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Former Jets CB Darrelle Revis retiring after 11 seasons

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The starry, wondrously unique career of Darrelle Revis has come to an end.

The seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday:

The announcement -- not a surprise in itself -- bookends the playing journey of one of the most dominant defenders of his era. Revis, 33, lost his speed and fell off during his second stint with New York, but he exits pro football donning one crystal-clear title: the finest player in Jets history.

While the term "shutdown corner" is tossed around too loosely, Revis -- a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame -- is one of the few gems who operated as nothing short of that description.

"I've been around some great players, including [Dan] Marino, and I can say that Revis works as hard in practice as any player I've ever seen," retired Jets assistant Mike Westhoff once told ESPN. "He wants to win on every play. I remember when [former Jets coach] Rex [Ryan] used to have the defensive walk-through. Rex played quarterback and he'd throw his passes. Revis wouldn't let Rex complete any passes even in his little walk-through."

From 2009 to 2011, Revis authored a near-perfect stretch of games, garnering All-Pro recognition and being seen league-wide as a once-in-a-generation cover man who simply erased wideouts from existence.

Ryan used him brilliantly in New York and came to the player's defense when Revis, in 2009, was edged out for Defensive Player of the Year honors by Packers cornerback Charles Woodson.

"For me, this is the best year a corner has ever had, the most impact a corner has ever had in the National Football League," Ryan said. "That's my opinion. But apparently that wasn't the opinion of everybody who voted."

The 14th overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft, Revis gave the Jets six stellar seasons before the front office stunningly traded him away to the Bucs in 2013. The defender inked a six-year, $96 million deal with Tampa Bay -- money New York couldn't stomach -- only to release him one offseason later in a cap-saving lever pull.

Revis then broke the hearts of Jets fans everywhere by latching on with the arch-rival Patriots in 2014 and helping New England to win Super Bowl XLIX.

Revis returned to Florham Park the following season, but the reunion was a mixed bag for an overwhelmed Jets squad requiring more than a late-period Revis to save the day. His final work came a year ago with the Chiefs, who released him this offseason.

"Darrelle Revis is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Jets jersey and one of the most dominant defensive players in the history of professional football," Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson said in a statement. "Darrelle's preparation, competitiveness, intelligence and attention to detail are a reflection of his dedication to the game and his teammates. Just as remarkable is Darrelle's humility and how approachable he is off the field. Jets fans everywhere slept well and night confidence that receivers would be stranded on Revis Island."

For those who were given the chance to watch him, there's simply no debate: Revis was an on-field magician, pulling off dark-arts tricks that few other corners would even dare.

A pleasure to watch and a player who coaches adored -- and opponents feared -- until the end.

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