They used to call it Revis Island, a place where so many good pass receivers were banished into Sunday exile.
But last year Darrelle Revis’ private little island became an NFL vacation destination.
Once considered a certain future Hall of Fame cornerback, Revis is now a 32-year-old with allegedly declining skills and no NFL team to play for.
Unless the Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant has his way. Dez has put out the word on Twitter that Revis and the Cowboys would make a favorable fit.
“Dallas? I promise you are going to love what we got going on around here,” Bryant publicly tweeted to Revis. “Your attitude fits our culture ... waiting ...”
No word from Revis Island yet, nor even Revis Doormat. In the meantime, debate simmers over what kind of fit the ex-Jet, ex-Buccaneer, ex-Patriot, ex-Jet-again could be.
But there was this, a stinging assessment from reporter Manish Mehta, who only, like, covered the Jets every day for the New York Daily News:
“Have you seen his tape? I wouldn’t let him play for me for free,” Mehta wrote, quoting an unnamed NFL general manager.
Pro Football Focus prides itself on grading every twitch and tackle of the NFL season. According to PFF, Revis’ season grade has plummeted from a high of 97.6 in 2009 to 72.1 last season.
Once rated as the top cornerback in the game — the so-called “best cover cornerback since Deion Sanders” — Revis was 65th last season.
Cornerbacks Mo Claiborne and Brandon Carr ranked 12th and 50th, respectively. Both left the Cowboys via free agency after last season in an apparent planned purging of the secondary.
Yet, the Cowboys did sign free agent Nolan Carroll (PFF ranking: 91st), who faces a possible suspension after a late-May drunk driving charge.
Some of the criticism surrounding Revis centers around the perception that he seemed to lack interest during the 2016 season.
But tell me — what part of the Jets’ miserable 5-11 season was Revis supposed to be excited about?
I’m with Dez on this. We’ve seen it before, where Owner Jones rounds up random castoffs and deplorables and, for one season at least, they pipe into a commendable synergy playing for the Cowboys star.
Or they fail another drug test. We’ve seen that, too.
Revis, however, hasn’t had those kinds of problems. His issues have been confined to a sharp decline in footspeed, and that guys suddenly are getting open all the time.
He is still better than Nolan Carroll. And the Jets owe Revis $6 million, which means his new team could sign him for the veteran minimum.
The Cowboys have pivoted their personnel focus, it seems, to exclude old, slowing and injury-prone free agents. The most recent draft brought them high-round cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, both expected to play.
Why not take a flyer on Revis, though? Jones’ remaining free agent options are not promising. Sam Shields? Jairus Byrd?
Revis may not be an in-your-face, press coverage cornerback anymore. He no longer is an island. But as an experienced, extra body in Rod Marinelli’s youth-populated zone scheme, why not?
Frankly, I’m surprised Owner Jones, lord of Planet Cowboys, hasn’t already signed Darrelle Revis.
I’m with Dez on this.
Gil LeBreton: @gilebreton