For the majority of his career, former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis locked down the best receivers in the NFL. But even on a day when he celebrated a historic career, Revis lamented a couple of opportunities that slipped by his Island.
"I would like to have those two AFC Championship games back," said Revis, referring to the Jets' 2009-2010 seasons. "Those still run through my mind to this day and probably will for a lifetime of some of the mistakes, especially after you go watch the film. You kind of ask yourself what could I have done better and I think we all felt that way as a team and as an organization at that time. We were so close to being in the Super Bowl those back-to-back years.
Best Images from No. 24's Retirement Day at 1 Jets Drive
"Those will always play back, but we had two awesome teams during those two seasons and we tried to make the best of it. Those were accomplishments, making it to the AFC Championship game, but we felt that we had the right pieces to win the Super Bowl those two years."
The four-time first-team All Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler signed a ceremonial one-day contract with the team at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center and officially closed visits to Revis Island, although the entrance of the building was decorated a makeshift island that included sand and palm trees.
"This is a special day," Jets CEO Christopher Johnson said. "It's an opportunity to celebrate the career of not only of the best players in the history of this franchise, but one of the best players to ever play the game, period. His dominance at the cornerback position is legendary. Forget giving up the catch, we were all shocked when quarterbacks would dare throw in his direction."
Addressing a crowd filled with Jets staff, former and current players, head coach Todd Bowles, general manager Mike Maccagnan and others, Revis reflected on his eight-year career in which he put his "heart and soul" into wearing green and white.
"It's been amazing," he said. "My work ethic, my study habits, I feel propel me to strive to be one of the greatest. It took a lot of work week-in and week-out to prepare and play at the highest level to cover some of the toughest receivers in the world and I have to thank a ton of people. I have to thank this organization, my coaching staff, my teammates. Although I am officially retiring today, they play a big role in this as well. I'm just overwhelmed. I'm excited about what's happening. I have to thank all of them for this special day."