March 19th is the big date in the relationship between Percy Harvin and the New York Jets. Our friend Rich Cimini outlines the situation quite well in his piece written yesterday. The Jets have to make their decision on Harvin by March 19th. If he is released prior to the 19th, the Jets only owe the Seahawks a sixth round pick. If Harvin remains, the Jets owe a fourth round draft pick.
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Rich talks about, and makes quite the valid point, that restructuring Harvin’s deal could backfire on the Jets. It would commit them to Harvin for more than a season, and Harvin could regress into previous behavioral problems.
Rich is right, but I believe the Jets hold all of the cards here. It would be smart for Harvin to restructure, and remain on his best behavior. The grass is not greener if Harvin leaves the New York Jets.
Percy Harvin is a nice player, but in now way worth $10.5 million, sorry. He hasn’t been able to stay on the field for an entire year in a long time. Various injuries throughout his career have sidelined Harvin. Eric Decker, who played in every game but one fighting through injury, is counting $6.5 million against the cap. He posted 74 receptions last year, proving to be quite reliable. Harvin does not deserve to be paid more than Decker, period.
If Percy Harvin walks, he has to know that he isn’t getting anywhere near $10.5 million on the open market. With guys like Jeremy Maclin and Randall Cobb available, it just isn’t going to happen. The league also knows that he was traded for, at best, a fourth round draft pick. An often injured wide receiver, barely worth a fourth round pick in a trade, is not going to break the bank in free agency. Harvin will likely get a deal that would be similar to the Jets after restructuring his deal anyway. Why not do whatever it takes to stay where your reputation is good?
Misbehaving should not even be on the radar of Percy Harvin. After being traded for what would be a sixth round pick if he remains on the Jets, regressing into his old ways will do nothing but hurt. Any possibility of another big payday for Percy Harvin will go out the window if he gets thrown out of another locker room. Percy Harvin’s only choice to cement a change in reputation would be to continue to be a model teammate as he has been so far.
The Jets can watch the market for Percy Harvin dictate itself. Not having to release Harvin until the 19th, the Jets can watch many of the top receivers get signed. Harvin will be watching too. Considering all factors, it might just be worth it for Harvin to restructure and remain in town. Despite an offense lacking in big plays, Percy Harvin actually needs the Jets more than the Jets need Percy Harvin, for the reasons described above.