NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Darrelle Revis got a lot of things off his chest this week.
In a one-on-one interview with the New York Post, the future Hall of Famer spoke frankly about his place in Jets history following a frustrating season and whether or not he wants to keep playing.
Revis, who returned to the Jets on a five-year, $70 million free agent contract prior to last season, has showed signs of his age throughout what has been a disastrous 4-11 campaign for New York. The 31-year-old cornerback admitted he has lost a step, but not to the point where he is a liability.
“I’ve been one of the best cornerbacks to ever play this game,” Revis told the Post’s Mark Cannizzaro. “I’ve done a lot of things in this league that a lot of guys currently playing are chasing now. I’ve impacted the game in a way where it was like, ‘Hey, he doesn’t give up any catches to the No. 1 [receiver].’ I set a precedent.
“So, I’ve done enough. Obviously, everybody’s a little bit concerned because that’s not what I’m displaying anymore. I can’t stay 24 [years old] forever. Every player ages in this game. You’ve got to understand that.”
Revis started to show cracks in his armor last season when he was beaten on more than one long touchdown, something that seemed alien to both him and the fan base following years of stellar play that resulted in opponents not even bothering to throw in his direction.
Things haven’t improved this season as Revis has been lit up on occasion and has at times looked aloof out there. According to metrics site Pro Football Focus, opposing quarterbacks have a 109.8 rating passer against him this season.
While admitting he’s not the player he once was, Revis rationalized that his problems this season could have been avoided with a little more emphasis on technique, adding a recommitment to certain aspects of his game can make him a version of what he once was.
“Now, can I still play? Yes, I can still play. This game is a love for me. It’s like a girlfriend. And we’ve been dating for a long time — many years. She’s been great to me and I appreciate it. I love my girlfriend,” Revis said.
Revis has taken the criticism he has received this season in stride, but said he’s more concerned with what the Jets’ mindset will be this offseason. Contrary to earlier reports that suggested that he doesn’t want to play anymore, Revis said his goal is to continue to his career.
He just doesn’t know if the Jets want him back.
“Would I love to be here? Yes,” Revis said. “Will I be back? That’s a great question. My thing would be this: Do the New York Jets want to treat my situation with class or no class? With me being one of the best players in the history of this franchise, do they want me to retire here or not retire here?
“That’s the biggest question. It’s black and white. It’s not very complicated.”
The Jets can cut Revis not long after the new league year starts in March and save $9 million. If he stays, his salary cap hit will be slightly more than $15 million. Considering all the changes they will have to make in the hope of being competitive in 2017, odds are long the Jets bring Revis back at his going rate.
But that doesn’t mean Revis won’t take a pay cut.
“You have to understand what the next step is, what the next chapter is for you, and I understand that,” he said. “You feel where you’re at in your career, you talk to the guys upstairs and see what’s going to best help me and best help the team moving forward.
“I can still play this game at a high level. I’m going to be there until I’m told I’m not going to be here. Whatever the situation is in the offseason, it’ll get handled the way it’s supposed to. It depends on how they want to handle it,” he added.