Making sense of the tender offers

Don't read too much into the tender offers that were announced late Tuesday by the Jets. A lot of it was procedural stuff, covering their bases in the event that the current free-agency system is used in 2011. If it's not, as many folks around the league suspect, these tenders will be moot.

WR Santonio Holmes and CB Antonio Cromartie were tendered at the highest level -- first- and third-round picks. Some might think that absolutely means the Jets are determined to keep both players, some kind of statement that Cromartie definitely is in their plans.

Well, yeah ... if the 2010 rules are in place. In that case, Holmes and Cromartie would be restricted free agents, earning the mandated $3.5 million for one year (the amount for guys that get the first- and third-round tender). The Jets would gladly keep Cromartie for $3.5 million. Heck, at that rate, Holmes would be an absolute steal. GM Mike Tannenbaum would be one happy dude; he'd get to keep his two prime pickups from last offseason without having to invest a long-term contract.

If the new CBA goes back to the pre-2010 rules, Holmes and Cromartie would be unrestricted free agents. Then we'll find out how much the Jets are really willing to pay.

Here's a list of the other tenders: KR Brad Smith (second round), QB Kellen Clemens (third), S Eric Smith (third), DB Drew Coleman (sixth), PK Nick Folk (sixth), S James Ihedigbo (no draft pick/right of first refusal) and OL Rob Turner (no draft pick/right of first refusal).

By putting only a ROFR on Ihedigbo and Turner, the Jets are inviting potential suitors to come after the players. They're valuable role players.

Once again, don't take all this as gospel. Everything is fluid, and the tenders might not be worth the paper they're printed on -- if, in fact, they're printed on paper. You get the picture.