What a strange and interesting trip it has been for Darrelle Revis and the Jets, forging a wildly successful, yet contentious relationship early on, going through a bitter divorce that was painful for both, and now joined together once more just weeks after Revis gets his Super Bowl ring with the Jets' most hated rival.
Somehow, some way, Revis is back in green and white, and all is right with the Jets for at least this one intoxicating moment.
After watching Revis win his first and only Super Bowl with the Patriots, who agreed to what amounted to a one-year rental of one of the best cover cornerbacks in NFL history, the Jets got their man back, and all seems right with the world for a franchise that is so used to feeling the opposite.
Same old Jets? Not this time, not with this player, and not with this dramatic move by team owner Woody Johnson and his newly assembled cast of general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles.
In the space of less than a week, the Maccagnan-Bowles duo has reinvigorated a moribund Jets roster with a series of smart moves -- the smartest one of all bringing back Revis.
There was the trade for Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, the most physically gifted Jets receiver since Al Toon who will be a major boost as long as he keeps his head on straight. Which is what we expect now that he has new surroundings and a firm hand in Bowles, who knew Marshall from their days with the Dolphins. There was the re-signing of linebacker David Harris last week and then running back Bilal Powell Tuesday. And the signing of Browns free-agent cornerback Buster Skrine, who had drawn interest from a whopping eight teams but landed with the Jets.
And now Revis, who transformed his position under Rex Ryan before suffering a knee injury in 2012 and forcing GM John Idzik's hand the next year and prompting his trade to the Buccaneers. Despite Revis' protestations at the time, it was actually a sensible move for the salary cap-strapped Jets. Landing a first-round pick that eventually led to Pro Bowl defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was a good payoff.
Revis was a non-factor with a terrible Bucs team, and after being released and rebuffed by Idzik and his rebuilding team, went on to get a ring with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in New England. He got his championship with the Patriots after his old team cratered at 4-12. And after Johnson cleaned house with Ryan and Idzik, the owner gets a fresh start with Maccagnan and Bowles and gets his prized cornerback as the big payoff.
Johnson had to pay a king's ransom to win the bidding war -- $70 million over five years, including $39 million guaranteed -- but sometimes you have to overpay to get the player you want. Especially if you own a team so desperate to get better. That's the way it works in this league. That's the way it works in pro sports.
Johnson may also end up paying with a draft pick for his ill-timed remark about admitting he wanted Revis when the cornerback was still under contract with the Patriots.
The Jets are still not a complete team without a big-time quarterback, and that will take some doing. But with the good fortune this team has enjoyed so far with the new coach-GM tandem, there's still hope for the future. Maybe Geno Smith shows definitive signs of growth under the steady influence of veteran offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.
Better yet, maybe the stars align in the draft and the Jets come away with Oregon's Marcus Mariota with the sixth overall pick.
For now, they can be content with a sweeping series of moves to improve their roster. After winning back Revis, there's something around the Jets that hasn't been there for quite some time: hope.