Jets CB Darrelle Revis explains his struggles: ‘I’m old’

WPPROD

It wasn’t long ago that Darrelle Revis was viewed as one of the very best cornerbacks in the NFL. Before he re-joined the New York Jets last season, he was seen as exactly that.

Since then, he’s fallen off a proverbial cliff.

The former All-Pro has been torched by every receiver he’s lined up against – from A.J. Green in Week 1 to Kenny Britt on Sunday. His regression has been sharp and concerning, but there’s an easy explanation for it.

“Because I'm old,” Revis told the New York Daily News after another poor outing this week.

Revis isn’t old in theory. He’s only 31, which isn’t elderly by any means among average Joes. But he’s not your average Joe. He’s an NFL cornerback who’s tasked with keeping up with some of the most athletically gifted humans on earth – ones who run 4.3 40s.

Of course, the best cornerbacks in the NFL are under 30, which doesn’t favor the aging Revis. Patrick Peterson, Richard Sherman, Chris Harris Jr., Josh Norman and Marcus Peters are all under 30 and have been substantially better than Revis this season. One of the few outliers among the best corners is Aqib Talib, who’s 30.

Revis understands he’s on the tail end of his career and isn’t the shutdown guy he once was, but that won’t change his expensive contract or lack of production.

“You have bumps in the road,” he said. “Are you going to see a one catch for 1 yard game? Probably not. I was 23, 24 years old then,” he said. “That's just not where it's at. Can I execute better and do things better? That's going to come. That's definitely going to come down the road.”

Revis isn’t counting himself out just yet. He’s well aware of the career he’s had and knows he can improve on his disappointing 2016 campaign.

And even if he doesn’t get better for the Jets this season, his past numbers speak for themselves.

“I think people look at the price tag and not the whole body of work on what I've done in this game,” Revis said. “It will be forever remembered. I'm not being cocky about it. The numbers are there. They show. I shut down some of the best of the best playing man-to-man coverage.”

Revis is signed through the 2019 season, carrying an annual salary of $14 million. That’s second among cornerbacks in the NFL, but the Jets structured his contract to allow them to move on relatively soon. Should they cut (or trade) Revis next year, they’d have to eat $6 million in dead money. After next season? There’d be no dead money.