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Antonio Cromartie: 'It sucks' Darrelle Revis not a Jet

The parting of ways between Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets has been a matter of when, not if, since owner Woody Johnson decided he would not foot the upcoming bill after 2013.

That doesn't mean people have to like it.

"It sucks. That's my reaction: It sucks," Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie told New York Daily News reporter Manish Mehta after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were granted permission to talk to Revis. "Losing a guy like that just sucks. A leader in the locker room, a leader in the classroom, a leader on the field. A great playmaker on the field. It just sucks losing a guy like that.

"I'm surprised really, to tell you the truth. I'm surprised more so than anything."

Cromartie shouldn't be. Johnson's stance hasn't been a secret. The Jets had to make a trade or they would be stuck with nothing but a compensatory draft pick when Revis hit free agency. The talks between the Jets and Bucs were widely reported in recent months.

The only surprise could be in the timing, and that's no shock with the NFL draft just four days away.

"I know it's a business, but I don't even have a reaction now," Cromartie said. "I don't even know what to say. I was thinking last year when I saw him that it was going to be the both of us (on the Jets) for a long time. But I understand the business standpoint of it.

"It's a disappointment. You look forward to playing with the best cornerback in the league. When you pair us two together, we felt like we had the best tandem. We had the best tandem. Now he's leaving. You just got to roll with the punches."

Rex Ryan certainly wasn't surprised. A source close to the Jets coach told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport: "He expected it. Didn't everyone?"

News broke Sunday morning that the Jets gave the Bucs permission to meet with Revis and perform a physical. Revis was on a plane and on the ground in Florida that afternoon. The teams had a foundation for the deal, and the details were expected to be wrapped up Sunday or Monday. Revis and the Bucs already had discussed a long-term contract.

Really, the only thing left was for Bucs doctors to sign off on the cornerback's surgically repaired anterior cruciate ligament.

UPDATE: The Jets officially traded Revis to the Bucs on Sunday, and he signed a six-year, $96 million contract with no guaranteed money, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. The Jets receive a first-round draft pick in 2013 and a conditional third- or fourth-round pick in 2014 for Revis.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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