Sunday, March 16, 2014

Martin: Fans won't treat Revis' rival move like mine


Curtis Martin has been there, but on a different level.

When the Hall of Fame tailback signed with the New York Jets in 1998 after a very good three-year stint with the rival New England Patriots, some New England fans weren't warm to his return in a new uniform.

Most, however, went easy on him. He doesn't expect the same for Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis with Revis returns to New York for a game against his former Jets.

"Initially, when I first came out of the tunnel, I heard some people say, 'Traitor,' but for the most part, people were cheering for me," Martin recently said of his first trip back to New England, according to ESPN New York's Rich Cimini. “I thought that was pretty incredible. It showed their appreciation for what I was there. It actually made me feel good."

Martin left New England to be reunited with Bill Parcells, who ponied up a six-year deal worth $36 million (of the Jets' money, of course) to snag him from the Patriots.

Revis' transition between teams wasn't so seamless. The Jets traded Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last offseason after the sides' third or fourth contract impasse wore out his welcome in New York. A year later, the Bucs shed Revis and his $16 million salary, and the Patriots scooped him up on a one-year deal worth $12 million.

The Jets were supposedly well-positioned to acquire his services, but the past damage between the parties and the Jets' youthful direction made a Revis return a no-go.

Now, Gang Green faithful will get to see the player who used to be their team's cornerstone donning the enemy's uniform. Those fans won't be as kind as the ones Martin saw in New England.

"I expect it to be a little more hostile, not as welcoming," Martin said with a laugh. "I think he should wear his helmet when he comes out of the tunnel."

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