Where Does Darrelle Revis Rank Among Top CBs in the NFL Right Now?
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported on Wednesday that the New York Jets are looking to trade the talented cornerback, hoping to get something in return for him with the belief they'll not be able to re-sign him after his contract is up in 2014.
Revis is currently recovering from an ACL injury that kept him out of all but two games in 2012. Given the recent success we've seen from NFL players recovering from this injury, it will be more surprising if Revis doesn't return at full strength than it would be if he never regains his past form.
Assuming he does come back 100 percent healthy, where does Revis rank among the NFL's elite at the cornerback position?
Note: Most stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus (subscription required). All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac.com. Also, special thanks to Pro-Football-Reference.com, which compiled all the Pro Bowl and All-Pro stats.
Just Missed the Cut
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These players don't quite crack the top five, but they deserve an honorable mention.
- Champ Bailey (Torrey Smith notwithstanding)
- Casey Hayward
- Chris Harris, Jr.
- Lardarius Webb
- Patrick Peterson
5. Tim Jennings, Chicago Bears
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Tim Jennings led the NFL with nine interceptions in 2012, but will he be able to duplicate his success in 2013?
Jennings had never before tallied more than two interceptions in a season, so it was a bit of a surprise to see him explode like he did.
What he did was truly impressive, though. In addition to his league-leading interception totals, Jennings defended 11 passes, allowed just 52.9 percent of the passes thrown his way to be completed and held opposing quarterbacks to a passer rating of just 53.3.
Jennings is heading into the second year of a two-year, $6.6 million contract and will earn $3.75 million in 2013—a bargain, for sure.
He is only 29 years old, so the Chicago Bears would be smart to extend his contract before the end of the 2013 season, unless Jennings is injured or unexpectedly takes a few steps backwards in his development.
Jennings has totaled 16 career interceptions, five forced fumbles and one touchdown. He was voted to his first Pro Bowl this year, and he earned a second-team All-Pro selection by the AP.
4. Antoine Winfield, Minnesota Vikings
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Antoine Winfield just had one of his most dominant years as a pro at the age of 35. He's been in the league for 14 seasons, and he has always been among the most physical cornerbacks in the league.
Winfield didn't allow a single touchdown all year in 2012, while intercepting three passes and breaking up six more. He also racked up 87 solo tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery.
It would be wrong to assume Winfield can keep up his incredible play for much longer, given his age, but he proved in 2012 that he is among the best of the best at his position, and his play had a lot to do with the Minnesota Vikings reaching the playoffs.
Winfield is heading into the final year of a five-year, $36 million contract, and he's set to earn $7.2 million in 2013. It remains to be seen how much longer he intends to play, but his value cannot be denied at this time.
Winfield has tallied 27 career interceptions, 7.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles and four defensive touchdowns. He has been named to three Pro Bowls and three second-team All-Pro teams.
3. Charles Tillman, Chicago Bears
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Tough, scrappy—Charles Tillman is a player who embodies those two qualities on every single play, each and every Sunday.
Tillman has been playing at a high level for the Chicago Bears for 10 years now, and he seems to be getting better with age.
Tillman may not be as dominant a cover corner as the others on this list, allowing a 63.3 percent completion rate and 77.0 passer rating, but he makes up for it in other ways.
He notched three interceptions and defended 11 passes in 2012, but the most impressive aspect of Tillman's game is the fact that he forced an incredible 10 forced fumbles last year—the most by any player in the league.
Tillman is entering the final year of a seven-year, $41.5 million contract and is set to earn $8 million in 2013. He's 31 years old, and it'll be interesting to see what the Bears decide to do, considering both he and Jennings will be up for new contracts at the end of next season.
Tillman has registered 33 career interceptions, three sacks, 37 forced fumbles and nine defensive touchdowns. He has been voted on to two Pro Bowl squads and one first-team All-Pro team.
2. Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
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Love him or hate him, Richard Sherman is a dominant cornerback who can make even the best wide receivers look silly sometimes.
Sherman trailed only Tim Jennings in 2012 with eight interceptions—one of which he returned for a touchdown—and he defended 15 additional passes. He held opposing quarterbacks to a mind-boggling 47.1 percent completion rate and 41.1 passer rating.
His 2012 campaign followed an impressive rookie season in 2011 that saw him intercept four passes and break up nine passes.
Sherman is entering the third year of his rookie contract—a four-year, $2.22 million deal—and he is set to earn $600,000 in 2013.
At the age of 24, Sherman's just getting started, and he looks to be a cornerstone—albeit expensive—member of the Seattle Seahawks defense for years to come.
In the wake of a controversial PED suspension that was eventually overturned, due to an error by the tester, Sherman was not voted to the Pro Bowl in 2012. He was, however, voted by the AP to the 2012 first-team All-Pro squad.
1. Darrelle Revis
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It's going to take another stellar year from Richard Sherman before I rank him above Darrelle Revis—the indisputable best cornerback in the NFL.
Before Revis was injured in Week 2, he had already racked up one interception, defended three passes and one forced fumble.
He was far and away the best cornerback in 2011, when he intercepted four passes, defended 16 more and held opposing quarterbacks to a 41.2 percent completion percentage and 45.6 passer rating.
Revis has earned the name "Revis Island" because he regularly locks down the NFL's best receivers without any assistance from a safety over the top. He is fast enough to keep up with the speediest pass-catchers in the NFL, and his prowess as a cover corner cannot be matched.
At the age of 27, Revis is set to earn $9 million in 2013 and $6 million in 2014.
His contract can then be voided by the New York Jets, and we already know owner Woody Johnson is looking to see what kind of deal he can get for his superstar, so it's not likely he'll be around for the long term.
Revis has tallied 19 interceptions in his six-year career, as well as one sack, three forced fumbles and three defensive touchdowns. He is a four-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro, and at this time, he represents the best the NFL has to offer at the cornerback position.
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