FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Darrelle Revis officially shut down his dominant playing career by signing one final contract.
The seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback who routinely frustrated opposing receivers with his blanket-like coverage officially retired Tuesday as a member of the New York Jets – the team with which Revis spent eight of his 11 NFL seasons.
The 33-year-old Revis inked a one-day deal with the Jets at a ceremonial news conference at the team’s facility after he announced last Thursday on social media that he was done playing.
Former teammates, including D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and several current players attended, along with owner Christopher Johnson, general manager Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles.
“It’s been amazing,” Revis said of his career. “My work ethic and my study habits I feel propelled me to strive to be one of the greatest. It took a lot of work, week in and week out, to prepare and play at the highest level and covering some of the toughest receivers in the world.”
He was known for his uncanny ability to shut down receivers and the nickname “Revis Island” grew in popularity as receivers were routinely left “stranded” without being much of a factor in games because of the cornerback’s air-right coverage.
In a clever nod to the nickname, the Jets set up a makeshift “island” outside of the facility’s main entrance, complete with sand dunes and three small palm trees and had Revis pose in front of it for photos.
The team also issued green lapel pins that read “REVIS ISLAND” at the top with the Jets logo on the bottom and Revis’ familiar No. 24 featured in the middle in front of a small island.
“As I look at it now and as I take some time to really assess what I’ve done and what really happened, it’s amazing, it’s amazing,” Revis said. “You leave a legacy behind that players can follow, they can mimic and they can study your film, too.”
Revis also gained notoriety for his business savvy at the bargaining table and made more than $120 million during his career.
He had several contract squabbles during his time with the Jets after being the No. 14 overall pick in 2007 out of Pittsburgh, including a lengthy holdout that was documented on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in 2010. Led by then-agents Jon Feinsod and Neil Schwartz, mother Diana Gilbert and uncle Sean Gilbert, a former NFL defensive tackle, Team Revis was a force to be reckoned with.
After contentious contract negotiations in 2013, Revis was dealt to Tampa Bay for first- and fourth-round draft picks. He was a member of the Buccaneers for just one season before being released and signing with New England as a free agent – and winning the Super Bowl with the Jets’ biggest rival.
Revis became a free agent again, and returned home to the Jets by signing a five-year, $70 million contract, including $39 million guaranteed in 2015. After a solid first season back, Revis struggled with injuries and consistency in 2016 and was released. He finished up his career by playing in five games for Kansas City last season.
“I would’ve loved to play my whole career here and wear the green and white until I actually retired,” Revis said. “Things happen. Team acquisitions come in and there’s a different direction a team may want to go. You know, it happens. It really does, and that’s kind of how I can sum that up.”
Revis finished with 29 career interceptions, and returned three for touchdowns, including one for 100 yards against Miami in 2011. He was a four-time first-team All-Pro selection, including in what was his most dominant season in 2009, when he was beaten out by Charles Woodson for Defensive Player of the Year honors.
That was a rare time Revis lost out to anyone in his prime, especially that season. Randy Moss – whom Revis acknowledged was the toughest he ever covered – Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne all struggled against the Jets star.
“His dominance at the cornerback position is legendary,” Christopher Johnson said of Revis. “Forget giving up the catch. We were all shocked when quarterbacks would dare to attempt a pass in his direction.”
Revis wouldn’t reveal specifically on what the future holds for him, but acknowledged that staying around the game in some capacity is likely – perhaps in a coaching role somewhere.
“It’s a love, it’s a passion for me,” Revis said of football. “I’m surely going to miss it. … I’ll weigh my options and see.”
A trip to Canton, Ohio, and induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame could also be on the agenda in the next five years or so.
“I accomplished a lot in my career and the assignments that I had to face during my career takes a lot of toll on your body, week in and week out,” Revis said of why he chose to retire now. “Every day my purpose was not to just be the best at my position, but to be the best player on the field. That was my motivation.
“I came out to practice and tried to set a tone, and game day, I tried to set a tone.”
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