Darrelle Revis looks “increasingly likely” to return to the New England Patriots this offseason, a move that some would question, but makes a ton of sense. Jason La Canfora is reporting that “numerous league sources” are telling him Revis returning to the Patriots looks like a done deal, and that if the veteran corner actually plays next season it’ll be in New England.
On the surface this might seem like a bad idea, given how awful Revis looked in 2016 for the New York Jets, but he knows the system in New England and the Pats look to be in need of a cornerback. Malcolm Butler appears all but gone to the New Orleans Saints, and while Revis has clearly lost a step, he may still have another season in him if he were playing for a contender.
Revis can still cover in short distances but clearly doesn’t have the speed to go one-on-one with deep threats. Luckily, Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia are smart enough to scheme things so he wouldn’t have to do that much. The Patriots typically run a quarters scheme and have rangy safeties who could help him over the top. That means Revis’ warts wouldn’t be as exposed as they were with the Jets, when Revis Island looked as if it had sunk into the Atlantic Ocean.
With Stephon Gilmore already locked in as the team’s new No. 1 corner and Eric Rowe likely to be No. 2, the Pats wouldn’t need a whole lot out of Revis. His competition would be Cyrus Jones, Jonathan Jones and Justin Coleman, and he could also serve as a mentor to the younger guys on the team. If he embraced that role, it would go a long way to sorting out New England’s potential long-term secondary issues.
Revis seems like a low-risk, high-reward payoff for New England. Especially if he signs up at a steep discount to chase a title.