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A Darrelle Revis return to New England looks increasingly likely. Numerous league sources, including some close to Revis, believe that if the potential future Hall of Fame corner plays anywhere in 2017 it will be for the Patriots.
New England has a definite need at corner, with Malcolm Butler very likely headed to New Orleans via trade and with Logan Ryan gone. Sure, they signed Stephon Gilmore, but once Butler departs they will be thin at corner, and Revis looks like the perfect short-term salve.
Executives from numerous NFL clubs told me they fully expect Revis to end up there. Here’s what one personnel man, whose team has done a lot of work on the corner, told me:
“We did our work on him. He can still play. He can cover. He doesn’t have that long speed anymore; he’s not going to cover a No. 1 receiver deep. But he can cover in tight spaces and he has great instincts. The film is not as bad as some would have you believe. He’s a perfect fit in that quarters scheme Belichick runs, and they have the kind of safeties who can help him out, too. We’re convinced he’s going back to New England. It just makes too much sense.”
Of course, money will be an object. It always is. And Revis can make $6 million from the Jets by doing absolutely nothing this season given the parameters of his former contract with them. I figure Belichick eventually gives Revis $6 million, or close to it, to play for him this season as part of a 2- or 3-year deal. This way, the Patriots can buy low on the veteran in the short term should they want to move him to safety.
But I’m convinced that in the right system he doesn’t have to make that move now, and New England is the right situation. Belichick does better finding the exact fit for gaining players than anyone else, and while Revis can’t run for 40 yards anymore, he can be a factor for 20. Surely, Belichick sees that as well.