Todd Bowles calls Darrelle Revis' arrest for felony assault 'shocking'

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Thursday, March 2, 2017

New York Jets coach Todd Bowles said he was shocked by Darrelle Revis' recent arrest for felony assault, but he claimed it had no bearing on the team's decision to release the iconic cornerback.

"No, not at all," Bowles told reporters Thursday at the scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Commenting for the first time on Revis, Bowles said the seven-time Pro Bowl selection was cut due to salary and declining performance. Still, the coach admitted that he was taken aback by Revis' Feb. 17 arrest in Pittsburgh.

"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 was charged with four felonies stemming from his alleged role in a street fight in the early-morning hours of Feb. 12. The Pittsburgh-area native is awaiting his first pretrial hearing March 15.

He was due to make $15 million this season, starting with a $2 million roster bonus on March 10. By cutting him before then, the Jets will be responsible for $6 million -- the remaining guarantee on his contract. That total will be reduced by the amount he receives in 2017 from his next team.

Bowles confirmed that the organization discussed the possibility of moving Revis to safety -- he had expressed a willingness -- but it was never a serious consideration.

"We don't know if he can or he can't, but it came up in conversations," Bowles said.

In the end, the Jets decided to cut him outright without offering a pay cut or the chance to switch positions.

"Obviously, the business side of it ... had a lot to do with it as well," Bowles said. "Trying to move a guy and project a guy from corner to safety at that kind of salary is kind of tough."

The Jets signed Revis for five years in 2015, giving him a $39 million guarantee. In retrospect, the move could be interpreted as misguided.

Bowles disagreed.

"No, I think it was a good idea," he said. "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."

The Jets have shifted into rebuilding mode, as they've released Revis, center Nick Mangold and other veterans. The roster will be significantly younger than last year, but Bowles insisted he's fine with that.

"I'm not afraid of the unknown," he said.

The coach provided little insight on his quarterback situation, saying only that they have their eye on a few free agents. He said holdovers Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty will have a chance to compete for the starting job, although it seems unlikely that either one is considered a strong candidate.

Bowles was also noncommittal on the futures of wide receiver Brandon Marshall and defensive end Sheldon Richardson. Marshall, due to make $7.5 million, could be a cap casualty, and Richardson could be traded.

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