I previously wrote that the New England Patriots should franchise tag Aqib Talib. My reasoning was the Patriots would love to have him for 2014, but to tie up a lot of money in Talib with a long-term deal was risky.
Once free agency began, the Denver Broncos did what I said the Patriots shouldn’t — they signed Talib to a six-year, $57 million deal with $26 million guaranteed. That’s too much to invest in a player who has had injuries and off-field issues. Don’t get me wrong, Talib is a great shutdown corner and can take the opposing team’s best receiver out of a game, but he just isn’t worth what the Broncos are paying him.
With Talib out of New England, it was even more important for the Patriots to shore up their secondary. On Tuesday, Mar. 12, the Patriots did something they hardly ever do. They made a real splash in free agency and signed Darrelle Revis to a one-year deal worth $12 million.
Okay, so it’s a little funny or ironic that the guy who once called Patriots head coach Bill Belichick a jerk during a television interview in Mar. 2012 is now playing for him, but how fantastic this signing is for the Patriots cannot be overstated.
Revis is probably the best cornerback in the NFL and could be the best overall defensive player, and the Patriots just signed him for 2014 for $12 million. The Patriots are assuming very little risk with this signing. If Revis works out, the Patriots can then determine if a long-term deal is in their best interest. If Revis does not work out for whatever reason, the Patriots can just let him walk in free agency at the end of the 2014 season.
In addition, it has been reported that there are no provisions in Revis’ contract that would keep the Patriots from using the franchise tag on him in 2015.
Revis brought Revis Island to the New York Jets from 2007-2012. True, Revis only played two games due to tearing his ACL in 2012, but he was healthy and very productive overall while in New York. Revis played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, but Tampa could not afford to pay Revis the $16 million he was owed for 2014, so they cut him after they failed to trade him.
The Buccaneers used Revis incorrectly — like 100 percent incorrectly. The Buccaneers largely kept him in the same spot on the field all season. That is a horrible use of his talent. Revis should be moving all over the field, constantly matching up against and probably shutting down the opposing team’s top receiver. Doing that allows the rest of the defense to be more creative and aggressive. That is what Revis will do for the Patriots under Belichick, who is a defensive mastermind.
Considering that Revis is better than Talib, it is unbelievable that Talib signed a six-year deal with Denver and the Patriots were able to sign Revis for one-year for $12 million. As usual, the Patriots didn’t overreact to the other free agent signings and took care of business. New England fans are going to love seeing Revis in a Patriots uniform in 2014.
It’s just too bad Patriots fans didn’t get a chance to see the look on Jets head coach Rex Ryan‘s face when he heard the news.