In the NFL, after the confetti settles and the duck boats are back in the garage, everyone turns and looks toward next season. Who will stay with the team? Who will leave? Whose contract is up? Will anyone retire? These are the questions that populate every sports radio talk show, the pages of the sports sections of newspapers and conversations overheard at the bar after work or on the train ride home.
I always thought that if you were successful in one season on one team, why not stick around for another season, and maybe you will be successful again? That seems to make sense. If a team of players wins the Super Bowl one year, they have high chances of winning it again with the same group of guys. However, no one else seems to believe this theory since after every championship season, the stars of the team disperse to other teams around the NFL.
This is the case with the New England Patriots this year. As the confetti was being cleaned up from a championship parade, the changes began.
The biggest blow to the Patriots defense this offseason is the departure of cornerback Darrelle Revis. Revis Island, as his spot on the field is affectionately known, will be a hole that the Patriots would rather not need to fill this offseason. The Patriots offered Revis a three-year deal to stick in New England, but he declined, going for the multi-million dollar, five-year deal that the New York Jets offered.
Revis got his start with the Jets in 2007 as their first-round draft pick. In 2007, Revis reportedly told Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum that he would do everything in his power to bring a championship to the team.
‘‘I still feel that way,’’ Ravis told the Boston Globe on Thursday. ‘‘That was probably one of the big reasons to really come back home, because I still have that mindset.’’
He played for the Jets for six years without following through on his promise to bring a championship to MetLife stadium. He got sent to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — the rival of the Jets — for one year in 2013 following his devastating knee injury attained during the 2012 season. Following his short stint in Tampa, the New England Patriots picked Revis up, causing millions of Jets fans across the country to let out an audible groan.
This past 2014-15 season, Revis propelled the Patriots to victory after victory, shutting down the league’s best receivers. The season ended with a ring on Revis’s finger and a Lombardi Trophy being raised high over his head. After seeing how sweet a Lombardi Trophy can be, Revis is back with the Jets, looking for fulfill his promise made eight years ago.
With the departure of Revis, Vince Wilfork and other Patriots players this offseason, it is easy to think that the reign of Patriots glory is coming to an end. This, however, never seems to be the case: the Patriots tend to figure it out and find themselves at top the AFC East come the end of almost every regular season.
Millions of Patriots fans across the region are looking forward to one Sunday this fall where Revis is back in Foxboro. Except he will be wearing a Jets jersey, and we will be looking for a way to crack the legendary cornerback.