It’s hearsay but if the reports coming out of New York are true, and Darrelle Revis really has no interest in playing football any longer, what once was one of the most exclusive islands in the world will be turning into a retirement community in short order.
Perhaps the best cornerback of his generation, the 31-year-old Revis has experienced a significant downtick in performance this season and for a guy used to dominating that might be taking a toll on his psyche.
The slide in play, at least according to one source close to Revis, is because the five-time first-team All-Pro no longer has the desire to put in the work to remain among the top two or three cover corners in the game.
“He’s done,” is what the New York Daily News described as a confidant to Revis said. “If he had his way, he’d be done right now. He doesn’t want to play anymore. He’s made a lot of money.”
There is a reason hearsay is not permitted in court, and this is just one person’s take on what has obviously been a disappointing year for Revis and the Jets as a whole. A second source making similar claims or even better, Revis himself intimating retirement would go a long way in confirming this narrative but right now, we’re stuck with tea leaves.
What we do know is that Revis’ descent as a player was evident back in 2015, but the decline has sped up dramatically this season, and Revis has often found himself on the short end of the stick up against receivers he would have eaten for lunch earlier in his career like New England rookie Malcolm Mitchell, who beat Revis for two touchdowns last week.
Whether the troubles are tied strictly to the physical decline of someone on the wrong side of 30 or the failure to embrace the grind any longer as a lack of motivation would indicate can both be speculated.
What can’t is that Revis is no longer one of the top corners in the game and is only in the second year of a five-year $70 million deal.
The Jets will have until the second day of the new league year in March to make a decision on whether or not they want Revis back next season because that is the day a non-guaranteed $2 million roster bonus is due so any negotiation about his desire to play needs to be wrapped up by that point.
Revis has already made a ton of money betting on himself throughout his career so it’s conceivable he will walk off into the sunset if this confidant is correct. After all, the last thing a future Hall of Famer wants is to be remembered as is a broken down, shell of his former self who is limping to the finish line.
That said, this is an emotional time in what has been a disappointing season for the Jets and Revis and what each thinks on Dec. 1 isn’t necessarily what each be thinking in the offseason once the batteries have been recharged and logic has replaced the reactionary environment surrounding what is essentially gossip.
Over the summer with the Jets coming off a 10-win season and hoping for more this time around, Revis claimed he was “going to play until the wheels fell off.” With a 3-8 team where he has been a daily target of the tabloids that has turned into, “we’ll see how it goes.”
Believe it or not, those two things aren’t mutually exclusive, they are just different snapshots in time for an athlete who is far closer to the finish line than the starting pistol.
-John McMullen is a national football columnist for FanRagSports.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen — Also catch John each week during the NFL season ESPN South Jersey, ESPN Southwest Florida, ESPN Lexington, CBS Baltimore, KDWN in Las Vegas, and check @JFMcMullen for John’s upcoming appearances on SB Nation Radio, FOX Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio as well as dozens of local radio stations across North America.