Darrelle Revis has upped the ante with the Patriots, particularly with New England head coach Bill Belichick.
Two months ago, Revis called Belichick a jerk in a word association game that he played on an ESPN segment, while sitting next to Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski, no less.
In an article that appeared on ESPN by Rich Cimini today, Revis didn’t back off his comments. In fact, he was harsher. Stating that he respected Belichick because “winning is winning,” Revis went on to say, “When you say certain comments about the Jets, some things are disrespectful. It’s okay to have a rivalry, it’s okay to compete. But when it gets personal, then it gets disrespectful. I didn’t start this battle. It’s just the smart comments he says. It’s ignorant. It’s ignorant (toward) this organization.”
Revis is most likely referring to the comments Belichick made after the 37-16 Jets loss to the Patriots last November. Belichick supposedly said, “Thirty-seven points on the best defense in the league. Suck my d*ck.” Belichick never denied the comments, stating he’d keep any conversation he had privately, private.
The comments clearly irked Revis, who said, “Why go there? You won, fair and square. Hey, we shook your hand after that game, but you start saying stuff like that, it gets too personal.”
The Jets and Patriots have been trash talking for years, the most famous incident lately being Bart Scott’s close to incoherent post-game “Can’t wait!” interview with ESPN after the Jets won the AFC divisional game against the Patriots in January 2011.
In the same article, Revis had this to say about his contract, “Yeah, I’m cool (with my current contract). I signed it two years ago. I’m not unhappy about nothing.” Revis is owed $13.5 million over the final two years of his deal. In the last month, there have been whispers that Revis would hold out to re-work the four year deal he signed two years ago after holding out.
Revis himself fueled the flames saying that, basically, he may or may not hold out and he was keeping all his options open.
It’s sort of an interesting development though, and being a cynical Jets fan, maybe Revis is smarter than we’re giving him credit for. He’s the best cornerback in the league, but holding out two years into a four year deal after holding out two years previously wouldn’t resonate well with Jets fans, who were mostly on his side two years ago.
But Revis backing off the hold out talk, making it look like the controversy was entirely created by the media, and calling Bill Belichick a jerk at the same time will probably win points with Jets fans. In the event he does hold out this season or next, this might be one of the things that Revis banks on Jets fans remembering about him – his loyalty to the Jets and his dislike of the Patriots.
“I’m the best corner in the league AND the fans love me” is great leverage for getting what you want in an image oriented, results driven league. Perception is everything. Jets fans’ support of Revis will put pressure on the Jets management, whether they admit it or not.
Whatever his motivation, this should make Jets fans feel good for the moment. Revis is loyal to the Jets, at least when it comes to the on-going grudge match with New England.