It’s just a fraction under a month till NFL’s free agency opens. This is when the whole league goes on a scramble for their favoured players and bargain deals. I recently witnessed my first ‘Black Friday’ in the US; I some how vision this FA process to not be all that dissimilar. The New York Jets, like plenty of the other teams will have their eyes pinned on their rosters and have their scouters and advisors working double time. A fate yet to be decided is none other than Mr Percy Harvin, but for good reason.
As I’ve explained Percy came to Jets last season and made a fair splash on what was a terrible season for the green and white. He made modest yards on the field, which respectfully can be noted that he may have completed more if our QB situation wasn’t on the wrack, again. Coming into this new offseason, Percy’s position at East Rutherford currently remains an interesting one.
As it was rumoured Percy arrived in New York having left Seattle on bad terms. The Superbowl champions spoke of Percy causing bad atmospheres in the locker rooms and it wasn’t long before they decided to ring his dinner bell. New York took a sniff and decided we would be worth our 4th or 6th round pick. Now how can it be a 4th or 6th round pick? Allow me to explain.
Harvin was signed on a one-year contract; meaning now some time soon, his fate for next year has to be decided. If the Jets choose to give Percy another contract, it will mean Seattle will then receive the 4th round pick as Percy has resigned to the Jets. However, if we chose not to sign Percy, it would only mean handing over the 6th round pick for his services in 2014, and he takes the ‘punt’ at FA. The reason Harvin’s situation is interesting is because it does carry that clause, and in my eyes, he isn’t a straightforward cut for Maccagnan and Bowles.
Percy goes into 2015 boasting a salary of $10.5 million, a salary arguably too high for a player that didn’t reached the heights of other ‘first choice’ WRs. But what Harvin does carry which other top receivers don’t, is the ball, and he carries it well.
Harvin is a great punt returner. Last season he returned for nearly 500 yards, 2 for over 40. The notion I’d like to bring to your attention is that we would need a top returner next season. As our first choice QB is about as close to being decided as my future in writing, so we need to consider chances for field advantage. Would we trust Geno having a better chance reaching the end zone from our own 40 (which some will still doubt) or forever handing him the ball at our own 20, and see him do the rest. Harvin does have more strings to his bow and with more receiving yards, a salary his suggested one may not seem too ridiculous.
What makes Harvin’s situation even more interesting is the time we have to make the decision. If the Jets do not resign Harvin by March 9th, he will then enter FA. But, it being March 9th, Harvin will enter a few days late. This gives the Jets a chance to see which other players have made free agency. They will have time to assess the possible prospects, like the potential WR elites of Thomas, Bryant, Cobb & Crabtree. What mustn’t be overlooked, is these players are likely to undergo lengthy discussions before even seeing a door. Also meaning if those discussions don’t go well, and they enter FA, all hell is likely to break loose. It may cause a host of teams to crawl to the player’s feet for a chance at seeing them rock their team’s colours. What that will give those fortunate players is leverage. Leverage to boast whatever contract they desire, and of course this being the NFL and the way it’s heading recently, some team will pay it.
Conversely, the leverage we have over Harvin, a player who wants to boast a similar salary, is that he wont be on the shop floor with those other players. They’ll have been snapped up much earlier, having in turn eaten deep into that team’s cap space, this is before Harvin can even pay his respects to the Jets before being cut. Bad luck.
What I suggest the Jets do, and Harvin should listen, is try to negotiate his contract, but at a reduced rate. He may see some satisfaction in that he will have another year in the NFL, and what the Jets will then get is Percy at a cut price, saving the precious cap space. Naturally, this means losing the 4th round pick, but I see it as the cap space remaining healthy, to then rollover to more key players, and who knows, signing Harvin at a reduced rate may also leave room to sign another WR. Perhaps like the ones I’ve mentioned. Cheeky.
With Harvin’s reduced rate we could keep a solid receiver/returner, but also sign another more outstanding, top 10 wide out as well. It’s a lot to ask with many factors at play, but I see it as an option, and if Percy still doesn’t work out, we have the benefit of having a player without any salary guarantees. If it doesn’t work out we can cut him.
Nevertheless, if no such negation can be made, I do agree that we should cut Harvin and use a similar salary else where. Show that the Jets mean business this year and give our mystery QB a serious weapon to play with. Well that’s my thoughts anyway.
“And the home of the Jets”