New York Jets: Darrelle Revis

CB Patterson visits with Jets

March, 31, 2014
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In a radio interview last week, general manager John Idzik acknowledged the obvious, saying the New York Jets have a need at cornerback. With no attractive options left in free agency, he's down to the second- and third-tier players. One of those free agents, Dimitri Patterson, is visiting Monday with the Jets, a league source confirmed.

Patterson
Patterson, cut recently by the Miami Dolphins, is strictly a backup type. He has started only 20 games in eight years for six different teams. He also has durability questions, as he has played in only eight games over the past two seasons. He missed time last season with a groin injury and was placed on injured reserve late in the season. The Dolphins saved $5.4 million on the cap by releasing him.

He was limited to only six games (four starts) last season, but he actually played well. Patterson recorded four interceptions in 240 defensive snaps, one more than anybody in the Jets' secondary. He graded out well in the ProFootball Focus rankings, but he's not a plug-and-play corner who can replace Antonio Cromartie.

The Jets cut Cromartie, flirted with free agents Vontae Davis and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, showed no interest in a reunion with Darrelle Revis ... and, well, now they have a gaping hole in the starting lineup. It's becoming increasingly obvious they will have to invest a high draft choice in a corner, one year after picking Dee Milliner ninth overall.

Patterson's visit was first reported by Pro Football Talk.

Rex talks Ware, cornerbacks, and Unitas

March, 25, 2014
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- A few leftovers from Rex Ryan's 60-minute sitdown with reporters at the NFL owners' meetings:

Ware
1. Hot for Ware: The New York Jets' coach didn't deny his interest in former Dallas Cowboys pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware, who ended up signing a three-year, $30 million contract with the Denver Broncos. Ryan lobbied for Ware upon his release from the Cowboys, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

"Any outstanding player, you’re going to have an interest in," Ryan said, responding to a question about Ware. "Whether that’s attainable or not might be a different story. You definitely entertain any option that can help your football team."

2. Cornerback spin: Ryan continued to blow sunshine on the current state of the cornerback position, insisting he's happy with Dee Milliner, Darrin Walls, Kyle Wilson, et al. But he acknowledged, "Would I prefer having shutdown corners and all that? I absolutely would, because it does give you more flexibility in what you do. But if that’s not the case, I'm not going to beat my head into the wall. Throughout my career, I’ve had some great corners, some not-so-good corners. In our system, we’re able to make adjusmtents."

3. The Darrelle dance: The coach sidestepped questions on whether he pushed to re-sign Revis. Translation: He did. Ryan said he doesn't think about Revis anymore. "He's the enemy now," Ryan said.

Revis
4. Byrd man: Ryan talked about former Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd, and how he'll be an ideal fit in his brother's defense with the New Orleans Saints. Asked why the Jets didn't pursue Byrd, Ryan said, "Nine million a year is a lot for a safety."

5. Safety dance: Ryan didn't rule out the possibility of re-signing Ed Reed, but it sounds like a fallback option for the Jets. Ryan said he's OK with Dawan Landry, Antonio Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett. He also mentioned Rontez Miles, who spent last season on the practice squad, as a potential factor.

6. Quote of the day: Trying to pump up Geno Smith, Ryan insisted that his second-year quarterback faced tremendous adversity last season. "Yeah, he had that little drop-off, but quite honestly, Johnny Unitas would’ve had a drop-off," he said. "We had a lot of injuries. No excuses, but that’s reality."

A little drop-off? In one stretch, Smith went five straight games without a touchdown pass. That's the Grand Canyon.

Revis: What could be better than Patriots?

March, 17, 2014
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Warning to New York Jets fans: You may lose your lunch if you read any further. At the very least, you're likely to experience some nausea. Or anger. Or both.

Anyway ...

Revis
Former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, whose signing with the New England Patriots was formally announced Monday, conducted a conference call with the Boston media. Naturally, Revis praised his new employer, saying it was "the right place" to continue his career. A few days ago, he reportedly was in "love" with the idea of reuniting with the Jets.

Whatever.

Revis said he was "surprised" that 26 teams showed some degree of interest after he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He didn't say if the Jets were one of those teams (they weren't) and no one asked if, in fact, he had interest in returning to the Jets.

Revis also downplayed the notion that he signed with the Patriots just to have the chance to haunt his old team twice a year.

"That was never a factor," he said. "My thing is all about winning. I want to win. What better organization than the New England Patriots to be a part of? If you look at their track record, New England has won, year in and year out, and has had playoff berths. Right now, in my career, it's great to be with Tom Brady and Coach [Bill] Belihick and the Patriots, and help them win games."

His comments about Belichick come off disingenuous, considering he once called the Patriots' coach a "jerk" in a word-association game on "SportsCenter." Revis was asked about that on the conference call, and he confirmed that he sat down with his new coach to smooth it over.

"Me and Bill, we had a conversation about it, and it’s in the past," Revis said. "We’re both looking forward and we’re excited about working together and winning games. That’s the biggest goal here."

Revis said he already spoke to Brady, who reached out to welcome him to the team. He wouldn't divulge specifics, but he called it "a great conversation."

He said the task of picking a new team was "a long process" (he was a free agent for less than four hours). So why the Patriots, Darrelle?

"Basically, it’s about just winning," he said. "I weighed my options and I just wanted to win. I felt like this was the right place, to be part of the Patriots’ organization."

He also will receive $12 million for one year. At the end of the season, he'll get to pick a new team all over again.

C. Martin on Revis: Fans will be 'hostile'

March, 15, 2014
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Sixteen years before Darrelle Revis, there was Curtis Martin.

The Hall of Fame running back was the first high-profile player to switch sides in the New York Jets-New England Patriots rivalry, so he knows all about the passion and vitriol of The Border War. Martin remembers hearing more cheers than boos when he returned to Foxborough for the first time, but he doesn’t expect New Yorkers to be as gracious when Revis returns to MetLife Stadium.

His advice to Revis: Buckle up.

[+] EnlargeDarelle Revis
AP Photo/Brian BlancoNew Patriots CB Darrelle Revis won't be receiving a warm welcome when he faces the Jets in New York.
“The game has changed, the fanfare has changed,” Martin told ESPNNewYork.com. “I expect it to be a little more hostile, not as welcoming. [He laughed.] I think he should wear his helmet when he comes out of the tunnel.”

Revis didn't go from the Jets to Patriots – there was a quick stop with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers –- but the fans won’t remember his one year in Pewter purgatory when they see him in Patriots colors. Martin can empathize with the anguish of Jets fans.

“I totally understand the feeling,” Martin said. “It just makes it that much tougher to beat those guys.”

Martin said his initial reaction to Revis signing with the Patriots was, “Wow.” He still considers Revis the best cornerback in the league, and he called it a brilliant move by the Patriots. Martin, an avid chess player, used a chess analogy to describe the impact Revis will have with the AFC East champions.

“The Patriots already have that strong piece in Tom Brady. He’s like the queen, that very powerful person,” Martin said. “Putting Darrelle Revis up there is like having an extra queen in the game. That’s a powerful move for the Patriots.”

The Jets were criticized for not showing interest in Revis, especially since they released Antonio Cromartie. They have a gaping hole at cornerback, yet they didn't respond to an inquiry by Revis’ agent.

Martin said he didn't expect the Jets to pursue a Revis reunion, seeing as how they already jettisoned him once. Asked if he wanted them to make a play for Revis, he gave a yes-and-no answer.

“You put Darrelle on any team, and you've definitely made your team more powerful,” he said. “I would always like to see the Jets with the best players, so, yeah, of course. That being said, there was a reason why he was let go, so I wouldn't necessarily expect them to do that.”

Some considered Martin a traitor in 1998, when he signed a six-year, $36 million offer sheet with the Jets. The Patriots had an opportunity to match, but they declined because the contract was structured in such a way that it could've blown up their salary cap. After three terrific years in New England, he bolted for the 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,” said Martin, recalling his first trip back to New England. “I thought that was pretty incredible. It showed their appreciation for what I was there. It actually made me feel good.”

It would be an upset if Revis gets the same treatment.

What we learned on Day 2 of free agency

March, 13, 2014
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A few thoughts on a wild day (actually, night):

1. Signs of life: Yes, John Idzik has a pulse. After receiving unwarranted criticism for doing nothing on Day 1, the New York Jets' general manager signed two starters for his moribund offense -- wide receiver Eric Decker (pricey, but fairly safe) and right tackle Breno Giacomini (sorry, can't get excited about this move). The Jets also retained a solid backup, re-signing defensive lineman Leger Douzable.

2. Still divorced: The Jets had no desire to reunite with Darrelle Revis, who agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal with the New England Patriots shortly after being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Jets might have considered Revis at some point in free agency, but it never got to where it became realistic. He was unemployed for less than four hours. So now we can look forward to the big matchup in the fall: Decker versus Revis.

3. McGone: Former Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown was scheduled to visit the Jets, but he never made it out of Tampa, signing a two-year, $10 million deal with the Bucs. They immediately named him their starter. The Jets weren't willing to do that. Was it a deal breaker? Probably not. McCown had a previous relationship with Bucs coach Lovie Smith, so they always were considered the front-runner. So now the Jets shift their focus to Michael Vick.

4. Looking ahead: The Jets, in the market for a cornerback, reportedly will visit with Carolina Panthers free agent Captain Munnerlyn. They also have an interest in Green Bay wide receiver James Jones.

A Revis reunion (ha!) turns into nightmare

March, 12, 2014
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In the end, Darrelle Revis preferred to play for a coach he once called a “jerk” than for a general manager he branded a liar.

What does that make Revis?

The New York Jets-Revis relationship and the Jets-New England Patriots rivalry took another crazy turn Wednesday night with the news that Revis Island is moving to the Bay State. Less than four hours after he was fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the star cornerback ran to the Hoodie in New England, agreeing to a one-year, $12 million contract with the Patriots.

It surely is a nightmare for Jets Nation, seeing one of the best players in team history join forces with the Evil Empire to the northeast. It was a brilliant move by Patriots coach Bill Belichick, doling out a steep, but not-so-outrageous contract for one of the top corners in the NFL -- a move that has Jets fans asking, “Why didn’t we sign him?”

Don’t beat yourself up. It was never going to happen. Not ever.

Revis never wanted to return to the Jets; it was always the Patriots. He started thinking about the Patriots a year ago, when his bitter divorce from the Jets became imminent. It took him a year to reach his desired destination, enduring one miserable, but profitable ($16 million) season in Tampa, but he’s in position now to haunt the Jets, collect a bunch of money and maybe reach the Super Bowl.

[+] EnlargeDarrelle Revis
AP Photo/Mel EvansThe Jets will have to deal with Darrelle Revis twice in 2014 as a member of the AFC East-rival Patriots.
When his release from the Bucs became inevitable, Revis’ people created a smokescreen, leaking half-truths about how he was “in love” with the idea of rejoining the Jets. They knew it would send the fans into a tizzy, screaming for Revis 2.0. It was a transparent public relations ploy, giving the fan base false hope and creating some leverage against the Patriots.

There was supposedly a discussion Wednesday between the Jets and Revis’ camp, with talk of a reunion. In fact, there were no substantive talks. Revis’ agent reached out to a Jets staffer, believed to be via text -- and it went no further than that. It never got to general manager John Idzik.

And that was the so-called discussion.

The Jets most certainly need a No. 1 cornerback, and maybe they deserve some criticism for not making a push to re-sign Revis. But it would’ve been moot anyway, because Revis Inc. wasn’t about to sign on the dotted line -- unless they offered $14 million. And that would’ve been ridiculous.

Sure, he would’ve listened, but only as a means of squeezing more loot out of the Patriots. If Revis was so in love with the idea of returning to the Jets, why did it take him only three-plus hours to accept the Patriots’ offer?

He didn’t want the Jets. They didn’t want him. Basically, nothing changed from last spring, when irreconcilable differences led to the trade. After the trade, Revis called out Idzik, saying the GM told him “a lie” about the organization’s plans for him.

Make no mistake, the Jets talked internally about Revis over the past couple of days. Coach Rex Ryan wanted him back, of course, but the feeling in the organization was that it didn’t want to take a chance on messing up the positive vibe it created at the end of last season. The Jets have a great deal of respect for Revis the player, but they didn’t want to deal with an annual contract drama from Revis Inc.

That he ends up with Belichick is ironic because, in a March 2012 interview at ESPN studios, he slammed the Patriots’ coach. In a word-association game, he called Belichick a “jerk.” A few weeks later, talking to reporters at the Jets’ facility, Revis piled on, making more unflattering comments about the coach.

And now they’re buds, Darrelle and Bill, united in their desire to torment the Jets. You have to hand it to the Patriots. Less than 24 hours after losing Aqib Talib, they replaced him with a better cornerback.

Revis wasn’t Revis last season -- “He looked mortal to me,” a longtime personnel executive said -- but he was coming off ACL surgery. He should be a better player in 2014, and you know he’ll do something to make Jets fans want to throw up in their beer cups.

Such is the Jets-Patriots rivalry. The Jets stole Bill Parcells and Curtis Martin, and the Patriots got Belichick and now Revis.

Jets fans have a right to be sick over this, but there’s no reason to be mad. They made a decision a year ago to abandon Revis Island. They’re happy with the early results. As for Revis, he’s turning into the most expensive rental in NFL history, a millionaire mercenary.

Would Jets want Revis? Yes and no

March, 11, 2014
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Hottest question of the day: Would the New York Jets want to reunite with Darrelle Revis if he gets cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

There are mixed signals on this one. The Jets "absolutely" would be interested in the star cornerback, according to a person familiar with the team's thinking -- assuming Revis is willing to take less than his current $16 million-a-year salary. Rex Ryan has a deep affinity for Revis and, according to a person close to the coach, he likely already has brought up Revis' name is discussions with general manager John Idzik.

While the football side of the organization would love a Revis reunion, the feeling probably isn't the same on the management/ownership level. Years of acrimony between the front office and Revis' camp culminated last April with a bitter divorce, and it's unlikely Woody Johnson would sign off on a Revis 2.0, according to a person familiar with the owner's thinking.

"Woody's not going to allow Revis back in the building," the person said. "He's so anti-Revis. It would happen over his dead body, and I don't think he's ready to leave us."

The biggest question might be, would Revis even consider returning to the Jets? Unless they meet his asking price (not likely), he'd have to be desperate.

This could all be moot, of course, because the Bucs are attempting to trade Revis. The Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders reportedly have interest. Both teams have New York ties to Revis. The Browns' coach is former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, and the Raiders' assistant GM is Joey Clinkscales, the former Jets director of college scouting. The Bucs want to trade him before Wednesday. If not, they'll cut him before a $1.5 million roster bonus us due.

If Revis gets cut, the Jets lose

March, 10, 2014
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Looks like our old friend Darrelle Revis will be moving on soon. The news broke Monday night: If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can't trade Revis and his $16 million cap charge, they will release him by 4 p.m., ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported.

That would be a bad break for the New York Jets.

Per last year's trade agreement, the Jets received a conditional fourth-round pick (2014) that becomes a third-rounder if Revis is on the Bucs' roster for the third day of the league year -- Thursday. As Schefter reports, the Bucs won't wait past 4 p.m. Wednesday because they'd owe him a $1.5 million roster bonus and because they don't want the pick to rise to a third rounder.

There's a fairly significant difference between the Bucs' third-round choice (No. 69 overall) and the fourth-round choice (No. 100). At this point, it's impossible for the Bucs to avoid embarrassment -- this was one of the worst trades in recent memory -- but I suppose a lot of egg on the face is better than a whole lot of egg, so they'll drop him before the bill gets larger.

Talk about an all-time blunder: The Bucs traded a first-round pick (2013) for what looks like a one-and-done player. No wonder they have a new front office this season.

Obvious question: If Revis gets cut, would the Jets be interested? Two things are certain: They have a gaping hole at corner after releasing Antonio Cromartie and Rex Ryan absolutely loves Revis. (At first, he wasn't in favor of trading him.) That said, after the bitter divorce and the years of acrimony between the Jets and Revis' camp, I'd say a reunion is unlikely. I also can't see Revis wanting to go back; he'll go where the money is. The Jets will spend their millions on a younger cornerback, perhaps Alterraun Verner or Vontae Davis. They could have a new starting corner before Revis hits the market.

Selfishly, Jets want Revis to stay put

February, 26, 2014
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The New York Jets are rooting for cornerback Darrelle Revis to remain with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

When the Jets dealt Revis to the Bucs last April, they received a first-round pick (13th overall) and a conditional fourth-round choice that improves to a third-rounder if Revis is on the Bucs' roster for the third day of the 2014 league year -- March 13.

General manager John Idzik probably thought that was a gimme when he made the trade, but now there's speculation that Revis could be traded again. CBS Sports reported that the Bucs were approached at the scouting combine by teams inquiring about his availability. If the Bucs decide to move Revis, their motivation is to get it done by March 13, allowing them to retain their third-round pick.

It's not that hard to trade Revis because he signed a six-year, $96 million contract last year that included no guarantees, meaning no cap hit for the Bucs if they cut or trade him. New coach Lovie Smith is installing a Tampa-2 system -- not a good move for Revis' elite man-to-man skills -- another factor that has people wondering about a trade.

I thought the Bucs made a bad trade last year for Revis, who was coming off major knee surgery, and now it looks really bad. If they do ship him out, they wouldn't get the 13th pick (or anything close) in return. Maybe the Bucs realize what the Jets knew last year: Revis is a terrific player, but he's not worth a $16 million cap charge.

Could Revis return to the Jets? That's funny. Even if they cut Antonio Cromartie, I can't see them turning to Revis unless he gives them a huge discount -- and we all know that's not happening. The Jets are committed to Dee Milliner, and I have a feeling things will work out with Cromartie. Why would they want to go back to the bargaining table with a player who called their general manager a liar last spring? Why would Revis want to go back?

If the Bucs decide to trade him (a big "if" at this point), they'd look like idiots to send him back to the Jets, probably receiving 75 cents on the dollar. But they could impact the Jets by dealing him in the AFC East -- like, say, the New England Patriots, whose best corner, Aqib Talib, is set to become a free agent.

Jets could use leader like Derek Jeter

February, 12, 2014
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My first reaction to the Derek Jeter announcement?

He's right; it's time to go.

Jeter has been around so long that -- pardon the crossover into football -- he came up with the New York Yankees when Rich Kotite was the coach of the New York Jets, 1995. Try to wrap your brain around that. In the Jets' history book, that's known as the Dark Ages.

I'm not a Yankees fan, but how can you not respect Jeter? Every professional sports franchise longs to have a Jeter. During the Jets' acrimonious contract talks with Darrelle Revis, the cornerback's camp tried to push the notion that the Jets needed to lock up Revis because he was their Jeter -- a homegrown star. Obviously, the Jets didn't see Revis that way. At the same time, Revis' behavior wasn't very Jeter-like, as he made it all about the money.

As for the real Jeter, you just hope he can stay healthy through his farewell season. As former Jet and current ESPN analyst Damien Woody tweeted, "Father Time is undefeated." I also remember what Bill Parcells used to say: When you start talking about retirement, you've already retired.

Ryan talks Super Bowl, Revis vs. Sherman

January, 31, 2014
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NEW YORK -- Yeah, Rex Ryan likes Richard Sherman as a cornerback. But he's no Darrelle Revis.

Obviously, the New York Jets' coach is biased when it comes to the Great Cornerback Debate, but he claimed that Revis' performances in 2009 and 2010 were superior to what Sherman did this season for the Seattle Seahawks.

Sherman
Revis
"Sherman’s probably a guy who has played as well as any corner in the league this year," Ryan said Friday during a promotional appearance on Super Bowl Boulevard in Manhattan. "But, overall, the year that Revis had the first two years I was here, I don’t think Richard Sherman or anybody could compare to the years Revis had."

Ryan gave a technical explanation, saying they were so confident in Revis' man-to-man coverage ability that they put him in difficult situations week after week.

"What we did with him, how we played defense, we put him on the No. 1 guy and locked him down, and rolled our coverage and played loaded zones away from him constantly," said Ryan, who coached Revis from 2009 to 2012. "I'm not sure that’s ever been duplicated."

But the Jets traded him anyway, sending Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last offseason.

In case you're wondering, Ryan picked the Denver Broncos to beat the Seahawks.

Ryan said he likes having the Super Bowl in New York/New Jersey. Obviously, he wishes the Jets could be playing, but, "(It) could be worse. New England could be in it. I think it kind of fuels it a little bit. You realize how bad you want it, how bad you want to be in it."

Ryan said he'll watch Sunday from home.

"I thought about going to the game," he said, "but I don’t know if I could handle it."

Stat check: Wild swings on defense

January, 8, 2014
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In 2009, the New York Jets owned the best defense in the league. Since Rex Ryan's first season, they've been on a gradual decline as an overall unit. Facts are facts.

The 2013 season was hard to explain because the Jets made tremendous strides in some areas, especially against the run and in the red zone, but they dropped off significantly in pass defense and turnover production.

The defense has evolved under Ryan, going from a coverage-oriented unit with two impact players in the secondary (Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie) to a front-based defense with its best players on the line of scrimmage. That explains the sharp improvement in run defense. In theory, that should have helped them against the pass (i.e. a lot of third-and-long situations), but it never played out that way.

Here's a breakdown:

Points allowed

Final '13 ranking: 19th (387 points)

Final '12 ranking: 20th (375 points)

Total yards allowed

Final '13 ranking: 11th (5,359 yards)

Final '12 ranking: 8th (5,174 yards)

Rushing yards allowed

Final '13 ranking: 3rd (1,412 yards)

Final '12 ranking: 26th (2,138 yards)

Passing yards allowed

Final '13 ranking: 22nd (3,947 yards)

Final '12 ranking: 2nd (3,036 yards)

Third-down conversions

Final '13 ranking: 13th (36.8 percent)

Final '12 ranking: 12th (37.2 percent)

Red-zone efficiency

Final '13 ranking: 4th (44.9 percent)

Final '12 ranking: 25th (58.5 percent)

Takeaways

Final '13 ranking: 31st (15 turnovers)

Final '12 ranking: 18th (23 turnovers)

Sunday notes: Cro set to fly?

January, 5, 2014
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The New York Jets are done, but not us:

Cromartie
1. Likely cap casualty: One of the most interesting offseason decisions involves Antonio Cromartie, who is to count $15 million against the 2014 salary cap. That includes a $5 million roster bonus in March. Cromartie told teammates he expects the Jets to release him, but that he hopes to re-sign after testing the market. That would be the smart move. The Jets can't write a $5 million check for a soon-to-be-30-year-old cornerback who might need hip surgery. Because it's the final year of his contract, he can't do a simple restructuring to provide cap relief, as he did last year. They should cut him, let him shop around, and decide whether they want to match his best offer. They did it that way last offseason with Calvin Pace, and it worked out.

2. Status quo: There has been no official word yet on the coaching staff, but it looks like Rex Ryan wants to keep the group intact. So far, no one has been dismissed, and only one assistant has left -- linebackers coach Brian VanGorder, who became the Notre Dame defensive coordinator. Ryan doesn't appear to be in a rush and probably will take a week or so to finalize everything. At least six assistants have contracts that expire Feb. 1. Departures can't be ruled out, considering all the openings around the league, but the key staffers are expected back. That means offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

Revis
3. A Revis re-run? There has been been some faint speculation about the possibility of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers releasing cornerback Darrelle Revis, whose six-year, $96 million contract includes no guaranteed money. Revis isn't a good fit in Lovie Smith's Tampa-2 system, but it's still hard to imagine them cutting bait after one year, considering they traded a first-round pick to the Jets. Some Twitter followers have asked about the possibility of a Revis-Jets reunion. Forget about it. They refused to meet his asking price last year, when he was coming off knee surgery. Now, after making the Pro Bowl, you think he'll be giving a discount? No way.

4. Mirror images: Former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine did a nice job in his first season as the Bills' DC. In fact, Buffalo's defensive numbers were almost identical to those of the Jets. Check it out: The Bills allowed 388 points; the Jets 387. The Bills allowed 5,334 total yards; the Jets 5,359. The difference is, the stats represented a one-year improvement for the Bills, who went from 26th to 20th in points allowed and 22nd to 10th in yards allowed. The Jets improved slightly in points allowed (20th to 19th), but dropped in yards allowed (eighth to 11th).

5. It doesn't add up: One of the truly bizarre stats from the season involved fumbles. The Jets forced 18 fumbles, yet recovered only two. You have to figure that a loose ball is a 50-50 situation, so the fact that the Jets failed 16 out of 18 times to come up with the fumble ... well, that's some seriously bad luck.

Sunday notes: Saving Coach Ryan

December, 29, 2013
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MIAMI -- Wrapping up another New York Jets season:

1. Stay of Rex-ecution?: Although signs point to Rex Ryan's return, as first reported Saturday by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the team has yet to make anything official. Let me say this: It's the right move. Owner Woody Johnson would be making a mistake if he signs off on Ryan's ouster. Most supporters point to his work this season as the biggest reason to keep him, but let's take a step back and look at the wider view. Consider:

a. He's the second-winningest coach in Jets history, trailing only Bill Parcells in winning percentage -- .604 to .519. That doesn't include Ryan's four playoff victories, a franchise record. An organization that has lost Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick should know better than to turn its back on promising coaches.

[+] EnlargeRex Ryan
AP Photo/Patrick SemanskyMany people with ties to the Jets feel that coach Rex Ryan brought much more than just wins to the franchise. He brought a sense of belief.
b. There are no slam-dunk upgrades among the usual suspects/candidates. Darrell Bevell or Dan Quinn or Ken Whisenhunt won't excite the fan base, and GM John Idzik knows it. That's probably one of the reasons why he's interested in retaining Ryan. Despite three straight non-playoff seasons, he's still good box office.

c. Ryan provides endearing intangibles. To explain them, listen to retired Jets guard Brandon Moore, who played under Herm Edwards, Eric Mangini and Ryan.

"He changed the culture in the building," Moore said of Ryan. "Before he got there, they talked about winning championships, but no one believed it. With Rex, you believe it's possible."

Moore also said, "If they fire Rex, they'll never find anyone who wants to win a championship for that organization as much as Rex does. He truly loves the Jets. You can't put a price on that."

Your move, Woody.

2. Making it hard to say goodbye: If something goes haywire and Ryan ends up getting fired, it would be a fascinating news conference, especially if the Jets beat the Miami Dolphins to finish 8-8. What would Idzik give for a reason, that Ryan did a bad job?

3. Cloud of uncertainty: Ryan and his staff have had to work this season under the toughest of circumstances -- little or no job security. At least seven assistants, an unusually high number, are in the final year of their contract. A situation like that can create a huge distraction, but Ryan & Co. have done an admirable job of focusing on the job at hand.

4. Rex vs. Tom: Ryan's record is 41-38. Tom Coughlin's record over the same span is 42-37. I get it, Coughlin won two championships. I'm just throwing the numbers out there.

5. Pace setter: Strong words the other day from LB Calvin Pace, who was asked about the prospect of having to start over with a new coaching staff. "As a player, it's not ideal. ... It's chaos. Because then you're seeing bodies, people getting cut and what-not." Thing is, to an outsider like Idzik, who has his own ideas, that might be appealing.

6. MartyBall: I think OC Marty Mornhinweg has done a credible job this season, considering the paucity of skill-position talent. But doggone it (one of his pet expressions), how can you not notice how well the Philadelphia Eagles are doing without him? His previous team, with pretty much the same skill-position players as last year, is ranked No. 2 in total offense and No. 2 in scoring under first-year coach Chip Kelly. A year ago, it was 15th and 29th, respectively.

7. What a kick: You can bet PK Robbie Gould's four-year, $15 million contract ($9 million guaranteed) with the Chicago Bears opened some eyes in the Nick Folk camp. Folk, due to become an unrestricted free agent, has produced numbers over the past two seasons eerily similar to those of Gould, now the highest-paid kicker in history.

Field goal percentage in 2012 and 2013: Gould 87.0, Folk 86.7.

Percentage in the 40-49 range: Gould 81.3, Folk 81.0.

Percentage in the 50-plus range: Gould 83.3, Folk 85.7.

Interesting, right? If the Jets think they can re-up with Folk for the usual one-year deal, they will lose him.

8. Nnamdi and the Jets: I guess it's a good for the Jets that CB Nnamdi Asomugha turned down their five-year, $50 million offer in 2011. Asomugha, whose career declined steadily from 2011, announced his retirement this week. Even though he spurned them, he made an impact on the Jets -- in a bad way. His $16 million-a-year contract with his first team, the Oakland Raiders, became the negotiating threshold for Darrelle Revis in talks with the Jets -- a price they considered ridiculous and, obviously, never were willing to meet.

9. Speaking of Revis ...: For all the talk about his surgically repaired knee, he ended up having a very good season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He hasn't missed a game and he's the top-rated corner in the league, based on the statistical metrics used by ProFootballFocus.com. On Friday night, he was named to the Pro Bowl. No one on the Jets made the Pro Bowl. That's a hanging curve if you want to take a shot at the Jets.

10. A full Nelson: As Kristian Dyer of Metro New York pointed out, WR David Nelson actually signed a two-year deal when he arrived early in the season. Most in-season acquisitions sign for one year. This was a nice pickup by the Jets. Nelson has played more snaps (508) than any receiver on the team since his Week 5 arrival. He has 31 receptions, third on the team.

Green Day: Jets eating Cro at cornerback

November, 20, 2013
11/20/13
6:00
AM ET
One of the reasons why the New York Jets felt comfortable trading Darrelle Revis was the emergence last season of Antonio Cromartie as a legitimate No. 1 cornerback. He made the Pro Bowl, deservedly so.

Cromartie
That Cromartie is gone, and you wonder if the Jets would've pulled the trigger on the blockbuster deal if they knew then what they know now. Fans and media types are beating up Dee Milliner for his struggles, but he's a rookie. It's Cromartie who should be criticized.

Cromartie was burned by rookie wide receiver Marquise Goodwin in last Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills, a 43-yard touchdown in which Cromartie choked on Goodwin's dust. You've seen that movie before. Cromartie has allowed five touchdowns and 20.5 yards per reception, the second-highest average among corners, according to ProFootballFocus.com. A year ago, his numbers were five touchdowns and 12.8.

The timing couldn't be worse for the Jets, battling for a playoff spot, and Cromartie, who is playing for a contract. He's signed for 2014, but there's no way he will play for the Jets under his current deal. His cap number is $15 million, including a $5 million roster bonus and a $4.3 million base salary. Unless Cromartie agrees to a pay cut, the Jets should try to shop him in the offseason, hoping to find a suitor that would extend his deal. If there's no market, they'd have to cut him. It would make no sense to extend Cromartie, not after his performance this season.

Imagine losing the likes of Revis and Cromartie in back-to-back offseasons.

On Sunday, Cromartie faces another challenge, Torrey Smith of the Baltimore Ravens. Smith's numbers have declined in recent weeks, but he's still a vertical threat. His targets average 15.1 yards, the fifth-highest in the league, per ESPN Stats.

Maybe the old Cromartie will make an appearance.

ICYMI: The Jets made one roster move Tuesday, placing tight end Konrad Reuland on season-ending injured reserve with a mysterious knee injury. In essence, he became expendable with the return of Kellen Winslow and the early-season arrival of Zach Sudfeld. Along with Jeff Cumberland, it was four's a crowd at tight end. ... The team didn't work out any free agents Tuesday ... Kudos to defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. He spent Tuesday evening in Elizabeth, N.J., handing out Thanksgiving dinners to 200 families. Wilkerson grew up in the Elizabeth/Linden area. ... Our film review of the Buffalo debacle. ... The Jets dropped to 16th in the ESPN.com power rankings. ... Backup quarterback Matt Simms knows why he's the most popular guy in town.

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