Revis Island is on the move — back to the New York-New Jersey area.
A free agent after the Patriots could not come to terms on an extension, Darrelle Revis agreed to a contract to return to the Jets, according to his agents, Schwartz & Feinsod, who announced the news Tuesday night on Twitter.
According to multiple reports, the deal is for five years and $70 million, tying him with Arizona’s Patrick Peterson for the richest contract for a cornerback in NFL history. However, Revis received $39 million fully guaranteed to Peterson’s $48 million guaranteed.
Revis will receive $33 million over the first two years of the deal, and $48 million over the first three.
The cornerback, who doesn’t tweet often, did take a moment to post the following once news came that he was leaving New England: “I want to thank the Pats and Pats Nation for an unbelievable year. NEW YORK I’m coming home. #revisisland #jetnation.”
A league source said weeks ago that the Patriots’ priority was to keep Revis, who was released by the Buccaneers after just one season in Tampa. He accepted less money for the 2014 season to sign with the Patriots and the chance to win, a move that paid off as New England won Super Bowl XLIX.
On Monday, the Patriots declined to pick up Revis’s 2015 option, no surprise given that exercising it would have led to the 29-year-old counting a whopping $25 million against the salary cap because of his $12.5 million in roster bonuses, $7.5 million in base salary, and the $5 million proration of his $10 million signing bonus.
The move seemed like a negotiating ploy by the Patriots because it allowed Revis’s agents to see what kind of offers he’d receive, and those could be brought back to the Patriots to see if they would match or come close to matching before free agency officially opened on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
But the lure of returning to the Jets, combined with the clear desire of New York owner Woody Johnson to get Revis back in green at almost any price, were enough to get him away from the Patriots.
In January, Johnson told reporters had he known last year that the Jets could have reacquired Revis — a 2007 first-round pick of the team whom then-general manager John Idzik traded to Tampa Bay before the 2013 season — for the $12 million the Patriots had given him, he would have made the deal. Though Johnson said he later apologized to Patriots owner Robert Kraft for the comment, the Patriots filed tampering charges against their AFC East rivals.
Revis has been labeled a mercenary because he works the system to his advantage and wants to be paid at or near the top of the market as one of the top cornerbacks in the league.
He tore his ACL during the 2012 season, after which the Jets traded him to Tampa Bay. Asked to play in a zone scheme when he excels in man coverage, Revis’s comeback season was not memorable, as he played for a Buccaneers team that lost its first eight games on the way to a 4-12 record.
The Bucs released him last March, and the Patriots quickly swooped in to sign him, landing Revis even though he received bigger-money offers from other teams. The contract he signed with the Patriots was viewed as a one-year deal, with Revis getting a $10 million signing bonus and $2 million in salary last year, though the “placeholder” 2015 option year was added on. As part of the condition of that second year, the Patriots could not franchise Revis.
He will still count $5 million against the Patriots’ cap for 2015 because of the proration of his signing bonus.
As for the Patriots’ other primary starting cornerback last season, Brandon Browner, he could be on the move as well. The Patriots did not pick up the $2 million roster bonus due to Browner on Tuesday, making him a free agent.
Browner signed a three-year, $12.35 million deal (with a maximum value of $16.8 million) with the Patriots just a year ago.
But given that his former Seattle teammate, Byron Maxwell, received $10 million a year from Philadelphia and the Jets gave Buster Skrine four years and $25 million Tuesday, Browner will likely be in line for a nice payday.
Browner had not signed elsewhere as of late Tuesday night.
Revis was not the only Patriot on the move on Tuesday. Running back Shane Vereen and linebacker Jonathan Casillas agreed to terms with the Giants.
Vereen reportedly received a three-year, $12.35 million deal. A league source indicated the Patriots would not match the amount the fourth-year, third-down back was looking for. Vereen is getting more than $4 million per season on average.
The source also said the Patriots offered Vereen a contract extension last year, but he turned it down, believing it was too low. One year and one stellar Super Bowl performance later, Vereen cashed in.
Casillas, acquired from the Buccaneers midway through last season, started three games at linebacker but was primarily used on special teams with the Patriots. His deal with the Giants is reportedly for three years and $10.5 million.
The Patriots did make some positive free agent news, agreeing to terms with former Eagles, Rams, and Dolphins receiver Brandon Gibson, who played for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels with St. Louis in 2011.
Gibson, who had 29 catches (on 51 targets) for 295 yards and a touchdown with Miami last season, is listed at 6-feet, 204 pounds. He received a one-year, $825,000 deal.
The Patriots also tendered exclusive-rights free agents Sealver Siliga, James Develin, and James Morris, so they will be returning. However, the team did not extend an offer to receiver Brian Tyms.
Also, according to ESPN, the Patriots hosted free agent linebacker Jabaal Sheard Tuesday night. Sheard, listed at 6-2, 254 pounds, was a second-round pick of the Browns out of Pittsburgh in 2011. Patriots coaching assistant/Belichick consigliere Michael Lombardi is familiar with Sheard after spending the 2013 season as Cleveland’s general manager.
Ben Volin of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Follow Shalise Manza Young on Twitter @shalisemyoung.