Bills: Getting to Know New WR Percy Harvin

Percy Harvin officially signed a contract with the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday. To get an idea of what Harvin brings to the Bills, Chris Nimbley of JetsInsider.com and Rob Rang of SeahawkFootball.com shared their thoughts on the receiver and his time with their respective teams.

Ask someone who knows football to describe Percy Harvin. Some would call Harvin a dynamic playmaker. Others may use the term injury prone, and don’t forget locker room poison. Harvin was jettisoned from the Seattle Seahawks after stories emerged about his locker room behavior. Harvin has quite a few labels, but the Buffalo Bills would likely call Harvin a game-changer. On Wednesday, the receiver signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the team.

Harvin is coming off of a 2014 season where he caught 51 passes for 483 yards and a touchdown with the Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets. He added 202 yards rushing on 33 carries and was responsible for 495 kick return yards on the year. While his stats alone show what Harvin can bring to the table, it’s important to talk with writers who saw Harvin play in 2014. Rob Rang of SeahawkFootball.com and Chris Nimbley of JetsInsider.com took the time to give Bills fans an idea of what they’ll be getting in Harvin.

 

1. Thoughts on Percy Harvin signing with the Bills?

 

Chris Nimbley: It's definitely a good signing for the Bills. Harvin is a unique and dangerous play-maker that can hurt opposing defenses from anywhere on the field and more importantly he will open things up for everyone else. Sammy Watkins should be especially thrilled.

 

Rob Rang: Intriguing. With Watkins and Woods, Buffalo is most talented receiving corps Harvin had been apart of in NFL. Will be interesting to see if the competition sparks him to achieve up to his ability. 

 

2. Is Percy Harvin a good fit for Buffalo considering Rex Ryan has stressed that the team will be a run-first offense?

 

Nimbley: This is a little trickier. On its face he's a great fit for Rex's style of offense because he can line up anywhere; outside, slot or if the backfield. But while he can beat defenses deep his not a true outside receiver and he has become frustrated with teams using him as a "gadget" player. He wants to be more of a traditional receiver but that would limit the damage he can do on the field.

 

Rang: I don't anticipate big numbers from a fantasy perspective but do believe that the addition makes Buffalo much more difficult to defend. Harvin is excellent on reverses and even standard runs out of the backfield, as well. 

 

3. How will Harvin's addition to the team impact Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods?

 

Nimbley: Regardless of how the Bills decide to use him he will absolutely open things up for Watkins and Woods. Because of his speed and versatility opposing defenses will absolutely have to account for him. Harvin will demand attention or beat defenses until they are forced to give him that attention and of course the more attention defenses pay to Harvin the less they'll be able to pay to Watkins and Woods.

 

Rang: On the field it makes each that much more difficult to defend. If they all get along off the field, that is. 

 

4. How should Greg Roman use Harvin in Buffalo's offense?

 

Nimbley: Like with the second question this one is tricky. In a purely football related sense Roman should use Harvin in a multitude of ways. Line him up all over the field; send him deep, over the middle, use quick screens, out of the backfield and on end-arounds. The fact that he can be used in so many ways is what makes him so dangerous and valuable. However if using him in this way will make him unhappy and frustrated Roman will have to be careful not to upset him to the point that he becomes a problem.

 

Rang: I'll leave that to Roman.

 

5. Harvin is a dynamic return man and Buffalo has one of the better special teams units in the NFL. Do you believe that this played a factor in Harvin's decision to join the Bills?

 

Nimbley: Absolutely. Rex loves his ability in the return game and the fact that the return game isn't as important as it once was, due to rule changes and more touchbacks, matters none to Rex.

 

Rang: Most talented teams wins most of the time. There is no question that adding Harvin makes Buffalo more talented, regardless of how he is used. 

 

6. Harvin supposedly had other suitors who wanted to bring him in for a visit. Why do you think he elected to stay in Buffalo without even considering the other teams?

 

Nimbley: Likely because of his fondness for Rex and the fact that he trusts Rex. Harvin feels like he has been misled about how team planned to use him and he probably feels like he can trust Rex. This will become a common theme amongst free agents as long as Rex is there.

 

Rang: Speculation only but would say the familiarity with Rex Ryan and his staff. 

 

7. By all accounts, how was Harvin regarded in New York's locker room?

 

Nimbley: Harvin was on his best behavior here. The players welcomed him with open arms immediately. He had no trouble fitting in the locker room and had no issues while he was here. The week leading up to the final game of the season I asked over 10 players if they wanted Harvin to return and they all gave me an emphatic "yes." A few players added "why wouldn't we want him back?" 

 

8. Harvin supposedly had locker room/anger management issues in Seattle. How concerned should Bills fans be about Harvin in the locker room, especially considering the youth of Buffalo's wide receivers?

Rang: It should be a concern. However, Rex Ryan and his staff elected to bring back Harvin after working with him for a year so obviously the Bills feel comfortable with the relationship.

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