PHOENIX -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft addressed cornerback Darrelle Revis' departure to the New York Jets for the first time, speaking at the NFL owners meeting Monday and saying the club made its pitch but also was balancing long-range considerations.
"We thought we made a very competitive offer," Kraft said. "I speak as a fan of the New England Patriots, we wanted to keep him. We wanted him in our system, and we have certain disciplines. We had hoped it worked out. It didn't. We just don't think about short-term decisions. For example, next year we have three very good young defensive players coming up and we have to factor that."
Kraft was presumably referring to defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who have fifth-year options in their contracts for the 2016 season, as well as linebacker Jamie Collins, who is scheduled for unrestricted free agency after the 2016 season.
"We just don't look at this year; we look out at the next few years. We've done OK doing that," he said. "As a fan, in March and April, I hate to lose [Revis]. But our real focus is what goes on in the fall and winter. I put my faith and respect with Bill [Belichick]. We have a lot of discussions and he's done pretty good the last 15 years. The fan in me argues all the time with him but he has a pretty good record."
Kraft was asked how close he came to the offer Revis ultimately accepted with the Jets.
"I think we made a very competitive offer. And I must say this, because I see how our situation [has been] with Vince [Wilfork]; that's the team that drafted him. I don't know, I think he feels a great commitment there, so we understand going back," he said. "We're sorry he didn't stay with us."
Asked how he feels about the Patriots facing Revis twice a season, Kraft said, "We'll see what happens. We understand that. He's a great player. The fan in me wishes he were still with us."
When Kraft was asked specifically if he was willing to match the Jets' offer, and if Belichick talked him out of it, Kraft said, "No, I listen to what he says. We discuss things thoroughly, but he has done a pretty good job. Once again, the emotion and fan in me, you want to keep all the good players and we have a salary cap. I know what it's like when you lose a game in the fall and the winter, so the emotion of the spring has to have some discipline if you want to be good long-term. I think he's proven to be a pretty good manager of our resources."