The trade leaves Antonio Cromartie as the Jets‘ top cornerback, a role he flourished in last season with Revis sidelined by a knee injury. And 2010 first-rounder Kyle Wilson mostly likely would be stepping in as the other starter.
“We’re a football team that has a No. 1 corner,” said Ryan, who said he and Idzik have been “joined at the hip” and he was involved in the decision-making process. “We’re fortunate to have Antonio Cromartie.”
The Jets could also target a cornerback _ perhaps Alabama’s Dee Milliner or Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes _ in the first round.
For the Bucs, adding Revis improves a secondary that already includes cornerback Eric Wright and safeties Mark Barron and recently signed Dashon Goldson, an All-Pro last season in San Francisco. Tampa Bay finished last in pass defense last season, coming within 38 yards of allowing the most yardage through the air in league history.
The 27-year-old Revis was entering the last season of his four-year contract signed in 2010, but was looking for a big payday that would make him one of the highest-paid defensive players in the league. A clause in that deal prevented the Jets from using the franchise or transition tag on him next year, so if he likely would have become a free agent in 2014.
As the Jets weighed whether to try to sign him to a contract extension, lose him to free agency next offseason or deal him for high draft picks, Revis was the subject of rampant trade rumors since last season ended.
“It became quite evident to us that there was a substantial difference between Darrelle’s view of his value and ours,” Idzik said. “We felt there would have to be a significant change on either side in order to create a path toward reaching an agreeable deal for either side.”
“It definitely muddies the water a little bit,” Idzik said.
Revis has been rehabbing since, and has indicated in interviews he expects to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Against his former team.
With Revis‘ contract status still in limbo, many predicted the two sides would have a repeat of the tough negotiations that marked previous discussions and led to two holdouts and nearly a third last summer. Instead, Idzik made a move with an eye on the franchise’s future and not going empty-handed by letting Revis walk as a free agent next offseason.
“We wanted to come up with a decision that was the best for the New York Jets,” owner Woody Johnson said. “And that’s the decision we arrived at. And I think it was the correct one.”