It's all about guaranteed money
Folks keep focusing on whether Revis wants 16 million a year, which is a distraction from the issue of guaranteed money. It's also a negotiating ploy to force the Jets hand before the start of free agency. Sure, Revis has leverage, but if he injures himself again during the season, he stands to lose a lot of money (so the Jets have leverage too). The less-discussed issue is how guaranteed money plays in here. The decision the Jets face is how long to extend Revis and how much guaranteed money to make as part of that contract.
My own opinion is that Revis is a cornerstone foundational player, a once in a generation player. Yes, he wants his money (and that is annoying), but I also think he wants to go down as the best player at his position to ever play the game. That passion drives him. It is always a risk to sign a player for 6 or 7 years and potentially commit large cap dollars given the risk of injury and decline. But Revis is one of only a handful of defensive players that are worth it. A deal heavy on signing bonus and guaranteed roster bonuses that might average $16 million a year in the first couple of years (for bragging rights), but basically keeps his cap charges in the 10-12 million annual range is risky, but worth it for a player like Revis, who can move to safety a la Woodson later in his career.
Meanwhile, you move Cromartie for a pick given he has less dead cap money. And you build through the draft. With Wilkerson, Coples, and Revis, and some new blood at LB and safety in the next two years, you can insure top defenses year in and out, while you invest through the draft in skill position players on the offensive side of the ball. Swing a trade for Nick Foles or bring in Matt Moore to compete with Sanchez, and decide whether you are drafting a QB high next year. And we are back on the road to respectability once Tone's and Sanchez's contracts hit reset next year. In an era where fans are mostly deprived of having a lifetime player on their team (unless it's a star QB or player like Ray Lewis), it would be nice to have one of our very own. It would be great to have him on that podium when we hoist the Lombardi, which the optimist in me says we will do.