In an expected move, the New York Jets have officially parted with wide receiver Percy Harvin.
The Jets shocked the world by acquiring receiver/kick returner Percy Harvin in October from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a conditional 2015 draft pick. Harvin was underutilized and un-needed in Seattle, as they reached the Super Bowl two years in a row with little to no help from the speedster. Harvin was in the second year of a massive six-year, $67 million contract.
Needless to say, Harvin didn’t stick very well in New York. In eight games with the Jets, Harvin totaled 29 catches, 350 yards and touchdown. Not horrible numbers by any means, but not nearly worth the $10.5 million Harvin was due next season.
The money made this an easy decision for the Jets. Harvin still has value left his tank and will likely find a new NFL home, but for much less than $10 million. The Jets receiving core is also set with Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall, and Jeremy Kerley. Harvin would have been making over $10 million next season to return kicks and be under or mis-utilized on offense.
Harvin’s future seemed very promising in Minnesota. Spending his first four seasons with the Vikings after being drafted out of Florida, Harvin displayed game-breaking speed and emerged as one the league’s top kick returners. Harvin’s best receiving season came in 2011, when he caught 87 passes for 967 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Injuries have also hampered Harvin in recent years, being limited to nine games in his final season in Minnesota and playing only one regular season game in his inaugural season with the Seattle Seahawks. He did return to play in the Super Bowl, and proved he’s still an elite kick returner, basically sealing the game with a second half opening kickoff return for a touchdown.
Harvin’s second season with the Seahawks saw him very under-utilized, catching only 22 passes in five games. This made him expendable and the Jets took the flyer for a conditional draft pick.
A subtle result of Harvin’s release will be the status of the draft pick the Jets send to the Seahawks. Rather than keeping Harvin and sending a 4th-round pick, the Jets will keep this selection and instead send a 6th-round pick. It’s a win-win for the Jets, as they save $10 million and keep their 4th-round selection.
Percy Harvin will find work in the NFL next season, and under the right circumstances he may excel. However he was not a good fit for the New York Jets, especially due to his price tag. A 6th-round pick is the only small fee the Jets will pay after a failed experiment. Harvin may not move far, as the New England Patriots are rumored and logical landing spot for the wide receiver.