In March, after only one season in Tampa Bay, cornerback Darrelle Revis signed a one-year, $12 million deal with the Patriots (with an option for 2015 worth $20 million). Now he's back in the AFC East -- he spent the first six years of his career with the Jets -- and conventional wisdom says he'll be playing with something to prove.
"He's definitely out there with something to prove because of all the guys getting the big contracts, and he was down in Tampa Bay as a forgotten guy," former Patriots standout Ty Law told the Boston Globe's Shalise Manza Young. “He's still thinking, ‘Wait a minute, I'm still top dog.' And he wants to win, that's the most important thing."
Revis held out ahead of the 2010 season and the Jets finally renegotiated his rookie deal. And he avoided another possible contract stare down when the Jets traded him to the Buccaneers last offseason. But one of the league's best cornerbacks says he doesn't get caught up in what other players make.
“No, I don't feel like I have to prove nothing to anybody," he said. "The only thing I have to prove is to my teammates, that I'm there for them and I'm there to win games and help us win,” he said. “All that other stuff, it really don't matter. It really doesn't. Anybody can say anything; it is what it is. I respect all those guys, I really do. I respect them all.”
During Super Bowl Week, Revis' former coach in New York, Rex Ryan, was asked about the Sherman-Revis rivalry.
"[Sherman] may very well be the best corner in the National Football League right now,” Ryan said, via the New York Daily News. “Darrelle Revis though, when I had him the first couple years when he was healthy, he did some unbelievable things, unique things. We put him on the very best receiver and played man coverage every snap, ran loaded zones away from him. I don't think that's ever been done in the history of the league."
And former Bucs general manager Mark Dominik, who orchestrated the trade that brought Revis to Tampa Bay, had this to say to the Globe.
"He has the best anticipation and ball skills I've ever seen. There's no wasted movement in his game, he understands angles, he understands routes. He has great instincts and a great feel for the game. I think he's blessed. You're going to see his footwork. There's no wasted movement in his motion, no false steps. He has a really good feel for what's going to happen. It's impressive."