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.”
The Jets 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 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.
But at 26, Harvin has been traded twice now, including by Minnesota, the team that took him in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft.
Harvin was traded to the Seahawks in 2013 and appeared in just one regular-season game that season because of hip surgery. But he ran back a second-half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown in Seattle’s 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.
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.”
Harvin said he was “frustrated” about the way the Seahawks were using him in their offense.
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 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.
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.”
Around the league
Washington linebacker Brian Orakpo will miss the rest of the season because he needs surgery on a torn right pectoral muscle. … Redskins coach Jay Gruden said that unless Robert Griffin III is 100 percent ready to return from injury, Colt McCoy will start at QB against Dallas next week. … 49ers center Daniel Kilgore is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery today for a fractured left ankle.
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