Earlier today, the Jets officially announced that they have traded a conditional draft pick for former pro bowl receiver and kick returner Percy Harvin, as had been reported yesterday. While Harvin is a well known player, I’ve been reviewing recent footage to try and assess what he brings to the table.
After being drafted with the 22nd pick of the 2009 draft by the Vikings, the 26-year old Harvin, who is listed as 5-11 and 200 pounds, entered the league with a bang, winning the offensive rookie of the year award and making it to the pro bowl. He was an exciting player in his first three seasons, averaging over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and scoring 24 touchdowns, including four on kick returns. Since 2011, he’s only started 13 games due to injuries and while he’s still been productive on a per-game basis, he hasn’t had the same kind of impact. Nevertheless, at the start of last season, the Seahawks traded multiple picks including a first rounder to acquire Harvin and then gave him a $67m contract extension. While he barely played last season and hasn’t been very productive in 2014, he did showcase his big play ability in the Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory over the Broncos in February.
After the jump, observations from reviewing footage from Harvin’s career so far to evaluate his strengths and weaknesses with a particular focus on his disappointing production the last few years and the factors influencing this. To read more of this story, click here
Percy Harvin‘s departure from Seattle was preceded by several conflicts with teammates and coaches, culuminating with his refusal to return to the field in the Seahawks’ loss to the Cowboys last Sunday (Pro Football Talk, Oct. 18).
The Jets acquired Harvin for a conditional draft pick Friday.
Pro Football Talk reported Harvin, 26, sat out the fourth quarter against Dallas after having three carries for minus-1 yards and three catches. Earlier this season, the Seattle Times reported Harvin and wide receiver Doug Baldwin fought the week before the Seahawks preseason game against the Raiders. The New York Daily News reported both players were excused from practice that week and Harvin didn’t travel with the team to Oakland (Daily News, Oct. 18).
Pro Football Talk also reported Harvin got into a fight with former Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate in the week before Seattle’s Super Bowl victory over Denver at MetLife Stadium, with Tate receiving a black eye.
The Jets will release WR David Nelson to make room on the roster for newly-acquired Percy Harvin, according to team reporters.
Nelson had eight catches this year for 65 yards. He also fumbled twice.
Harvin and Nelson were teammates in college.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Coming off an embarrassing road loss, the Jets brass knew they needed to make a move. Their young quarterback didn’t have his best day in enemy territory and the team realized that there weren’t enough weapons to help raise the game of their young signal caller.
But where could the team find one such weapon in-season? Maybe a talented but troubled player who could be had at a discount to come in quick and make an impact on an advantageous contract? Maybe working with a team with which those in the organization already had close ties?
As you might guess, I’m not writing about the trade the Jets made Friday for Percy Harvin, but the one they made in October of 2009 for Braylon Edwards. Mark Sanchez stumbled in a dismal 24-10 loss to the Saints, while Braylon Edwards had burned his last bridge in Cleveland under former Jets coach Eric Mangini after being investigated for an alleged battery stemming from an altercation outside a Cleveland night club.
During Edwards 28 games for the Jets he was a human highlight reel, totaling 88 receptions for 1,445 yards (16.4 YPC) and 11 touchdowns in the regular season. For many Jets fans, it came as a head-scratcher that given the choice of signing Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards in the scramble leading up to the 2011 season, that the team picked Holmes.
Seattle is not Cleveland. Even though there are similarities between the Edwards and Harvin situations, the two moves are wildly different. The Browns were reeling from one staff to the next, while the Seahawks are coming off a Super Bowl victory and are the blueprint for success in the current NFL. For all Edwards concerns, few were leveled at his work ethic, injury history or relationships within the boundaries of the game. As for Harvin and Seattle, it seems like it was a bad fit and both sides are elated to move on. In the end, the big similarity in both cases, was that an extremely talented receiver was looking for a change of scenery while becoming a bigger focal point of the offense on their next stop.
To read more of this story, click here
Ray Lucas joined GEICO SportsNite via phone to discuss the Jets’ acquisition of Percy Harvin and how Harvin fits into the team’s plans going forward.
Update, 7:22 p.m.: The NFL Network reported Percy Harvin’s “anger issues” played a role in Seattle’s mid-season decision to trade him to the Jets Friday. (NFL.com, 10/17).
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Harvin was difficult to deal with in the locker room, and the Seahawks were trying for “several weeks” to trade him.
In four years in Minnesota, the Vikings had numerous problems with Harvin including his public criticism of quarterback Christian Ponder. NFL Media’s Albert Breer reported that Harvin’s “anger management issues” followed him to Seattle.
The Jets have acquired Percy Harvin from the Seattle Seahawks for a conditional draft pick, according to Jay Glazer. (Twitter, 10/17)
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported the draft pick was a “mid-rounder.” (Twitter, 10/17)
Harvin, 26, has 22 catches for 133 yards this season in five games for Seattle In February’s Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium, he returned a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown in the Seahawks’ 43-8 rout of Denver. Harvin was acquired from Minnesota for for first- and seventh-round picks in 2013, and a third-round pick in 2014.
The Jets will take on around $6.5 million in cap charges this year for Harvin and will pay him $10.5 million next year and another $9.9 in 2016. The deal amounts to a 10 million a year for the Jets with what looks to be no guaranteed money moving forward. (OverTheCap.com)
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Wow. This is not something we expected to see on a Friday night, especially after falling at the hands of a divisional rival on a Thursday in October for the team’s sixth L of the season. But the move is not unwelcome and has a lot of threads that already seem to make sense for the Jets. We’ll write more about this later, but in short here’s what we think; the Jets have had a longstanding history of crushing on Harvin and they are finally getting their chance.
The Jets were rumored to have interest in trading back into the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft to acquire Harvin to pair with rookie QB Mark Sanchez.
The Jets were tied to rumors about interest when Harvin was looking to leave the Vikings more than a year ago.
Pete Carroll has been a longtime fanboy of Percy Harvin, and might have even been the one to put the 2009 bug in the Jets ear on Harvin. Carroll knew Harvin back in the days when Carroll tried to recruit him to USC, albeit unsuccessfully. Carroll would have had a long time to think about pairing his quarterback and Harvin before the Jets ever considered it.
The Seahawks compensation for Harvin was part of how the Jets were able to set the market in trading Darrelle Revis to the Bucs. Now, just 18 months later and only getting a mid-round pick, we can see how badly the Seahawks overvalued Harvin and might even be pining for Golden Tate. It’s fair to say that when you look back at moving Harvin to the Jets and Revis from the Jets over time, the Jets are the undoubted winners of this rectangular trade route.
John Idzik’s past relationship with the Seahawks likely paved the way to this deal, but we’d be shocked if he didn’t have the enthusiastic approval of both his coaches and the team’s executives alike.
The Jets 2014 season might be going by the wayside, but they are serious about strictly evaluating their offense (and their coaching staff) prior to this offseason to determine the team’s future (read: quarterback) course of action. Adding a player like Harvin, even if the Jets might be out of playoff contention, might provide the spark that the Jets offense needs to better determine just what they have … or don’t have.
Damien Woody nailed the conundrum the Jets are in Thursday night during the Jets-Patriots game before they could potentially blow things up this offseason.
Now Smith has an infinitely better weapon. Granted, when that weapon doesn’t have a migraine headache or leg injury.
Chris Ivory is taking decisive control of the backfield. Eric Decker has been a steadying influence when healthy, but isn’t enough on his own. Jace Amaro is becoming a bigger part of the offense but still can’t be fully relied on just yet. Adding a player like Harvin gives the Jets a truly versatile player who can line up all over the field (X,Y,Z, backfield, H-back, etc.) and might actually be able to fill the some of the role that the Jets had in mind for Chris Johnson. The upside of a player like Harvin over CJ is that Harvin has much better hands as a receiver and is younger and more dynamic as a runner.
The big concern with Harvin is as it has always been; he spends far too much time in the garage due to his laundry list of injuries. There’s also the question as to whether Marty Mornhinweg will be able to scheme his use effectively like Darrell Bevel did in Seattle. And even so, will Geno be able to find him down the sidelines? While Harvin’s injuries are totally unpredictable, I have enough trust in Marty to get the job done. We’ll see how Geno gels with Harvin, but we’ve now got nine games to find out if Harvin can help make Geno a better player.
Bottom line, now clear of future guarantees or dead money, this is a very palatable deal for the Jets that is all upside and does little to tie up their cap space. The Jets can keep the dynamic but injury-prone Harvin as long as they see fit through 2016 and pay as they go.