In the end, Bilal Powell wanted to remain with the team that drafted him.
"I really didn't want to leave, man," he told Newsday by phone Tuesday afternoon.
The running back confirmed that he has agreed to re-sign with the Jets, though he declined to address the terms of his contract, which reportedly is for one year.
"As far as having a chance to stay and playing in the city that I came into, it was something that my family and I decided on," said the team's fourth-round pick in 2011.
In a limited role as the No. 3 back behind Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson, the 5-11, 204-pound Powell rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries in 15 games last season. He also caught 11 passes for 92 yards.
In four seasons with the Jets, Powell has totaled 1,296 rushing yards (3.9 average per carry and six touchdowns, plus 65 catches for 511 receiving yards.
With former Jets head coach Rex Ryan and running backs coach Anthony Lynn now on the Bills' staff, there was speculation that Buffalo would make a strong push for Powell.
"I think any guy that has the opportunity to test the waters will. It's always best to have options," said Powell, a married father of two children.
Asked specifically about the Bills' interest in him, he highlighted his familiarity with Buffalo's staff. "They're the coaching staff that basically drafted me," he said. "But this is the best opportunity. I think this is the best fit for me."
Powell, 26, often gets overlooked despite his dependability and durability over the years, but re-signing him was a top priority for the new Jets regime. When new head coach Todd Bowles was hired, Powell was one of the first players to get an introductory call.
"I'm very impressed with him," Powell said of Bowles. "Just him reaching out to me a couple of times in the offseason just shows who he is as a person."
The Jets likely aren't done adding to their running back stable, though. They'll either sign a free agent or wait until the draft to select another back. Free-agent signings won't be made official until 4 p.m. Tuesday, the official start of the new league year.
Powell wouldn't say how much of a role he expects to have in the Jets' new-look offense. But he's no stranger to competition.
"I live daily," he said. "Whatever opportunity comes my way, I'll make the most of it. I just wanna play and win. That's my mindset."