The Jets’ secondary has been one of the bright spots this season. Despite losing Darrelle Revis for the season, they’ve been arguably the strongest part of the team. A large part of that has been Antonio Cromartie’s Pro Bowl performances coupled with improved play at safety. From Rex Ryan’s point of view, the development of former first-round pick Kyle Wilson has been a big part of it.
“This is the guy we signed up for when we drafted him,” Rex said of Kyle Wilson. #nyj
— Conor Orr (@ConorTOrr) December 14, 2012
Corey Griffin, TheJetsBlog.comWhen the Jets drafted Wilson, there were more than a few pundits that labeled him “Revis Lite” and it’s not exactly a secret that he has yet to come close to that billing. That said, Wilson has been noticeably improved this season after spending the past two offseasons training with Revis in Arizona. Part of his improvement, believe it or not, has been the absence of No. 24. During Wilson’s first two years in the league, he was basically forced inside as Revis and Cromartie manned the barrier and he struggled to cover in space. With offenses utilizing the slot receiver more than ever, Wilson was often overmatched from the snap. Since Revis went down, he’s moved outside the hashmarks (where he’s clearly more comfortable) and has been stronger in coverage, as well as showing improved tackling and some awesome post-drop celebrations.
Rex has been known to pump up his own players regardless of whether they deserve it, but his kind words come at an interesting time for the cash- and talent-strapped Jets. With Revis, Cromartie and a solid Wilson, the Jets would appear to have an abundance of riches at cornerback, while severely lacking in multiple other areas. Regardless of whether Rex is being sincere, it’s obvious the Jets have an abundance of riches at a time when pass coverage is at a premium.
Brian and I have discussed on the podcast how it’s likely either Revis or Cromartie will get dealt in the offseason to alleviate cap issues and bolster the draft cupboard. With Revis in a contract dispute and coming off major injury, you’re not going get maximum value for the best cover corner in two decades. If there’s a cornerback to be dealt, it should be Cromartie. He’ll be 29 in April, is signed through 2014 with a very reasonable cap hit of $10.75 million each of the next two season and will be coming off arguably the best season of his career. The Jets dealt a third-round pick that became a No. 2 for Cromartie prior to the 2010 season and I’d reason they stand to get a three or a conditional four for Cromartie if they dealt him this offseason. As much as Rex loves corners, it would be hard to pass that up.