Darrelle Revis said that having the Steelers, nearest to his hometown of Aliquippa, Pa., as his next NFL home "would be awesome."He also said he’s lighter, in better shapeand hungry to play next season.
Revis said all of that toNFL Networkon Wednesday in a hallway of a Pittsburgh courthouse, after a hearing for four felony charges and one misdemeanor he faced from a fight last month.
How much the former affects the latter remains to be seen. In a just world, it wouldn’t affect his prospects at all.Amunicipal judge dropped all charges after just under two hours of testimony.
Of course, in a just world, what appears to have happened based on that testimony (two drunks instigating an altercation with a famous athlete who was minding his own business) should never have resulted in all those felonies —certainly not a charge of "making terroristic threats" —and left Revis in danger of a long prison sentence.
But that’s a discussion of the criminal justice system for another day.
When the Jets released Revis two weeks ago, the reasons were sound outside of the incident of February 12: The team was making a clear change of direction, purging age and salary. When coach Todd Bowles said at the Combine last week that the arrest was "not at all"part of the reason they cut him, he sounded sincere. The same goes for when he said he thought Revis was "a good character, a good guy."
As legal analyst Michael McCann wrote atSI.com Wednesday, the league would have very scant reason to discipline Revis for an arrest in which all charges were later dropped — not pleaded out, not negotiated down, but totally dismissed. So that’s highly unlikely to be hanging over his head when teams start considering him.
What’s left is whether teams believe he can still play … and for a price he’ll accept. Neither is a small matter.
If Reviscan prove he can play anywhere in the secondary, he’s going to get all the attention he'd ever want. No team can honestly say it has enough defensive backs, not the way the game is played today. If Revis can be a starting corner, a slot corner, a safety, whatever, he’ll be welcome.
If he wants to get paid premium money, he’ll have problems.
Don’t be shocked if this still isn't a priority, even as he turns 32 in July. Maxing out his contract has served him well throughout his career, and being let go by his last two teams, the Patriots and Jets, to save a big salary hit won’t necessarily change his mind about that.
But, if he’s returning to his previous form, can stay healthyand can find where he fits in, he'll be in demand from a lot of contenders. The first wave of big-money contracts has gone by. Veterans like him, Adrian Peterson, Jay Cutler, Jamaal Charles and a handful of others — players with well-earned reps, lots of miles and increasingly niche appeal — are still out there measuring their worth.
It wasn’t just playing up to the hometown crowd that made Revis mention the Steelers at the courthouse. It’s been years since they could fully rely on their secondary all season long, at corner or safety.
So yes, they’re one of the teams that should seriously think about kicking the tires on Revis.
Whoever gives him a lookat least knows they’re not looking at when he gets out of jail or off of suspension.