Sunday notes: Could Revis stay, Cro go?

January, 27, 2013
1/27/13
5:00
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A quick take on the Jets (the Revis edition) and the rest of the NFL:

1. Revis or Cro?: Instead of shopping Darrelle Revis, maybe the Jets should put fellow CB Antonio Cromartie on the trading block. Don't laugh, it's not such a far-fetched idea. There's a small segment of the organization that would rather trade Cromartie than Revis, according to a source.

Let's think about this for a second: Cromartie's trade value never will be higher; he's coming off arguably his best year. A Cromartie trade would clear $8.2 million in cap room (only $2.5 million in dead money); a Revis trade would actually cost the Jets cap room ($12 million in dead money, as opposed to his current cap charge of $9 million).

[+] EnlargeAntonio Cromartie
Kyle Terada/USA TODAY SportsAntonio Cromartie earned his second Pro Bowl invitation this season.
The Jets would have to move fairly quickly because Cromartie is due a $2.3 million roster bonus on the third day of the league year (March 15); Revis is due a $1 million roster bonus on the fifth day. It would take some handiwork from new GM John Idzik, because he'd have to sign Revis to a long-term extension before dealing Cromartie. It can't be the other way because Idzik would be giving more leverage to Revis. Food for thought. Rex Ryan would disagree, but it might be a stretch to have two corners counting $20 million on the cap.

2. The price of Revis: I spoke to a personnel executive from another team and he said the Jets should be able to recoup at least a first-round pick for Revis. Said the executive: "I wouldn't be surprised if he merited a first-rounder and something else in the second year that was good, too." Another executive said any deal probably would have to include a conditional pick in 2014, based on Revis' performance in 2013. That would protect both teams. Frankly, I wouldn't trade him unless I got a top-10 pick in return. Another thing to keep in mind: The Jets would get a third-round compensatory pick if Revis walks next year as a free agent.

2a. Same Old Jets: Typical Jets luck. They have a legitimate bargaining chip and there are no franchise-type quarterbacks in the draft.

3. Let's make it real simple: Basically, the Jets have only two options: Pay Revis now or trade him now. Letting him play out the season makes absolutely no sense. They'd have a better chance of turning Tim Tebow into the NFL passing leader than re-signing Revis after the '13 season and before he hits the open market. And get this: Because of a quirk in the structure of the current contract, the Jets would get hit with $9 million in dead money in 2014 if he walks as a free agent -- the remaining, pro-rated portions of the $18 million option bonus he received in 2011. That would be an egg-on-face moment for the ages.

4. The untold story: Everybody seems to be focusing on what the Jets could get for Revis, but the trickiest part of a trade would be Revis getting what he wants from another team. He wants to be the highest-paid defensive player, which means $16 million per year and $50 million in guarantees -- Mario Williams money. (It should be noted that Williams landed that deal as a free agent; Revis is a year away from that.) Is there a team willing to pay that much for a cornerback coming off ACL surgery? His agents drive a hard bargain. If they don't get their price, they'll blow up potential trades and position themselves for a free-agent score next year. A trade can't happen unless Revis agrees to a long-term deal; no team would surrender significant compensation for a player whose deal voids in a year.

4a. The leverage game: Make no mistake, Revis has the leverage. He's only one year from the open market and the only way he can blow that is by holding out. That would cancel the voidable, keeping him under contract through 2016 at $3 million per year. The Jets, however, have a card they can play, according to an executive -- the injury card. The executive said they should "play that as hard as they can," trying to scare Revis into accepting less.

5. The whole truth: There was a report Saturday that said the Jets floated Revis' name in trade talks before his ACL injury in September. Here's what happened: Former GM Mike Tannenbaum talked to some confidantes around the league, discussing possible end-games to the Revis situation. Basically, he picked their brains, trying to get ideas and suggestions. He didn't dangle Revis in trade talks.

6. Woody bashing: This is how one longtime GM responded upon hearing the Jets are open to trading Revis: "Woody (Johnson) wants to wave the white flag. That's no way to do business." Basically, the Jets are trapped in a maze, except there's no way out in this maze. There's no clean escape, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

7. What a tweet: I wonder if Revis was as concerned about the feelings of Jets Nation during his two holdouts as he is now.

8. West Coast Offense 101: I read in the New York Daily News that QB Mark Sanchez reached out to former QB Jeff Garcia to learn Marty Mornhinweg's version of the West Coast offense. I'm still trying to figure out if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

9. Hot air: Had to laugh when I heard commissioner Roger Goodell, downplaying the cold-weather factor for next year's New York/New Jersey Super Bowl, said the temperatures are supposed to hit 50 this week in these parts. What are the odds of that happening next Feb. 2? According to the Farmer's Almanac, the average temperatures for Feb. 2 over the last five years were 35, 40, 40, 30 and 30.

10. Not that anyone cares, but ...: Despite numerous off-the-field incidents, Ravens CB Jimmy Smith was very much on the Jets' radar in the 2011 draft. The Ravens picked him 27th overall. Had they passed, the Jets would've taken him at 30. They ended up with Muhammad Wilkerson. I'd say the Jets got the better of it.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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