Welcome to Revis Island, Patriots fans

Welcome to Revis Island, Patriots fans
March 13, 2014, 10:45 am
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Ladies and Gentlemen, just want to drop a quick note to let you know that Revis Island has been temporarily shut down. After last night’s free agent bombshell, we’re moving the whole operation to New England. And while I’d love to give an official re-opening date, unfortunately I can’t. That’s because the Patriots 2014 schedule won’t be released for another month. But in the meantime, there are a few things we do know about next year’s slate.
 
For one, we know who the Pats will play — in this case, six games against the AFC East, four games against the AFC West, four games against the NFC North and then match-ups with the division-winning Colts and Bengals.
 
We also know where each game will be played. In this case, on the road in Buffalo, “New York”, Miami, Green Bay, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Kansas City and San Diego; and at home against the Bills, Jets, Dolphins, Raiders, Broncos, Bengals, Bears and Lions.
 
We also know that . . . OK, that’s actually all we know. So for now, let’s go back and focus on the last four games on that list. Let’s think about those last four teams: Broncos, Bengals, Bears and Lions. Does anything jump out at you? Do you see a common thread? Or how about this —
 
Do any of these names look familiar?
 
Demaryius Thomas
AJ Green
Brandon Marshall (respect to Alshon Jeffrey, but I can only pick one)
Calvin Johnson
 
These are four of the biggest, scariest, most freakishly skilled and athletic wide receivers in the NFL. These are guys who are well on their way to Hall of Fame careers, or at least have that potential. These are players who wreak havoc on opposing defenses, takeover games and leave coaches ulcers in their wake. And they’re all coming to Foxborough next season.
 
They all have a date on Revis Island.
 
On Revis Island. Not with Revis Island. Everyone needs to remember that Revis Island is not the player, but the player’s section of the field (where receivers are stranded because the quarterback is afraid to throw them the ball). And please, be careful with the way you use “Revis Island” because Revis has this phrase trademarked. Never forget that he’s a businessman. For better or worse, that’s what he’s about. That’s what led him here to begin with.
 
The truth is that after a torn ACL, an irrelevant season in Tampa, and then losing all his leverage when the Bucs kicked him to the curb, Revis needs to prove himself again to get paid what he wants to get paid. He needs to be the man on a great team. He needs to be the man in the playoffs. He needs to be in a system (unlike Tampa’s) that plays to his strengths and puts him in the best position to succeed. And the Pats were a perfect fit.
 
That’s why he’s here. This isn’t some Ochocinco fairy tale about a player who always loved Bill Belichick and is about to fulfill a lifelong dream. Nope. Revis is here this year in the name of getting paid next year (and many years after that) by the highest bidder. Revis is a mercenary. He’s a hired gun. In all likelihood, he’s a rental. And in a weird way, you almost hope that that’s the case, because it would mean that Revis played so well that he totally priced himself out of Belichick’s budget. Honestly, it’ll be a shock if he’s here for more than a year.
 
It’ll also be a shock if that one year goes by without controversy. After all, Revis is a brand. Revis is outspoken. Revis is 100 percent his own man, and that doesn’t always line up well with life under Belichick. And it’s even harder for a guy like that to sacrifice for the Patriot Way when he’s only signed up for one year.
 
But on the inside, at the end of the day, each guy has enough on the line to find a way to make it work. And as long as that’s the case, we’ll be fine on the outside. This is going to be fun. Because Revis is also the best cornerback in the NFL.
 
On paper, those impending matchups with guys like Demaryius Thomas, AJ Green, Brandon Marshall/Alshon Jeffrey and Megatron are supposed to instill fear in Patriots fans. It’s supposed to be: Oh my God, are they going to stop that guy? Today, we know. Today, those match-ups breed excitement, anticipation, and even confidence. Maybe you felt that with Aqib Talib, too. But only when he was there. On the flip side, Revis is always there. Outside of that one big injury, he’s missed three games in six years. He’s a rock stationed smack dab in the middle of an island.
 
Coming soon to a football field near you.
 
Follow me on Twitter: @rich_levine