Harvin not 'perfect,' happy for chance with Jets
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Percy Harvin has been called lots of things during his NFL career.
Talented but injury prone. Explosive on the field and combustible off. A playmaker but a troublemaker.
The New York Jets' newest wide receiver doesn't deny he has had some issues. But he also wants to be judged from what he does starting now, not just his checkered past.
"I'm definitely not a perfect person," Harvin said after his first practice with his new team Monday. "I have a lot of things that I wish I could have done a little differently. But I'm moving forward. I'm learning from those lessons.
"I'm happy to be here right now and looking to make the most out of it," he said.
The Jets and Seattle Seahawks completed a deal Saturday in which New York sent a conditional draft pick to Seattle for Harvin. Jets general manager John Idzik thought the potential payoff in acquiring a player with Harvin's type of versatility and game-breaking skills outweighed the risks involved.
"I look at it," Idzik said, "as this could be a potential coup for the New York Jets."
Harvin was "shocked" by the trade and it came as a surprise to most in NFL circles. After all, the Seahawks parted ways with a player who helped them win a Super Bowl last season.
But at 26, Harvin has been traded twice already now, including by Minnesota, the team that took him in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft. The Jets were extremely interested in Harvin during that draft process before trading up to take quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Harvin has played in 60 games with only 47 career starts. He was traded to the Seahawks in 2013 for a 2013 first-round and seventh-round draft choice and a 2014 third-rounder, but appeared in just one regular-season game in 2013 because of hip surgery. But Harvin ran back a second-half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown in Seattle's 43-8 rout of Denver in the Super Bowl.
Harvin is also a player who is injury prone and has had some questions about his character and interactions. Harvin acknowledged that he had "incidents" in the locker room with former Seahawks teammates Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin, but declined to give details.
"The way I go about my business is by keeping everything in-house, but for whatever reason, they decided to unleash things," Harvin said. "Some things did happen. That's in the past. We've moved forward and I've talked to Golden and Doug. We've all moved forward from it. I'm here now and I'm moving on."
Jets right tackle Breno Giacomini, Harvin's teammate in Seattle last season, said the incidents are being "blown up for no reason" and "wasn't like it was this big, huge boxing match."
"Almost everybody in this locker room has been in a fight before," Giacomini said. "We play football, you know what I'm saying? Oh, it happened twice? Who cares? He's a good competitor. That's what it is. I know it was squashed right away with Golden because I was there, and I heard the same thing about Doug. I think it's being blown up."
Harvin said he was "frustrated" about the way the Seahawks were using him in the offense.
"Not that I didn't like what I was doing, I just wanted to do a little bit more," he said. "As a receiver, I wanted to just get downfield just a little bit more than I was doing."
Harvin did not approach his coaches about his unhappiness, but also didn't request a trade - and insisted he harbors no ill will toward the Seahawks.
"They brought me a Super Bowl," he said.
Idzik said he had thorough discussions with Seahawks general manager John Schneider, a close friend whom Idzik has known before their days working together in Seattle, and was comfortable that Harvin wouldn't become a disruptive force in the Jets' locker room.
So was coach Rex Ryan, who didn't even want to discuss Harvin's past issues.
"I don't think I need to," Ryan said. "To me, things happen and every single guy has had something, but to me, it's just all about right now and moving forward."
Idzik said he had "substantive talks" with Seattle last week before the Jets' game at New England last Thursday night, but the discussions "crystallized" after the team's 27-25 loss - its sixth straight.
"It became evident that this was a real possibility," Idzik said, "and eventually we pulled the trigger."
Idzik insisted the move was to help the 1-6 Jets improve - not a result of public pressure or criticism. The GM has been highly criticized for not providing second-year quarterback Geno Smith and the rest of the offense enough playmakers in the offseason.
"I think it brings an explosive talent to our team," coach Rex Ryan said. "It should be fun to watch."
Ryan said Harvin will serve as the team's kick returner on Sunday against Buffalo, and his involvement in the offense would be based on how quickly he picks up Marty Mornhinweg's system.
"It's definitely a place I want to be for a long time," Harvin said. "I'm here, I'm glad I'm here and I'm going to make the most of the opportunity."