Seeing Julian Edelman end up with the Jets would have been tough. (USA TODAY Images)

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman spent his second straight offseason as a free agent, but this time around after coming off of a season that saw him finish with a team-leading 105 receptions for 1056 yards, including 54 first downs and 6 touchdowns, there was obviously more interest compared to what he saw during his first go around where he didn’t garner a lot of attention when he hit the market in 2013.

Fortunately Edelman ultimately ended up back in New England, but according to ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini, Edelman’s visit to the Jets was one that head coach Rex Ryan had hoped would have been a permanent stay for the veteran receiver.

Here’s a snippet from Cimini in his notes column from Sunday:

From the what-if dept.: This never became public, but the Jets showed interest in wide receiver Julian Edelman during free agency. Ryan, in particular, was intrigued by the idea of stealing a weapon from the rival Patriots. Edelman ended up re-signing with the Patriots for $17 million over four years. Landing Edelman would’ve been quite a coup.

Fortunately it didn’t happen, as it’s probably safe to say most fans would have had a tough time seeing Edelman lining up against their team twice each season in a Jets uniform.