As free agency got under way yesterday afternoon, there was an abundance of action going on, something we haven’t seen in years in the NFL. Big-name players such as Jimmy Graham, Haloti Ngata, Sam Bradford and Nick Foles were all traded, to go along with some significant draft picks. There were major signings and shocking retirements announced. Yesterday was a day like no other in the NFL.
With all the big acquisitions occurring in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills kept themselves quite busy, as they officially announced the trade of star running back LeSean McCoy, and quarterback Matt Cassel. They are also hosting free agents Charles Clay, Jerome Felton, Tyrod Taylor and Percy Harvin for visits, in the hopes of signing these players.
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Out of all the free agents the Bills have brought in, one name stands out as the most intriguing one, and that is former first rounder Percy Harvin. With Rex Ryan having coached Harvin last season and being familiar with his game, could the Bills benefit from signing Harvin?
Drafted in the first round, 22nd overall in 2009, Harvin made quite the name for himself in his rookie season, as he recorded 60 catches for 790 yards and six touchdowns. He also added 135 yards on the ground, on 15 carries. But what made Harvin such a special player, was his impact on special teams. He recorded over 1100 yards on kick returns with two touchdowns in his rookie year, averaging an astounding 27.5 yards per return.
Nov 2, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Percy Harvin (16) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Harvin showed he could do it all. After three and a half productive years with the Vikings however, Harvin was slowed down by significant injuries, as he only dressed for ten games during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. After some battles with concussions, Harvin was traded to the Seattle Seahawks, where he would come up big in the playoffs and help the team capture the Super Bowl.
Just five weeks into the 2014 season, it was revealed that Harvin didn’t get along overly well with some of his teammates, so he was shipped off to the New York Jets. In eight games with the Jets, Harvin recorded 29 catches for 350 yards and a touchdown, also adding 110 yards on the ground. Still, the team released him on Tuesday.
When Harvin is healthy, he is one of the most dynamic players in the NFL. At 5’11” and 184 pounds, Harvin has speed that makes his difficult to catch, regardless of where he is on the field. When lined up at reciever, he can be a legitimate deep threat, and isn’t afraid to go down the middle of the field to make a play on the ball. He has a great set of hands, and knows how to find holes in opposing defenses.
When it comes to the running game, Harvin is very effective. If he can get outside in space, not only is he impossible to catch, but he can also make defenders miss. Harvin may be the best dual threat in the NFL, and will be a valuable addition to any team.
The obvious concerns with Harvin are his past injuries and character issues. He needs to stay healthy, and if he can do so will be an impact player. Obviously, he has had character issues in the past, but if Rex Ryan coached him last year, and is willing to take him back, then his character issues are most likely non existent.
If the Bills are able to sign Harvin, then there will be no shortage of playmakers on the Bills offense, as Harvin would join Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, and LeSean McCoy to name a few. Even with average quarterback play from EJ Manuel or Matt Cassel, the Bills offense can be highly effective and generate points.
Percy Harvin can have a major impact in Buffalo. If he can stay healthy, he will help this offense do wonders. The University of Florida product is a threat wherever he is on the field and will require lots of attention. Harvin will also benefit whoever the Bills elect to start at quarterback. All in all, the Bills should really try and lock up Harvin, as he will be a great piece to the offense.
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