New York Jets: Is Darrelle Revis a first ballot hall of famer?

Darrelle Revis, New York Jets. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Darrelle Revis, New York Jets. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Is former New York Jets cornerback Darrelle  Revis a first ballot hall of famer?

New York Jets fans had the pleasure of watching Darrelle Revis play the cornerback position for them. We know that it didn’t end well, but in the prime of his career there was nobody better. His ability to use his hands in one on one coverage was second to none. Revis had the uncanny ability to pin a receiver to the sidelines and render him useless for four quarters. He reminded fans of Deion Sanders when he was at his best.

In his prime, Darrelle Revis more than played his way into the Hall of Fame. He was the best at his craft and it really wasn’t close. However, does he deserve to be in on the first ballot? My friend and host of “Play Like a Jet”, Scott Mason, posed this very question on Twitter and it encouraged quite a bit of debate. This afternoon we are going to dissect this question for just a bit.

There is no questioning the dominance of Darrelle Revis. In his prime he was the epitome of a shutdown corner. For the defenses of Eric Mangini and Rex Ryan, Revis eliminated the top receiver of the opponent. He had his troubles with some guys, one notable being Steve Johnson, but for the most part he shut everyone down.

Remember the battles with Dez Bryant? The two of them went at it years ago, didn’t they? Remember when he picked off a pass intended for Brandon Marshall and took it 100 yards to the house? Good times, good times.

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He was so dominant in 2010 that he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl without intercepting a single pass. Why? Quarterbacks never threw in his direction. That’s how good Darrelle Revis once was, and that is scary good.

From 2008-2011 Revis was the gold standard. Nobody that watched him play will claim that he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame. But should he go in on his first try? A lot of players deserving of the Hall simply don’t go in on the first ballot. What about Darrelle Revis?

In 2012 he blew out his knee, missing the rest of that season. He was then sent away by general manager John Idzik. However, being fair, he wasn’t the same player moving forward. 2013 was a step backwards. Revis didn’t fit with the Tampa defense and he wasn’t himself.

The following year he went to, deep breath, New England. Revis got his Super Bowl ring and a Pro Bowl appearance. There were still times where he could be beaten. In 2015, the Jets overpaid to bring him home, which at the time they had to do. He responded with five interceptions, but still wasn’t the same. Speedy wide receivers like DeAndre Hopkins made him look bad. After that, we all saw the fall. It was dramatic and it was steep.

The question becomes whether or not a period of dominance that only lasted four years is good enough to make the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

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The argument could be made that he should have to wait until his second ballot. One could say he didn’t dominate quite long enough. Terrell Davis is probably the strongest example of this issue. He also spent four years as the gold standard at his position, 1995-1998. That time even saw him rush for 2,008 yards in 1998. His fall from grace was just as fast, much of it due to injury. Davis wasn’t elected to the Hall until 2017.

Could the same type of fate come to Darrelle Revis? It certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Ultimately I believe he does make it on the first ballot, simply because what he did over those four years is arguably something we will never see again. But if it doesn’t occur it won’t be the biggest surprise. It’s happened before.