USA TODAY – The Patriots needed cornerback help after losing Aqib Talib to a mega-contract with the Denver Broncos on Tuesday, and Revis remains one of the best — even after knee reconstruction surgery that ended his 2012 season.
Aqib Talib was an effective corner for the Patriots during the seasons of 2012 and 2013. The greatest downfall of Talib was him getting injured early into the AFC Championships versus the Ravens and Broncos. It is for that reason that the Patriots did not want to pay him anymore than they had to. New England went out and acquired free agent Darrelle Revis in a matter of hours last night, immediately upgrading the position far above Talib. Revis is clearly among the top 2 or 3 cornerbacks in the game, alongside Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks. The Patriots defense hasn’t been on an elite level dating back to 2007 or 2008. The acquisition of Revis gives the Patriots their best cornerback since Ty Law or the 2006/2007 versions of Asante Samuel. The team is now in a strong position where adding any one or two defensive free agents will immediately take the defense back to an elite level. A level that will strongly determine whether or not we ever see Tom Brady win a 4th Super Bowl. Darrelle Revis can shut down half the field by himself, and he’ll be shutting down the oppositions #1 receiver all season long. When you consider the return of Jerod Mayo and the likely restructuring and return of Vince Wilfork, the Patriots defense will be back to shutting down running backs. These three players alone will take the defense to a high level. If the Patriots go out and acquire a Wesley Woodyard, Jared Allen or Julius Peppers, the defense will be elite once again. Darrelle Revis was the biggest component in them getting back to that level. Any combination of free agents now, like all-pro cornerback Brandon Browner, who is visiting New England today will heavily enhance the Patriots defense.