Darrelle Revis is playing to avoid injury in 2016

Here are some words that no one thought would be printed this soon into his career.  The presence of cornerback Darrelle Revis on the New York Jets is doing more harm than good defense.

In the 2015 offseason, cornerback Darrelle Revis signed a five-year, $70.1M contract with $39M guaranteed. Make no mistake about it, he wants to be able to see it to the end and cash in on all of it.  We can’t really blame him for that.

What we can blame him for is how he’s playing this season.  During the offseason, Revis had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his wrist, and it’s clear that he’s not 100% comfortable with it. First off, he’s playing much more off coverage than he’s used to.  Secondly, when he does play at the line of scrimmage, he’s not jamming the receivers.

The hard truth is that Revis has never really had what is defined as elite speed, despite being the best cornerback in football for years.  He’s admittedly getting old, as he said in a Washington Post article by Matt Bonesteel, “‘I’m old’: Jets’ Darrelle Revis bluntly assesses his declining skills.”

“My body’s breaking down,” he said. “Yeah, I am. I mean, not in a bad way. I can still play. It’s just, I’m breaking down. I’m 31. How many corners are 31 right now in the league? The league’s getting younger. I know [Vikings cornerback Terence] Newman’s still playing [at 38], which is impressive. But I don’t know how he’s doing it.”

He’s getting old before our eyes, but he’s also trying to stay on the field.  It appears that he feels the only way to do that is to not play physical like he used to.

While he’s still playing well against the run and still a good open field tackler, his coverage skills are diminishing from that position.  He definitely feels uncomfortable.

Furthermore, he can no longer play with the physicality at the line he used to play with.  This is leading to the top receivers beating him regularly. In conclusion, it’s time for a position change.  It’s time for the young guys to step up and make their marks.

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