The Jets pulled off one of the biggest moves of the still-young offseason, stealing the All-Pro corner away from the New England Patriots, his agents announced.
Revis celebrated the move on Twitter:
— Darrelle Revis (@Revis24) March 11, 2015
The blockbuster deal came five hours after Revis became a free agent. The Patriots declined to exercise a $20 million option for 2015, but they had retained exclusive negotiating rights until 4 p.m. ET.
It was a stunning blow to the Patriots, who lost their most accomplished defensive player -- a vital cog in their Super Bowl championship.
Many figured Revis had found a permanent home in New England and wouldn't want to change teams for the third straight season, but he was lured back to New York by Woody Johnson's money.
The deal will pay him $48 million in the first three years, including $39 million in full guarantees, a source said. The first two years are guaranteed -- $16 million and $17 million, respectively. In 2017, $6 million of his $17 million salary is guaranteed.
It's a bold move for the Jets, who are looking for credibility after four straight non-playoff seasons and a regime change.
On the first day of free agency, the Jets doled out $52 million in guarantees to shore up their weakest position -- cornerback. Earlier in the day, they agreed to terms with former Cleveland Browns starter Buster Skrine, who will sign a four-year, $25 million contract that includes a $13 million guarantee. In 2014, the Jets' corners managed only two interceptions, tied for fewest in the league.
Revis played for the Jets from 2007 to 2012, making three All-Pro teams and establishing himself as the best corner in the league. His final season in New York ended abruptly, as he tore his ACL in the first month.
He also made headlines off the field, mainly due to contract issues. He staged two holdouts, including a bitter dispute in 2010 that lasted until the first week of the regular season. He ended up signing what was termed a "Band-Aid" contract, a bridge to a long-term deal -- but that never happened.
After the 2012, the relationship between the two sides turned nasty, prompting new GM John Idzik -- with the blessing of Johnson -- to trade Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for first- and fourth-round picks. The Jets used to first rounder to select defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, one of their best players.
Revis signed a six-year, $96 million contract with the Bucs -- none of it guaranteed -- but he lasted only a year. He wasn't happy in Greg Schiano's zone-based defense, and he was released after one season, quickly signing with the Patriots.
At the time, Revis wanted to return to the Jets, according to sources, but his representatives didn't hear back from Idzik. That upset then-coach Rex Ryan, who lobbied hard for a Revis reunion.
Ryan and Idzik are gone. When the season ended, Johnson made it clear he was interested in Revis 2.0, telling reporters: "Darrelle is a great player. I'd love for Darrelle to come back."
The Patriots filed a tampering charge with the league; it's still pending.
Johnson's new regime, GM Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles, made Revis a priority. There was a need (no healthy, starting-caliber corners on the roster) and more than enough cap space (roughly $40 million at the start of free agency).
When the Patriots signed Revis in March 2014, the terms of the contract were two years for $32 million, although team president Jonathan Kraft later acknowledged that the 2015 season was a "placeholder."
The was in reference to Revis having a mammoth $25 million salary-cap charge for 2015, which the team was unlikely to absorb and thus leading the sides back to the negotiating table where Revis would either sign an extension or be released to become an unrestricted free agent.
The arrangement worked for both sides, as the Patriots benefited from Revis returning to top form two seasons after tearing his ACL and playing for the under-market rate of $12 million for the 2014 season.
Meanwhile, Revis re-established himself as arguably the game's top cornerback, raising his profile in going from a Tampa Bay team that ended up with the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft to the Patriots.
Revis, who turns 30 on July 14, started every game for the Patriots in 2014 and was a valuable chess piece who often matched up against opponents' top receivers in the team's predominantly man coverage scheme. He finished with 14 passes defended in the regular season, and had two interceptions, although the statistics don't fully reflect his value because the football wasn't often coming his way.
ESPN.com Patriots reporter Mike Reiss and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter contributed to this report.