Sure, it stinks.
Yes, it will be annoying for Jets fans to see him twice next season in a Patriots uniform.
And yes, it would have been an unexpected treat to see Darrelle Revis back in New York, if for no other reason than to see the Jets complete an unprecedented buyback of a player who netted them rising star Sheldon Richardson and paved the way for the drafting of Dee Milliner.
But a one-year, $12-million rental of Revis, when your team is more than a year away from realistically contending for a Super Bowl? And the prospect of another offseason of uncertainty in 2015, wondering whether Revis would stay or go and how much it would cost to keep him happy?
The enigmatic cornerback is reportedly taking his talents to New England, where the Patriots are having their own issues when it comes to locking down lockdown cornerbacks: see Aqib Talib going to Denver. Bill Belichick's team has been knocking on the door of a Super Bowl championship almost every year but hasn't closed the deal since Belichick and Tom Brady collected their third ring after the 2004 season. With time running out on Brady's career, Belichick needed to take a gamble.
Revis unquestionably will improve the Patriots' Super Bowl chances in 2014. If the Jets similarly were loading up for a title run, it would make sense to meet Revis' asking price.
But the Jets are in a rebuilding mode with a young quarterback in Geno Smith and an emerging defense. Bringing back the star cornerback on a one-year deal doesn't make sense. Better instead to bring back Antonio Cromartie, who was released in a salary-cap move this past weekend, but with the door left open for a potential return.
Cromartie would love to finish his career with the Jets and isn't interested in short-term cash. If he's willing to come back on a contract that fits into the Jets' salary-cap arrangement, it makes sense to sign him.
With some of the money left over after Cromartie was cut, the Jets signed Seahawks free- agent tackle Breno Giacomini to replace Austin Howard, who agreed to terms with the Raiders on Tuesday. The Jets agreed to terms with Broncos free-agent receiver Eric Decker, who will be a welcome target for Smith. And there's talk they'll bring in Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jaguars free-agent running back, who could provide a terrific complement to the hard-running Chris Ivory.
What the Jets need are players who will be here at least two years from now, when they presumably can bring together enough talent to make a run. And in a system in which the salary cap comes into play, some tough decisions have to be made. Not signing Revis was one of them.
It appears there was little chance that Revis would come back to the Jets -- at least from the team's perspective. A league source said that the Jets "engaged in no substantive discussions about Revis" and that "no one spoke to John Idzik," the Jets general manager, about the cornerback.
So Idzik, who has been criticized by fans because he failed to keep Howard, didn't overpay for cornerbacks Vontae Davis or Alterraun Verner, who took big-money deals elsewhere, and didn't engage in any splashy moves in the first two days of free agency, no doubt will be second-guessed for not considering a move on Revis.
Maybe Revis comes back to haunt the Jets this year, maybe not. But this just wasn't the right time for a one-year deal with a player who would put the team in the same position next year, not knowing whether you could count on him or not.
Revis reportedly would have loved the chance to be back with his old team. At $12 million for one year, the Jets weren't in the market, choosing to go younger and cheaper to build over the long term.
Sure, it'll hurt Jets fans to see him twice next season. But now they won't be held hostage a year from now wondering where Revis might head next.