It wasn’t all that long ago that free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis was widely considered the best defensive player in the NFL. But he struggled mightily at times in 2016. Now, most people around the league seem confident that the future Hall of Famer can still help a team win games — if he lands on his feet in the right situation.
In our eyes, two factors led to Revis’ inability to find a new team. The first is his performance during the 2016 season. As we previously mentioned, Revis looked like a fish out of water at times last year. That said, the seven-time Pro Bowler reportedly battled several injuries that prevented him from ever getting fully game-ready during conditioning in 2016.
The second issue: the remnants of Revis’s previous contract with the New York Jets. Long story short, the Jets owe him $6 million this year regardless of whether he plays anywhere in 2017. So, Revis has the luxury of waiting out the process for another deal that exceeds $6 million (which is highly unlikely). He can sit out the 2017 season altogether (also unlikely since he is reportedly preparing to play this fall), or he can join a Super Bowl contender for a bargain bin price (the most likely scenario).
What will he do next? Here is a look at the five most likely landing spots for Revis in 2017.
1. Dallas Cowboys
Dez Bryant could be on to something, because in our eyes this would be an excellent pairing. The Cowboys have lingering issues in their secondary, and adding a proven veteran like Revis would do wonders for them — especially if he’s healthy enough to prove that last season was a fluke. On top of that, Dallas would likely be able to sign Revis to a “prove-it deal” or a manageable one-year deal thanks to the money he is guaranteed from the Jets.
As for Revis, the Cowboys would offer him a chance to compete for a Super Bowl title and play for the most recognizable franchise in the league.
2. Green Bay Packers
This is another near-perfect landing spot for Revis. The Packers are quite possibly the team to beat in the NFC (thanks to Aaron Rodgers). While we are really high on rookie Kevin King, cornerback is one of the few positions on their roster that still leaves something to be desired. Revis could both fill a gaping hole and serve as a mentor to Green Bay’s young cornerbacks.
3. New England Patriots
This scenario represents yet another classic Bill Belichick move. In what proved to be a wise decision, Belichick allowed Revis to test the open market following the Patriots’ victory in Super Bowl XLIX, rather than overpaying for an aging veteran. (Revis ended up landing his second massive contract from the Jets.)
4. Oakland Raiders
Simply put: We would be shocked the Oakland Raiders haven’t already seriously discussed bringing in Revis. After years of toiling in obscurity, Oakland is now one of the biggest threats to the New England Patriots in the AFC, and cornerback is easily one of the weakest positions on their talented roster. In our eyes, this scenario would be a win-win for both sides.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
If Revis could pick out one team to play for it would likely be the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is on record saying that it would be “a dream come true” to play for his hometown team (he was born and raised in Pennsylvania and played college ball at the University of Pittsburgh). And it would only seem logical that the Steelers would be interested too, given their need at the position and the low-risk, high-reward nature of offering the four-time All-Pro a contract.
Prediction: Revis signs with the Cowboys
While it’s true that the Cowboys have shifted their personnel philosophy to one that is more geared towards building through the NFL Draft rather than free agency, it’s no secret that owner/General Manager Jerry Jones has a knack for attracting and signing big-name free agents. With the uncertainty Dallas faces at cornerback and the minimal risk involved, we expect the Cowboys to sign Revis before the 2017 season opens.
Statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.