The former West Ham United manager admitted that he had been keen to reunite with the player he worked with at Charlton Athletic as he looks to bolster his attacking options at St James' Park.
However, Bent opted for a switch to Martin Jol's Fulham, after finding his chances at Aston Villa limited, and Pardew believes the 29-year-old took the easy option.
"It was very obvious that I thought he would do well here," said Pardew. "Obviously you can't have contact with the player, but I know Darren well enough to think we had something which he was going to enjoy."
"But he has opted for Fulham and perhaps that is the safer option."
Pardew did admit that Bent's spell at rivals Sunderland could have played a part in his decision to spurn the chance to join Newcastle and suggested the pressure of playing for a "bigger" club may also have put Bent off.
"Were the Sunderland links a factor? Possibly, yes, and maybe the profile of this club," he added.
"It is bigger than Fulham, that's just a fact."