"Jaws 2." "Caddyshack II." "Blues Brothers 2000."
They started out as good ideas, but they wound up as Hollywood busts, three of the most infamous sequels in the history of the big screen.
It was the same with Darrelle Revis Part II, which officially ends after 4 p.m. ET Thursday. For cap purposes, the New York Jets have to wait until the start of the league year to release the former star, who was informed last week of the team's plans.
For whatever reason (injury, age, desire), Revis' level of play never approached the bar he set in his first incarnation with the team that drafted him. Basically, he fell off a cliff, which happens in sports. It was one bad year out of eight with the Jets, and it's sad that some people see Revis only in that light. He should be remembered for what he did in his Jets prime, from 2008 to 2011. He was a fantastic player, the best defensive player in team history.
Back in 2011, then-coach Rex Ryan predicted in a TV interview that Revis would go down as "the best Jet in the history of the New York Jets franchise." At the time, when I asked Ryan about his bold statement, he said:
"No disrespect to Joe Namath, who of course is the charismatic guy, the Hall of Fame quarterback. Don Maynard is a Hall of Famer, too, and Winston Hill probably should be in the Hall of Fame. I'm not trying to be disrespectful to any Jet, past or present, but when it's all said and done, when you're rating guys, I don't know where you're going to stop. Maybe you don't stop at all when you think about Darrelle Revis."
Yeah, he was that good.
In 2009, Revis covered some of the best wide receivers in the sport, man-to-man, with no safety help: Andre Johnson. Randy Moss (twice). Terrell Owens. Steve Smith. In those games, he allowed a combined total of only 11 receptions for 90 yards and one touchdown. I mean, who does that?
Remember the playoff win over the Colts in 2010? This was Reggie Wayne's stat line:
When he was young and great, Revis covered better than HMOs. He eliminated the opponent's No. 1 receiver, essentially taking away half the field.
"He revolutionized bump-and-run coverage," said former cornerback-turned-analyst Eric Allen, who played the position for 14 years and later taught Revis' technique to his high-school-age sons.
Revis made everybody around him better, not because of his inspirational leadership but because of his elite talent and competitiveness. Former special teams coach Mike Westhoff once told me he never saw a player practice harder than Revis.
I still remember the day the Jets drafted him in 2007. General manager Mike Tannenbaum shared an anecdote from Revis' pre-draft visit. Tannenbaum, always digging for intel, used to quiz the limo drivers about the college prospects they shuttled from the airport to the team facility. He wanted to know how the players behaved in the car while being chauffeured like rock stars. Were they polite? Rude? Did they act entitled?
Tannenbaum received a glowing report on Revis.
It should've been a storybook career with the Jets, but it was tarnished by the business side. There was the nasty holdout in 2010, which made for a juicy subplot on HBO's "Hard Knocks" that summer. I still think about it every time I drive past the Roscoe Diner in rural Roscoe, New York. (You had to see the show to understand.) Then came the nasty divorce in 2013, ending with a trade to the Buccaneers. Revis was a cut-throat businessman as well as a shutdown corner. He wasn't interested in giving hometown discounts, a la Tom Brady.
Revis' triumphant return in 2015 never was triumphant, only costly ($39 million). I'm not sure what caused his downfall, whether it was self-inflicted or just Mother Nature unleashing her wrath on his 31-year-old body. Did he lose his hunger after winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots? I laugh at the amateur psychologists who claim they know the answer.
No one knows what happened, just like no one in the media knows what happened on that Pittsburgh street corner in the wee hours of Feb. 12. It'll be up to the courts to decide whether he committed any crimes after being charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault (among other charges) following an altercation with two men.
This much we know: His run with the Jets ended too soon. The sequel was bad, but let's not forget the genius of the original.