|Free agent snapshot: Percy Harvin||02.22.16 at 12:00 pm ET|
When free agency begins in early March, there are a handful of players across the league who could appeal to New England. With the understanding that the status of these players could change because of the franchise or transition tag, here are a few possibilities for the Patriots to consider. We have to stress that all of these guys are not necessarily considered the elite of the free agent class – instead, they’re players we think would be a good fit in New England. We started with Matt Forte, Anquan Boldin, Mohamed Sanu, Alshon Jeffery, Stevan Ridley, Danny Trevathan, Alfred Morris, Stefan Wisniewski, Marvin Jones, Chris Ivory, and now Percy Harvin.
Player: Percy Harvin
Position: Wide receiver
Weight: 200 pounds
Age: 27 (will turn 28 in May)
The skinny: After an underwhelming, injury-ridden 2015 campaign, the Bills voided the remaining two years of Harvin’s cap-friendly three-year contract signed last offseason. The seven-year pro played the first five games of the season with Buffalo before getting sidelined for the remainder of the year with hip and knee injuries.
By the numbers: Harvin reeled in 19 catches for 218 yards and a touchdown in his injury-shortened season with the Bills. He is four seasons removed from his best year when he caught 87 passes for 967 yards (both career-highs) with six touchdowns (tied for a career-high) in 2011. He’s also been known to get the ball out of the backfield on end-around plays totaling 145 carries for 916 yards and five touchdowns over the course of his career. An established kick returner as well, Harvin has a career average of 27.2 yards per kickoff return with five touchdowns.
Why it would work: He would be cheap and there could be tremendous upside. When healthy, Harvin has shown flashes of being a dynamic receiver and kick returner, and given his recent injuries and inability to stay put with a team, he would likely sign for cheap with a team willing to take a chance. Due to his positive track record on special teams, he could be a potentially viable asset for a Patriots team that had its fair share of woes on special teams last season.
Why it wouldn’t work: His health has been a concern most of his career, having played just one full season in his seven-year career and hasn’t played more than nine games in a season since 2011. In the little time he does spend on the field, his production has been decreasing. Since a trade to Seattle prior to the 2013 season, he has just three touchdowns (one of which was rushing) and 718 receiving yards. After the trade to the Seattle, Harvin became something of a journeyman, spending the past three seasons with three different teams (the Seahawks, Jets and Bills).
Our take: It’s highly unlikely the Patriots would take a chance on Harvin. He’s been riddled with injuries throughout his career and at 27 has already voiced consideration to retire. What’s more, his on-field production has been plummeting since 2011 and he has established a reputation around the league for being a cancer in the locker room. He’s a valuable asset when healthy and in top form, but it’s been so long since he’s played at a high level that the odds are long he’ll ever return to more than negligible production.
|5 things you have to know about Bills: Rex Ryan has Buffalo in a frenzy||09.14.15 at 4:23 pm ET|
Five things you have to know about the Bills, who will face the Patriots Sunday in Orchard Park:
1. The Rex Effect is already pretty evident on the players and fan base.
Much like the Jets in 2009, the Bills have really taken on Ryan’s identity early in his time at the helm. A quick look at the regular-season opener Sunday against the Colts revealed an aggressive, physical team that had the swagger cranked to 11 against the AFC finalists. Even in the early going, Buffalo was feeling it, and the team was able to feed off the energy of a pumped-up crowd at Ralph Wilson Stadium. As long as the Bills stay in the game, expect the crowd to stay on its feet throughout the game and provide the place with a ton of juice.
2. It’s no coincidence that quarterback Tyrod Taylor flashed some elements of Colin Kaepernick in his game in the opener.
Former Niners offensive coordinator Greg Roman is now the offensive coordinator with the Bills, and so it was no surprise when in the opener against the Colts, Taylor showed some of the elements that made Kaepernick’s game great a few years back with San Francisco. Granted, it was against an occasionally porous Indy defense, but Taylor displayed a nice array of skills: 9 carries for 41 rushing yards (including a 31-yarder), to go along with a 14-for-19 effort in the passing game that that accumulated 195 yards and a touchdown. In the passing game, he made a nice selection of passes, and didn’t throw an interception. On the ground, Taylor doesn’t figure to overwhelm teams, but he showed no hesitation when it came to tucking and running against the Colts. This week, it will be absolutely paramount for the Patriots defensive front to maintain their individual rush lanes, and practice gap integrity across the board. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Patriots to go back and put on the film of the San Francisco-New England matchup from Dec. 2012 in Foxboro and take a look at what Kaepernick did that night against the Patriots in a 41-34 win for the Niners.
3. Expect lots of defensive pressure.
Ryan will look to come at Tom Brady through a variety of defensive schemes designed to put as much pressure on the quarterback as possible. More often that most other coaches, Ryan has found a way to discombobulate Brady: per Albert Breer of NFL Media, in the 14 games Brady has played against Ryan since he became the Ravens defensive coordinator in 2005, the quarterback has won 10 of the 14 games but has a 59 percent completion rate, and 3,744 passing yards (an average of 267 yards per game) to go along with 25 touchdown passes, eight interceptions and a 90.1 quarterback rating. Those numbers sound good, but when you consider his career per game stats, it’s clear Ryan has been able to do better than most when it comes to slowing Brady. It’s likely that most of that pressure will come up the gut from Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus, as Ryan and the Bills will test the young interior of the Patriots’ offensive line. (In that same vein, look for Brady to try and get the ball out as fast as possible, something that was a clear point of emphasis in the opener against the Steelers.)
|Report: ‘Good chance’ Patriots sign Percy Harvin||03.10.15 at 5:45 pm ET|
The Jets officially released wide receiver Percy Harvin on Tuesday. His next stop could be a few hours north on I-95.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, there is a “good chance” the Patriots sign Harvin. Harvin was traded to the Jets from the Seahawks during last season.
Harvin is a versatile player who can line up virtually anywhere on the field. He played his first four seasons in the league with the Vikings, before playing 2013 and part of 2014 in Seattle, with injuries keeping off the field most of his time there. His best season came in 2011 when he caught 87 passes for 967 yards and six touchdowns.
For more Patriots news. check out weei.com/patriots.
Team to watch for Percy Harvin: The New England #Patriots. I’m told there is a good chance that’s his spot.
‘ Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2015
|John Clayton on MFB: Darrelle Revis has shown ‘willingness’ to work with Patriots, take a discount||at 1:41 pm ET|
ESPN NFL reporter John Clayton joined Middays with MFB Tuesday with Greg Dickerson in for Tim Benz to discuss Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and other NFL free agent news. To listen to the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.
When it comes to Revis, the Patriots reportedly won’t pick up his $20 million team option for 2015 and he will become a free agent, as of 4 p.m. Tuesday. Being the best cornerback on the market, and even overall player on the market, it seems likely he will demand big dollars.
Clayton said Revis could take somewhat of a discount to return to New England because of what he did last offseason.
“He did that last year because even though the contract averaged $16 million and he was making $16 million on the average on the Tampa Bay contract, he was willing to play for $12 [million],” Clayton said. “I think he’s shown his willingness to be able to work with the team and take a discount. The question is going to be how much of a discount?
“Let’s say for an example he does hit the market and there is nothing out there, it could be one of those things where his agents say to the Jets, make everything you can, make us an offer we can’t turn down. I think there is a chance that could happen because you know Woody Johnson knows him and he’s been there before. If it is within $2 million I think he stays [in New England].”
The Patriots have also reportedly let Browner test the market and see what his value is, as he is set to receive a $2 million roster bonus on Tuesday. The team could be looking to restructure his deal, possibly for a way to bring Revis back.
“He has a bonus that is due today that will be guaranteed, so it’s possible they may not pick up that bonus,” said Clayton. “Because he makes $5 million a year they are giving him the opportunity to see, ‘Hey, can you get into anything? If you can then we’ll let you see that.’ You kind of get the idea they may not want to have the bonus or they may want him to see what is available and what kind of market value he has so they can restructure his contract and make him stay.
“It’s a very curious move because if you think about it, part of the great success of the team was the addition of the two cornerbacks and both cornerbacks may not be there. It’s a gamble. It’s a timing thing too because they also knew they had until 4 o’clock to figure this out. If they know Revis is gone maybe they do something different with Brandon or maybe vise versa. Very curious move, but you can see it is a business and that is part of the business.”
|Julian Edelman on MFB: ‘I definitely have to eliminate [dropped passes] immediately’||10.20.14 at 11:45 am ET|
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Monday, as the Patriots prepare for next Sunday’s game against the Bears. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
The Patriots played four games in 18 days and it appeared to take a toll as they struggled in Thursday’s two-point win over the lowly Jets.
“When you go out and it’s a short week like that it’s all mental, it’s all like walk-through stuff,” Edelman said. “It’s tough for both teams. As athletes we’re creatures of habit. You throw a wrench in a routine it’s a little different. But we both had to deal with it. We came out with a win, and now you do get to have a long weekend.”
The normally reliable Edelman had a couple of costly dropped passes in Thursday’s game. Although he’s having his second straight strong season, Edelman said he wants to prove himself to Tom Brady.
“I definitely have to go in there and I’ve got to show him in practice that I can go not drop easy balls, or try to run with the ball before I have it,” Edelman said. “I’m sure that he’ll come back, because that’s how he is. He’s going to throw to the open guy. It’s definitely a different situation [than in past years], but I definitely have to eliminate that immediately and go back to the drawing boards and catch more balls and work on it.”
After a slow start, the Patriots offense has picked it up, due in no small part to the play of Edelman. The 28-year-old has 44 receptions for 453 yards and a touchdown through seven games.
“Like we say every week, we just try to go out each and every week and get better,” Edelman said. “That’s what we’re trying to do. There’s a lot of situations that we have to get better at. But we consistently put in the work. Guys are going out there, they’re working hard, they’re making plays in practice and it’s translating into games. It’s going to help the team. As long as we can just keep it going, keep getting better, everyone contributing, everyone doing their job, that’s how it goes.”
|Cris Carter on D&C: Seahawks need to get Percy Harvin involved to win Super Bowl||01.30.14 at 9:50 am ET|
Carter picked the Seahawks to come away with the win on Sunday, but said there are two things the team needs to do at the start of the game in order to find success.
“Number one, from a Seattle standpoint, I’ll look at are they pinning Denver back,” Carter said. “Are they utilizing their special teams? Which I believe is an advantage in making Denver go the distance.
“From Seattle’s standpoint, people aren’t talking about their offensive line. Pass protection hasn’t been great. … The reason why [Russell Wilson is] ad libbing is because the offensive line has not been that consistent.”
Carter said the Seahawks will need to utilize Percy Harvin, who has played in just one game this season because of hip surgery.
“Hand him the football because you don’t have to have a lot of continuity,” Carter said. “Percy Harvin is one of the great runners in the National Football League — open-field running ability. … You also throw in some swing passes, don’t let the ball travel far before it gets in his hand.
“Those are the easiest ways, and you don’t have to have a lot of practice or timing with the quarterback to do that.”
|Vikings GM Rick Spielman: ‘We have no intent to trade Percy Harvin’||02.21.13 at 1:09 pm ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — Vikings GM Rick Spielman said Thursday that despite recent rumors, Minnesota has “no intent” of trading wide receiver Percy Harvin.
Harvin, entering the final year of a five-year deal he signed as a rookie, has apparently made noise about a new deal, one in the neighborhood of roughly $10 million annually.
“As I stated earlier, we have no intent to trade Percy Harvin,” Spielman said Thursday afternoon. “Anything related to his contract or any discussions, will all be kept internally. I think everybody understands what type of player Percy Harvin is. He’s a dynamic playmaker; not only on offense, but the things he can do at different positions. But also what he brings us as a kickoff returner.”
When healthy, Harvin has been one of the best young slot receivers in the game. The all-purpose threat has managed 280 catches in his first four years in the league while working mostly in the slot. He also has a tremendous impact on the ground (he has 107 carries for 683 yards in four years), as well as on special teams.
Locally, his name has been floated as a possible replacement for Wes Welker in New England if the Patriots fail to reach an accord with Welker on a new deal. There is some history between Harvin and the Patriots — it’s believed New England was interested in the Florida product in the days before the 2009 draft.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
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