INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Todd Bowles acknowledged that he was stunned when he first heard the news that Darrelle Revis was arrested last month in Pittsburgh.
The New York Jets coach insisted, however, that the legal issues played no role in the team telling the cornerback, one of the franchise’s greatest players, on Tuesday that it will be releasing him.
”No, not at all,” Bowles told reporters at the NFL combine on Thursday.
Revis, 31, was scheduled to make $15 million, including a $2 million roster bonus, next season. That would have been a lofty salary for an aging player who admittedly had a subpar year, so the move – which saves the Jets $9.3 million on the salary cap – was not unexpected.
The Jets have been actively clearing room on the cap by cutting some veterans, including center Nick Mangold last Saturday.
”It was tough,” Bowles said of the moves. ”They’re good people and they were great players for the organization. … It’s tough letting those types of guys go.”
Revis was charged with four felonies after he allegedly was in a fight with two men on Feb. 12 in Pittsburgh. A pre-trial hearing will be held on March 15.
”It’s shocking, because I know the man,” Bowles said. ”Forget the football player, I know the man. I know he has good character and he’s a good guy. Sometimes you get put in situations that things happen. I don’t really know what happened or who’s at fault or anything like that. I just know the guy.”
Revis, drafted by New York in the first round in 2007, returned to the Jets in 2015 after one season in Tampa Bay and then helping rival New England win the Super Bowl during the 2014 season.
He played through a wrist injury in 2015, but still made his seventh Pro Bowl. Revis acknowledged that he came to training camp last summer a bit out of shape and then appeared to be only a shell of his shutdown self while uncharacteristically allowing some big plays.
Revis, who blamed age and injuries on his sudden decline, acknowledged during the season that he would be open to perhaps switching to safety next season.
Bowles said the position move ”came up in conversations,” but the Jets opted to part ways with Revis before even seeing if the star cornerback could make the transition.
”Obviously, the business side of it … that had a lot to do with it as well,” Bowles said. ”Trying to move a guy and project a guy from corner to a safety at that kind of salary is kind of tough.”
Bowles also scoffed at the suggestion that the Jets made the wrong move when they reunited with Revis two years ago and gave him a five-year, $70 million deal that included $39 million in guarantees.
”No, I think it was a good idea,” said Bowles, who planned to leave the combine to tend to a personal matter on Friday before returning over the weekend.
”I think it was a good call at the time. Obviously, he didn’t play as well this year. Neither did anybody else, but he’s a good football player, and that doesn’t bother me at all.”
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