ZERO


Kraft = Scum.  Belichick = Scum.

WaConner
WaConner

Good on NE for finding a replacement corner, but he is hardly the best cover corner in the game right now!

Thomas15
Thomas15

E-R-N-I-E A-D-A-M-S is the GENIUS in new england. pats will go 8-0 this year at HOME again this year thanks to him, and their 'patriot way' system of cameras in pre-set locations and allowing E-R-N-I-E A-D-A-M-S to use his  polymath mind to get guys who'd be a full step too slow on any other team(teddy bruschi/mike vrabel etc.) moving to where the ball is going, PRE-SNAP. bellichek's "genius" is going to disappear when E-R-N-I-E A-D-A-M-S drops dead. Which IMO, can't happen soon enough.

youngnorth77
youngnorth77

They still didn't address there biggest need who's going to catch the ball? they still have no one at the WR position who can actually beat anybody on the outside, maybe some of those guys from last year improve but we still have to see them produce, my second team behind the Raiders

shoota79
shoota79

Not sure I understand how the Revis signing shows the Patriots to be " desperate " ? New England didn't trade away draft picks or Players to obtain Revis nor did they pay him some outlandish ransom . Simply put , NE had a huge need at CB after Talib went to Denver, Revis ( one of if not the best CB in the NFL ) was available & the Pats signed him . To me thats a sound football decision not " desperation ".

patrick.knightly
patrick.knightly

Link Bate. Nowhere in the article is the assertion made that the Patriots are desperate. In fact, the author says, "It's hard to fault the Patriots..." Looks like MMQB is confusing itself with the Huffington Post. 


Whatever
Whatever

The Bucs decided they were not going to get into the Revis Ransom game that the Jets found themselves in, especially not for the prices for top cornerbacks. The Bucs don't even have their QB situation sorted out, so they know they're not going anywhere soon, therefore why deal with Revis and his salary demands? it's a good move for the Bucs, with a new front office coming in and a lot of rebuilding to be done.

thomasoverley
thomasoverley

Revis is starting to live up a reputation alone, and the press is there to help him out

wwwcash
wwwcash

 so the pats sign revis and its desperate times in new england so what is it in denver a panic, i suppose the headline did its work, it got me to comment.

ken.burnside
ken.burnside

How the heck is this "desperation" for New England?  

Replace a very good cornerback with an elite cornerback for about 200 grand more than it would've taken to franchise Talib.

Keep in mind that Passingball teams like Denver and New England are still going to have to face Seattle or San Francisco in the Super Bowl, and that's probably going to be less than pleasant.

msandberg0202
msandberg0202

Im not sure how this classifies as a desperate move. Revis gets a two year deal which allows the sides to feel each other out. If it doesn't work out the pats can release him. If it works out why not extend him for a long term deal? It would be desperate if the Pats traded a high pick for him and took on the 16 million a year. Strange article. 

parkbrav
parkbrav

I don't follow the reasoning here. He was a "rare talent" for the team he left, but he was a "desperate move" for the team that signed him. Which is which?

Also, is anyone mentioning how strange it is for a team (the Broncos) to sign a player (Talib) after witnessing Talib's injury during the Championship game? Due to a "dirty hit"?

smile
smile

Talib is soft....... left the championship game with a deep bruise ...why not pay Revis  its only 2 mil more a year. bill new talib was soft  

RuKdingMe
RuKdingMe

This is not a desperate move - it actually makes a lot of sense.  The Pats saw that having a top corner (when Talib was healthy) significantly improved their defense.  The better corners are getting $8/9/10M per year with $20-30M guaranteed.  The Pats get the best at the position for $12M, a small premium over the other CBs with nothing more guaranteed.



JPG
JPG

$12 million?

Are you kidding me?

This has desperation written all over it.


dei1c3
dei1c3

Desperate?  Not sure I see it that way.  Even before Denver made their offer, the Pats almost certainly knew Talib was not going to take their offer.  So they switch gears and sign potentially the best CB in the game to replace him.  And they did it without screwing their future cap.  Yeah...real desperate.

Mike26
Mike26

@WaConner  He's a Doctor of Cornerbacking.  No one else in the league is out of grammar school yet.

Enforcer77
Enforcer77

@Thomas15  Spoken like a true LOSER.  And an IGNORANT loser at that.  Have fun biting your pillow every night when the Pats punk your team like the irrelvant nobodies that they are.  LMAO.

MichaelWallis1
MichaelWallis1

@youngnorth77, this year's draft is deep on wide receivers and tight ends. I am sure New England can find a few good ones in this draft. 

MichaelWallis1
MichaelWallis1

@shoota79, I think the article should have clarified what it meant when it said how desperate the Patriots are right now to win another Super Bowl especially with how old Tom Brady is now. 

anon76
anon76

@wwwcash  


None of the Broncos' in-house all-pros were asked to take a pay cut because of their FA signings.  If picking up Revis causes the Pats to lose Wilfork, then it will be seen as a desperate signing.


Though you're probably right about the headline & MMQB's sensationalism on that one.  Yesterday the same article's headline was something along the line of "How the Pats signing Revis changes everything in the NFL".

anon76
anon76

@ken.burnside  


Talib was an all-Pro last year, so also elite, though I agree he's not on the same level as Revis.

struckanerve9
struckanerve9

@msandberg0202 It's desperate because it forced a cash-strapped Patriots to spend more than they wanted at the position (They only had a little under $15m before signing Revis, so that leaves them pretty broke in NFL terms).  Now they have to restructure/cut their way to more cash or else they won't have money to sign their draft picks or any other FA needs.  It's so bad that they might lose their (pre-Revis) best defensive player because of it (Wilfork). 

struckanerve9
struckanerve9

@parkbrav You make it sound like Revis represents the same type of signing for every team.  On a CB-rich team like Seattle, he would've been a "waste of money."  How good he is is irrelevant.  This was a desperate move for the Pats because after losing Talib they had zero talent at the position.  So they paid more then they wanted to to lock up Revis.  Could they have gone another way?  Sure.  There were other options.  That's why it's surprising.  They pretty much blew all their available cap space on one guy.  Geez folks...the Pats don't always make the right move.  If they lose Wilfork over this, it could turn out bad for them.  Especially considering Revis's history of pushing for more money pretty much every year. 

unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

@parkbrav The jury is still out on Elway running things.  He was right to dump Tebow and get Manning. But he may have given too much for Talib.

struckanerve9
struckanerve9

@smile If you think Revis doesn't come with his own baggage, you're mistaken.  Just wait until next year when he wants more money (again). 

Ken10
Ken10

@RuKdingMe  It's a one year deal for $12M.  He will be released at the end of the season, otherwise he will cost NE $20M next year.  That's the contract

EasyGoer
EasyGoer

@RuKdingMe  I think he means desperate in the fact that N.E. had lost a top corner so they needed to do something.

BrodyReyno
BrodyReyno

@JPG  thats a huge paycut too. I like this move. If Wilfork leaves, the pats still have Mayo and Kelly to stop the run.

el80ne
el80ne

@JPG That's the going market rate for someone of Revis's caliber.

smile
smile

@JPG cb is the second highest paid player on a team besides the quarterback

DerekDobbie
DerekDobbie

@dei1c3 If you ask me, the patriots have played the broncos perfectly regarding Talib? Good luck with that one! Maybe once the patriots do release Wilfork, Mr(watch me circumvent the cap) Elway can hire vince for a 3 year $250million contract?

anon76
anon76

@dei1c3  

They are risking their All-Pro NT as part of the deal.  It may not effect their future cap much, but it could certainly effect their chances of winning this year.

Mike26
Mike26

@anon76 @ken.burnside  Talib had a nice year - but he's not elite.  He's still a punk and idiot that is one strike from sitting out a season.  No matter how much he makes in his career it's nearly guaranteed he'll be broke within 5 years of retirement.  

Whatever
Whatever

 @ken.burnside  Talib is "also elite" but not on the same level as Revis? So what does that make Revis, Super Elite? Platinum Elite? Olympian Elite?

citizencharlesfosterkane
citizencharlesfosterkane

@struckanerve9 @parkbravHow do you know they paid more than they wanted?  It's pretty clear that New England had Revis in the bag--how fast did they sign him after his release?  It's also pretty clear that Denver offered the same deal to Revis that they gave Talib.

BrodyReyno
BrodyReyno

@anon76 @dei1c3  You make it sound like Wilfork is the defense. He isn't. He was great against the run, but is aging, and NE believes he's not worth 11.5 million he's due.

struckanerve9
struckanerve9

@anon76 @dei1c3I agree.  This seems like they are "robbing Peter to pay Paul" with this deal.  They may have a good pass defense, but you don't just replace a guy like Wilfork.

citizencharlesfosterkane
citizencharlesfosterkane

@Mike26 @anon76@ken.burnside" No matter how much he makes in his career it's nearly guaranteed he'll be broke within 5 years of retirement. "

What, you're his agent and you're stealing his money and squirreling it away offshore?

anon76
anon76

@Whatever

Talib is top 5-ish (out of 64-96 starting CBs), Revis is debatably the best.  Both are elite, unless you think the elite label only applies to the single best player at the position.

Mike26
Mike26

@mjmj779  Losing Wilfork will FORCE the defense to change; I highly doubt it will be for the better.  Wilfork is NOT a dime-a-dozen DL, and he's clearly NOT on his way down.  He's had one major injury - albeit recent - and most other teams in the league would LOVE to take him.

mjmj779
mjmj779

You keep mentioning Wilfork as the reason this could have been a bad move. The patriots were talking about restructuring his deal before the revis signing and he knew this was the plan when he got his last contract. Now maybe it was the last straw for him but after his injury and his age I think most people saw the pats doing this regardless of the revis situation. Wilfork

is a big hole to fill but picking up Revis will completely change this defense. Pats already have a good run d and dennard is good as well. Also rumors are pats might pick up browner. I have a feeling by the halfway mark of the season the pats D will be talked about as one of the best in the league. Something that hasn't been said in years.

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