PHOENIX -- Todd Bowles wasn't asked if he thinks Darrelle Revis can be a All-Pro level player. He wasn't asked if Revis has it in him to be a No. 1 corner again.
The bar was much lower.
Can Revis, who will be 32 at the start of next season, still be a serviceable player? Does he have the physical ability to be competitive?
Bowles should know. He coached Revis with the Jets each of the last two years. But his answer was far from definitive.
"If he goes ahead and proves it, yeah he does," Bowles said during the AFC coaches breakfast on Tuesday. "But we'll see. I don't know for sure. I can't answer that. Only he can."
It's been a remarkable fall from grace for Revis, who re-signed with the Jets as a free agent after winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots. He was given $39 million fully guaranteed and went on to make the Pro Bowl in his first season back.
Last year, however, he had his worst season and was arguably among the worst full-time corners in the league. Quarterbacks completed almost two-thirds of their passes sent in his direction, and they had a rating of 104.2 when targeting the player formerly known as Revis Island.
"I love the guy. I love the player," Bowles said. "He didn't have a great year, but we didn't have a great season so he wasn't the only one. It's all about coming back and proving you can still do it every year. That can only be answered when you come back and do it."
The Jets released him earlier this offseason despite the fact that he's guaranteed $6 million by the team whether he plays in 2017 or not.
Now that Revis is looking for a job, New England has been cited by some as the most logical place for him to land. Asked about the potential of having Revis back, Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the New York Daily News on Monday that he'd be all for it.
“I would love it," Kraft said. "Speaking for myself, if he wanted to come back, he’s a great competitor, I’d welcome him if he wanted to come.”
At this point, however, a reunion seems unlikely.
The Patriots are looking at the potential of having Stephon Gilmore, Malcolm Butler, Eric Rowe, Cyrus Jones and Jonathan Jones all on the roster at corner next season -- though there is some question as to whether or not Butler will stick.
And if Revis is hoping to make a move to safety, he'd probably have a hard time finding playing time as part of a group that will include Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Patrick Chung.
Then there's the question as to his motivation. After winning a Super Bowl, and after making as much money as he's made, with an easy $6 million more staring him in the face, will Revis be ready to re-adapt to the demands of playing in New England?
Even if he is, there could very well be physical limitations impacting Revis' effectiveness moving forward. Bowles acknowledged that for some at Revis' age who play his position, the drop-off can come quickly.
"Sometimes it can. Sometimes it can't," Bowles said. "Every story is different. You have to write your own so he has to write his."