Stating the obvious, the Patriots wouldn’t have won their fourth Super Bowl championship last season without All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis. Could the same be said for quarterback Tom Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski, and countless others? Of course. Hell, the Pats quite literally don’t top the Seahawks without an undrafted defensive back out of West Alabama.
But Revis was a game-changer from the moment he arrived in Foxborough, revolutionizing a secondary that was for so many years that one big play between a loss and Lombardi lore.
Now, Revis is gone; home to New York where he began his assault on opposing receivers, courtesy of a five-year, $70 million deal with $39 million guaranteed.
Admittedly, I expected mass outrage in the social space. Not at Revis; it’s his right to choose his priorities in free agency, whether they’re grounded in dollars or dynasties. I wondered if Revis's departure, given the Pats’ ability to pick up his $20 million option for 2015 and take the choice out of his hands, would be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for many in the ‘In Bill We Trust’ crowd.
For the masses, at least on my Twitter feed, Revis was an exceptional player but just another replaceable body for an organization that produces double-digit winning seasons and division titles to the point of lulling most into a “wake me for the playoffs” slumber.
A relatively small sampling…
@AdamMKaufman no. I'm not irate. I'm the leader of the In Bill we trust. We just won. Let's not act like Yankee fans. BB always has a plan.— Ray Martel (@Marteljr) March 11, 2015
@AdamMKaufman irritated yes, but like the team, we're moving on. Belichick always has a plan. Adjust on the fly like always.— SeattlePatsFan (@hollis_jesse) March 11, 2015
@AdamMKaufman 2 trips to the SB between Law and Talib and should have won them both. They always figure it out.— Cerrone Battle (@Brother_Battle) March 11, 2015
@AdamMKaufman Pissed, but in BB we trust!! Lets strengthen our defense!!— Philip Balestriere (@KDPPatsFan) March 11, 2015
@AdamMKaufman Have faith they have a plan, yes it sucks he is gone, but seems he was always headed to NYJ. Spend the money elsewhere.— Lorenzo D'Amore (@TheBigZo_94) March 11, 2015
@AdamMKaufman like we just won the super bowl and we should trust the people who built the team to get us there— Amanda Darnley (@AmandaKD80) March 11, 2015
@AdamMKaufman disappointed, not surprised. Waiting to see whats next. Pats always have a plan.— Sam Krinsky (@SamdamanNH) March 11, 2015
@AdamMKaufman Won't kill them for something they haven't done yet. If they don't make a decent splash by opening night, then we can go nuts.— Colby Faria (@FariaColby) March 11, 2015
Sure, there were the detractors as well…
@AdamMKaufman JUST ONCE I WISH THEY WOULD CUT THE CRAP AND KEEP THE GOOD DEFENSES TOGETHER!— Adam Blomeke (@Ablomeke55Adam) March 11, 2015
@AdamMKaufman wish 24 well, but pissed off at a team that is going to coast on past victories. I will not be buying the Super Bowl DVD— Mathew Russell (@MatRussell) March 11, 2015
For the most part, though, more fans seem to align themselves with coach Bill Belichick's ability to overcome this loss, rather than chalking an 'L' up for Belichick the GM.
At this point, you can’t ignore the facts:
It’s Day 2 of free agency with the potential for signings, trades, and impactful moves around the draft ahead. Training camp is months away. Even after a flurry of moves, the Patriots are still the team to beat in an improved AFC.
And, most important, no one – not Revis, not even Brady – is bigger than the plan. Time will tell what this plan is.
Where do you stand?
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