On Tuesday, the New York Jets released cornerback Darrelle Revis. Two years after his triumphant, post–Super Bowl return from New England, he’s leaving Gang Green for the second time this decade. Rather than telling you exactly what this means for the Jets (who are bad) or Revis (who is also bad now — weird, right?), we let two of our resident Jets fans hash out the emotional ramifications.
Sam Schube: So Darrelle Revis has been cut by the Jets. We’re both Jets fans, Ryan. How does it feel?
Ryan O’Hanlon: I would say that it feels like a grand and tragic disappointment, but as a Jets fan, grand and tragic disappointment is my gravity: I know it’s there, I never feel it, and I wouldn’t be tethered to this world without it.
Schube: The Second Revis Era negotiated that gravity about as well as my third-grade drop-an-egg-off-the-roof project did. When he was on his first stint with the team, Revis made the game look slow, elegant even. This time, he was getting toasted by A.J. Green while Harvard Favre was busy spelling out "I got a 1,600 on my SATs" with divots made from incomplete passes. These last two years were mostly spent in mourning for the corner Revis was, even if it took us a year to realize it.
O’Hanlon: That’s the thing about great cornerbacks like Revis — not that there have ever been many like him: They’re so dominant over their portion of the field that you don’t even know they’re there. Broadcasts never showed him because quarterbacks never threw at him because he was better at being Jordy Nelson than Jordy Nelson was:
And then last year, it all went to hell, and it seemed like someone named Marquise Goodwin was beating him for 80-yard touchdowns on a weekly basis. It’s a sudden end, of course, but somewhere in the back of your mind, you knew this was a bad deal in the first place, right?
Schube: One-hundred percent. The Jets are extremely good at misallocating resources. Look at how many really good defensive linemen they are all of a sudden unable to pay! Re-signing an aging Revis who’d already gotten his ring to a lucrative deal was the stuff of a jilted lover crying into the Cheeto-stained seats of the Ryan family conversion van parked on One Jets Drive. The Jets couldn’t do anything with Revis’s prime in his first bid with the team, and then they had to watch those bastards in Foxborough lead him to the promised land. So they decided to win him back at any cost. It was like taking out a third mortgage to afford a set of top-of-the-line window treatments. And then the window treatments don’t want to tackle anymore. Why did we sign him a second time, again?
O’Hanlon: Did Bill Belichick win Super Bowl XLIX just to convince the Jets they needed to re-sign Revis to a debilitating long-term deal right before he entered his decline phase? It’s easier to ascribe everything to Belichick’s omnipotence rather than thinking too deeply about this, so let’s just say yes. But the deal for Revis was representative of a bigger issue with the current team: It loves paying money to dudes who were good when Peyton Manning still had a functional neck and Woody Johnson was bringing an airplane full of toilet paper to London instead of diplomatic prowess. In other words: Good rookie contracts let you build a great team, and while Revis used to serve that role in New York, he left and then came back as the type of pricey millstone that can sink a team that’s floating on top of Nick Mangold just to keep its head above water.
Schube: That’s the tricky thing here. I think we all heard the rumblings the second Revis returned — that he had lost a step, that his body was failing him. Hell, Revis even told us. So when I put on my official John Lynch General Manager Vest™, it’s hard to look at this as anything but a smart, savvy cap-conscious move. As big of a bummer as it is, this is good for the Jets, right?
O’Hanlon: It’s always hard to define "good" with the Jets because the qualitative goal posts were thrown off the crumbling Tappanzee a long time ago, but sure. It’s bad … that Revis isn’t good, but he was terrible last year. It would’ve been enjoyable to see him try to play safety because it’s always fun to watch obsessive athletic geniuses try something new, but my dude looked like he was beta-testing Nike’s first Performance Clog in 2016. Plus, cutting Revis saves them $6 million this year, and depending upon what the NFL decides w/r/t his recent assault accusation, they could save even more.
Schube: Night is darkest before the dawn, right? Well, it’s really fucking dark for the Jets right now. Center of Woody Johnson’s soul dark. The inside of Chris Christie’s abandoned East Rutherford mall-plex at night dark. Revis is gone, we just cut Nick Mangold, we might trade Sheldon Richardson, D’Brickashaw Ferguson has been retired for a year, and we have four quarterbacks who would thrive playing for the L.A. Xtreme. So, sure, let’s clean house.
O’Hanlon: The Jets are built for an era when the forward pass was as believable of a concept as putting a man on the moon. Every offensive player on the roster is a running back and all of their best defensive players are guys who are best at stopping offenses that don’t exist outside of Dallas. It’s time to burn it all down — but when is it not? After the GM traded for and then retained Brandon Marshall, I was ready to pay a grotesque sum of money for an authentic Mike Maccagnan straw hat, but it takes a twisted kind of logic that I’m not even willing to attempt — and I want the team to re-sign Geno Smith — to believe that Maccagnan will be able to fix this mess. After all, he’s the one who made it.
Schube: And so begins another offseason in Jetsville, where the big question is: Who do you think will break Mitch Trubisky’s jaw? Goodbye, Darrelle: I hope they serve contract holdouts in heaven.