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Antonio Cromartie: Me and Darrelle Revis are two best corners in league

Antonio CromartieSomeone better keep an eye out on Richard Sherman’s Twitter account for a response, because we know he won’t like what Antonio Cromartie had to say recently.

Cromartie was on NFL Network’s “Total Access” Thursday and was asked to rate some of the best cornerbacks in the league. Cro was shown the results of a fan vote where Sherman was selected as the best cornerback over Joe Haden, Patrick Peterson and Revis. He disagreed with that and wondered where his name was.

“If y’all just want to go off one or two seasons … that’s fine and dandy,” Cromartie said. “But go over the longevity of my career and then match it up against these right here.”

Cromartie then explained why he or Revis should get the nod for best all-around corner in the game.

“To me, right now, it’s either me or (Revis),” Cromartie continued. “You got three guys that’s up and coming, but right now it’s either me or this guy — when we’re healthy.

“And when we’re healthy we know what we can do on the football field. We’ve both shown it in a Rex Ryan defense with zero help. We tell that safety to roll up to the other side. … I want these guys to be on an island by themselves and play zero coverage. They (haven’t) done it yet. They (haven’t) done nothing that me and Rev have done in Rex Ryan’s defense.”

We’ve heard this same argument before. Sherman only plays on one side of the field and doesn’t shadow the opposing teams’ top receivers. Maybe we don’t know how great he is because he hasn’t done that, but few are playing better than he is. I don’t think that should be taken away from him. And I’d put Sherman ahead of Cromartie but probably on a similar level to Revis.

Darrelle Revis: Bill Belichick is a ‘players’ coach’

Darrelle-RevisIsn’t it amazing how fast a player’s tune can change after he switches teams? Two years ago, Darrelle Revis called Bill Belichick a “jerk” and later said he was sticking to it. Of course, that was when Revis was a New York Jet. Now that he is a member of the New England Patriots, it sounds like Revis considers The Hoodie to be a close friend.

“When you’re on the outside looking in when you’re playing with another organization, you look at things totally different,” Revis told reporters Thursday, via CSNNE.com’s Phil Perry. “Especially coming from New York and New England being up here, it’s a lot. You look at things totally different. … Everybody here has accepted me as much as they can to make it feel like home. Even Bill has. I feel fine with it. I’m fine. We’re on good terms.”

That all sounds pretty standard, but some might be surprised to hear Revis describe Belichick as a “players’ coach.”

“One, he’s a great coach,” Revis said. “I really respect him for winning three championships. I really do. Another thing is that I feel like he’s a players’ coach. A lot of people might not say that outside looking in, but we’re with Bill everyday. We hang out with him every day. We’re in the meetings with him every day, so we’re around him all the time. I really feel like he’s a players’ coach.”

That’s not just Revis kissing up. A lot of people take Belichick’s snarky attitude with the media to mean he is tough to work for, and that rarely seems to be the case. He definitely has a no-nonsense attitude, but there’s a reason so many players respect him. He hates talking to reporters. He doesn’t hate coaching.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Tom Brady not throwing Darrelle Revis’ way in practice

Darrelle-RevisTom Brady is as familiar with Darrelle Revis as any quarterback in the NFL. Prior to joining the New England Patriots, Revis spent several years making life difficult for Brady. And now, the five-time Pro Bowler seems to be giving No. 12 fits on the practice field.

According to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, Brady avoided throwing toward Revis during 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 drills at practice on Friday. In fact, Guregian said Brady “didn’t throw a single pass” to any receiver Revis was covering and neither did backup quarterback Ryan Mallett.

Yesterday, Brady and Mallett constantly threw to the left, instead of right, where Revis was marking the receiver lined up wide. And the minute Revis was replaced, usually by either Logan Ryan or Daxton Swanson, Brady would go right at Ryan or Swanson. It was almost automatic. At one point after Revis switched out, Mallett hit three straight passes, the last of which was to Julian Edelman, all against Swanson on the right side.

Revis was asked after practice if he gets bored when quarterbacks don’t throw his way.

“I love competition,” he said with a laugh. “I think that’s why we play this game, is to compete every Sunday and to go out there and execute your job and try to win games. I love competition. I never back down from any challenge. It’s just going out there competing, and doing your job and trying to help your team win.”

Most people expect Revis to be even better this season than he was last. He’ll have a full post-ACL surgery season under his belt, and Bill Belichick has a reputation for getting the most out of his players and utilizing all of their talent.

Brady’s as competitive as they come — even in practice. If he’s not throwing toward Revis, there’s a good reason for that.

Jets were reportedly Darrelle Revis’ top choice

Darrelle-Revis-2012-holdoutDarrelle Revis and the New York Jets did not part ways on good terms a year ago, but that doesn’t mean the All-Pro cornerback was opposed to a reunion. In fact, Revis may have actually wanted to go back to New York once it became evident that his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was over.

A source reportedly told the NY Daily News that Revis put together a list of teams he would like to play for “based on non-economic reasons” when he knew the Bucs were going to dump him. The Jets were supposedly at the top of that list. The Patriots were second.

There were a few reports about Revis reaching out to the Jets when he was released by the Bucs, but nothing ever came to fruition. General manager John Idzik reportedly never called Revis’ agents, at which point Revis had no interest in starting a bidding war and signed with the Patriots.

Jets owner Woody Johnson is the one who ordered Idzik to trade Revis last offseason. Revis had held out twice, and there’s a good chance Johnson was tired of his business-above-all-else attitude. You know Rex Ryan would have loved for Revis to return to New York, but that decision is not up to him.

“We knew, everybody knew, that he was going to want north of $10 million for this season,” a Jets source told the Daily News. “We weren’t going to pay a corner that. That was pretty obvious. Would we have liked to have him play here again? Sure, for $2 million.”

Did Revis sign with the Patriots just to stick it to the Jets? I highly doubt it, though I’m sure his decision became more gratifying when he realized New York had no interest in bringing him back. By joining New England, Revis has given himself an opportunity to make a ton of money in 2014 while contending for a Super Bowl. After that, he can either sign a massive contract with the Patriots or elsewhere. He’s in a perfect spot with or without the Jets.

Darrelle Revis contract protects him from franchise tag, saves Patriots cap space

Darrelle Revisstrong>Darrelle Revis signed what was reported as a one-year, $12 million contract with the New England Patriots on Wednesday, and that is indeed what the deal will work out to. However, the contract he signed is actually a two-year deal worth a total of $32 million that is beneficial both sides. Allow us to explain.

The most important thing for Revis is that the second year of the contract, which is worth $20 million and will never actually come into play, prevents the Patriots from giving him the franchise tag. Once the 2014 season is completed, the team can either restructure or release. The franchise tag won’t be an option. You can’t “release” a player and then give him the franchise tag.

From New England’s standpoint, the contract saves money on the salary cap this season. Revis will earn a base salary of $1.5 million in 2014, with a $10 million signing bonus and a $500,000 roster bonus. His cap charge for the upcoming season will be $7 million. His cap charge for 2015 will be $25 million (which the Patriots will never pick up), with $5 million in dead money counting toward the 2015 cap if the team releases Revis.

Revis is guaranteed at least $12 million from the contract. Only $7 million of that applies to the 2014 salary cap. The other $5 million will be paid and counted toward the 2015 cap if the Patriots release him. If they restructure and work out a long-term deal, Revis will be getting more than $12 million guaranteed anyway.

In other words, the contract is beneficial for everyone. Revis cannot be given the dreaded franchise tag. The Patriots free up $5 million in cap space of the $12 million they owe Revis in 2014. They can address more roster needs now and hope that a long-term extension is reached, otherwise they’ll eat the $5 million against the 2015 cap.

Thanks to ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss for making sense of all this

Ryan Clark throws shade at Darrelle Revis over Twitter

Ryan ClarkFree agent safety Ryan Clark threw some shade at Darrelle Revis over Twitter Wednesday night after news of the cornerback’s contract agreement with the New England Patriots was reported.

Revis signed a one-year, $12 million contract with New England, which is four million less than what he was set to earn with Tampa Bay.

Here’s what Clark tweeted:

What’s up with Clark? Is the guy getting bitter with age? He’s 34, looking for an NFL job and considering retirement. Maybe something changes with athletes when they start working in TV the way Clark is. Or maybe Clark’s just jealous over the kind of coin another defensive back is being paid.

Darrelle Revis agrees with Patriots on one-year deal

Darrelle RevisDarrelle Revis is joining the New England Patriots as many expected.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Revis and the Pats agreed on a one-year deal worth $12 million.

Revis was cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday, just before he was due a monetary bonus. The Bucs also would have owed the New York Jets a third-round pick instead of a fourth-round pick if he were still on their roster, which is why they released him.

Revis earned $16 million last season with the Bucs and was set to earn just as much this year, so he is taking a $4 million cut. Compared to the amount of money other top cornerbacks like Sam Shields, Aqib Talib, Vontae Davis and Alterraun Verner all received, Revis is still being paid well.

This is a great deal for the Patriots. Revis needed a few games to get back into top form as he was recovering from knee surgery, but he was definitely back to being a shutdown corner last season. The Patriots desperately needed that for their defense — and they even got an upgrade over Talib, who left for Denver.

This makes the AFC East a lot more interesting, too. Revis was a first-round pick of the Jets in 2007 and was with them through 2012. There were rumors about Revis reuniting with the Jets, but he chose the Pats instead.

Apparently Bill Belichick didn’t hold it against the cornerback that Revis once called him a “jerk” in a word association game. I wouldn’t have either.