New York Jets May Not Be Able to Afford Both Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie

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New York Jets Cornerbacks Darrelle Revis Antonio Cromartie
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports


With all due respect to the Seattle Seahawks, the New York Jets have the best cornerback tandem in the NFL.

However, unlike the Seahawks, the Jets find themselves in a financial crunch that could force them to trade away one half of that All-Star tandem. The new league year hasn’t even started, but the trade rumors are in full force.

Darrelle Revis (above left ) and Antonio Cromartie (above right ) are both excellent players, and at 27- and 28-years-old respectively, they’re not going to stop playing at a high level any time soon.

Obviously, the biggest question with Revis right now is how fast he can get back to his All-Pro level of play after tearing his ACL last September. He expects to be ready for the start of the regular season, for what it’s worth.

Revis enters the 2013 season in what would likely be the last year of his contract, and his uniquely structured contract forbids his team from applying the franchise tag on him, meaning he’s set to be an unrestricted free agent.

That contract also forbids him from holding out of training camp even for one day, otherwise it would trigger three very affordable team-option years that would delay his free agency until the conclusion of the 2016 season.

If the Jets do decide to entertain trade offers for their superstar cornerback, it’s not an exaggeration to say that every single team in the league will have serious interest in his services. The bidding war would be unheard of.

However, trading Revis would also cost the Jets an extra $3 million against the salary cap, so unless they were absolutely blown away by another team’s trade offer, they’re likely better off keeping him or extending his contact.

If they keep him, they’d have to work out an extension, or risk losing him as an unrestricted free agent. It wouldn’t be easy to lock Revis up to a new deal that satisfies his contract demands and also gives the Jets cap flexibility.

That said, it’s not impossible, either. But to make it more feasible, the Jets could decide instead to trade Cromartie, who is coming off a career year in 2012 and arguably will never have higher trade value than he does right now.

Trading Cromartie would save the Jets a little over $8 million in 2013 cap space, which could conceivably make him the more attractive trade chip to all parties, especially since he has two years left on his current contract.

Option number three, of course, would be for the Jets to keep both Revis and Cromartie for at least one more season, even if that means spending a large chuck of their cap space on their two starting cornerbacks.

Considering the Jets have a ton of other holes to fill, it’s probably unwise to allot a substantial amount of money in two cornerbacks, even if they are two of the best cornerbacks on the planet.

New general manager John Idzik will have the difficult task of constructing this Jets roster as best he can in 2013 and beyond, and it remains to be seen what the future holds for Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie.

Football fans everywhere will certainly have their opinions on the matter, but Idzik is the guy who has to put emotion aside and make pragmatic decisions that will put the Jets in a good spot for years to come. Good luck.

Jon Presser is’s New York Jets Lead Columnist 
Follow him on Twitter @metsjetsnets88
Contact him at


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