One of the best cornerbacks to ever play the game is officially hanging up his spikes for good. Likely future Hall of Famer Darrelle Revis announced on Wednesday that he is retiring from the NFL after 11 seasons in the league.
“For the past 11 years, it has truly been an honor to showcase one of my greatest gifts to the world,” Revis wrote on Instagram. “Today I am closing a chapter in my life that I once dreamed of as a kid and I am officially retiring from the National Football League. The game of football has opened doors for me I once thought were nearly impossible to get through. My passion to play the game at an elite level brought fun and excitement to the term ‘shutdown corner’ which was nearly on the verge of extinction. Covering some of the toughest assignments in league history was a challenge every Sunday, but also an honor within this game we all love.
“I would like to thank my coaches, teammates and mentors who have made a significant impact in my life and helped to create amazing memories that my family and I will cherish for a lifetime. I’m excited as to what lies ahead as I pursue new ventures in different industries. Long live Revis Island.”
Revis became the NFL’s premier shutdown cornerback during the early stretch of his career with the New York Jets, making four straight Pro Bowls from 2008-2011 and three straight appearances on the All-Pro first team from 2009-2011. He ended up spending a single season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after an injury and a trade, then signed with the Jets’ division rivals, the New England Patriots, who he helped win a Super Bowl before returning to New York for two more seasons. He ended his career playing five games of largely sub-par football for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017.
For the majority of his career, however, Revis was on another level from most other corners in the league. He earned the nickname “Revis Island” for good reason — when receivers matched up with him one-on-one; they tended to disappear. He was the rare corner able to make quarterbacks completely avoid whatever side of the field on which he was lined up; and when they did throw his way, it was almost never completed.
During his eight-season peak from 2008-2015, Revis allowed quarterbacks to complete a truly pathetic 46.4 percent of their passes, which gained just 5.8 yards per attempt. He allowed just 19 touchdowns during that time while intercepting 28 passes and defending 84 more. During those eight years he allowed a passer rating of 56.2 on throws in his direction — essentially the equivalent turning every opposing quarterback into Heath Shuler. He was simply remarkable, and for an incredibly long time.
Given his prodigious accomplishments — seven Pro Bowls, four appearances on the All-Pro first team — Revis seems almost assured of a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, whether five years from now or sometime after. He will be remembered as one of the best to ever play his position, as well as perhaps the one single player who most maximized his value on the open market at every opportunity — and during an era where teams often got the best of free-agent deals whenever possible. Revis retires having made more than $125 million over the course of his 11 NFL seasons, per Spotrac, giving him a nice nest-egg with which to pursue the outside business ventures he mentioned in his retirement letter.