John Elway owned the first day of NFL free agency, spending like a Kardashian to wrap up three big-name defensive players. But, on the second day, the focus flipped back to the East Coast, where the New England Patriots answered with a very big move of their own.
The Patriots replaced cornerback Aqib Talib, who signed with the Broncos, with none other than Darrelle Revis hours after he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — proving once again that no NFL team rolls better with personnel punches. “Revis Island” got a two-year deal that, at $12 million this season, makes him the NFL’s highest-paid corner. Revis, who is only 28, had stellar years in man coverage with the New York Jets before going to Tampa, and Coach Bill Belichick loves nothing more than a physical corner. Revis may not have played up to Revis Island standards in 2013 after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in 2012, but he was a good value for the Patriots, who were shredded by Peyton Manning after Talib was injured in the Patriots-Broncos AFC championship game in January.
Never mind that Revis once used the word “jerk” to describe Belichick when playing a word-association game on “SportsCenter.” Belichick can put some things aside.
New England may not be done at cornerback, either. They’re going to host Brandon Browner, who will be suspended for the first four games of the season and missed the last five games of last season with the Seattle Seahawks because a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.