Darrelle Revis is considered one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, but thanks to prior contract disputes with the New York Jets and an ACL tear that ended his 2012 season in Week 3, there's plenty of mystery surrounding his current worth.
Let's extensively evaluate every component of Revis' situation entering the 2013 campaign and come to a definitive conclusion regarding his true value.
Revis is a 5'11'', 198-pound cornerback who'll be 28 before the start of the upcoming regular season, his seventh in the NFL.
He has played in 79 of a possible 96 games in his career, and before his knee injury, he missed only three games as a professional.
In those 79 games, according to ESPN, Revis has amassed 294 tackles for an average of 3.72 per game. To date, he has 19 interceptions, one sack, three forced fumbles and a ridiculous 98 passes defended.
Recent Level of Play
It's widely accepted that Revis' production goes beyond the quantifiable. Tackles, interceptions and passes defended don't do the Jets' cornerback justice because it's been said that many teams have been afraid to even throw Revis' way during his career.
That's the ultimate compliment for a cornerback.
The below chart provides a comprehensive look at how Revis stacks up on a level playing field with some of the best cornerbacks in the game. All figures date back to 2010 (if applicable).
|Name||Games Played||Targets /Game||Passes Defended|| |
Targets/ Pass Defended
|Richard Sherman (Since 2011)||32||5.71||27||6.77||12||15.25|
(Chart used figures from ProFootballFocus)
The chart illustrates that Revis is not only one of the least targeted top corners in football, but that he makes a play on the ball more frequently when he is targeted as well.
Revis' interception numbers weren't helped by an interception-less 2010, but it's worth noting that since the start of that year, he has been more efficient picking off passes than Carr and nearly as efficient as Joseph.
Though passes defended and interceptions aren't the sole determinants in the attempt to measure the impact a cornerback has on a game, the chart does reaffirm the notion that teams shy away from throwing in Revis' direction, and that he's particularly tight in coverage.
Recent History of Cornerbacks After ACL Tear
Every player heals differently, but undoubtedly, there will be inherent risk with Revis after his ACL tear. New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas tore his ACL in 2011, only to re-aggravate the injury early in 2012's training camp.
Cedric Griffin tore the ACL in his left knee during the 2009 NFC championship game with the Minnesota Vikings. After extensive rehab allowed him to return to the field in Week 3 of 2010, he tore the right ACL in Week 5, sidelining him for the remainder of the season.
Domonique Foxworth signed a four-year, $28 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens in 2009 but missed the entire 2010 season after tearing his ACL in OTAs.
He played in two games in 2011 but was placed on injured-reserved due to knee problems.
The corner retired before the 2012 season.
Greg Toler of the Arizona Cardinals tore his ACL in a preseason game in 2011. He made a full recovery and played in 11 games in 2012, despite injuring his hamstring in Week 5—there's no telling if the ACL tear had any bearing.
Rashean Mathis of the Jacksonville Jaguars tore his ACL in Week 10 of the 2011 campaign.
He signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Jags prior to the 2012 season, but he was hampered by a groin injury and played sparingly in 12 games.
So, make what you want of that information.
Certainly, Revis could come back and return to lock down status. But based on what we've seen from cornerbacks who've recently torn their ACL, more injuries and a dip in production could be in his future.
Any team making a play at Revis will look to those cases as cautionary tales and will likely use them against Revis in negotiations.
Other Cornerback Contracts
Johnathan Joseph signed a five-year, $48.75 million deal with the Houston Texans with $23.5 million guaranteed at the age of 27 in 2011.
In the final year of his rookie deal, Leon Hall signed a four-year, $39 million extension with the Cincinnati Bengals with $14.1 million in guaranteed money a few months shy of his 27th birthday in 2011.
Lardarius Webb was inked to a five-year, $50 million extension with the Baltimore Ravens that included a $10 million signing bonus at the age of 26 in 2012.
Brandon Carr signed a five-year, $50.1 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys a few months before he turned 26 in 2012. The contract included $25.5 million guaranteed.
Cortland Finnegan agreed to a five-year, $50 million contract with a whopping $27 million guaranteed at 28 years old last offseason.
The cornerback market appears to be set at around an average of $10 million per year with around $26 million guaranteed.
Remember, the table showed that Revis has been slightly more efficient than Carr and decidedly more efficient than Finnegan.
However, Revis' man-to-man skills are the best in the league (although Sherman would probably disagree), and his impact goes beyond the numbers.
Defensive coordinators can put Revis on an "island" against the opposition's best receiver and basically dedicate all the focus on the other side of the field in passing situations.
Then again, his ACL tear should be worrisome, as should his holdout past and age.
Verdict: Four-year, $42 million contract with $22 million guaranteed.
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